Bulb Wattage for brooder


8 Years
Sep 2, 2011
New Hampshire
Is there a typical type and wattage bulb for brooders? A friend lent me a 2' x 4' metal brooder with electical socket installed. There are no markings on the brooder as to what type watt/ bulb to use. I put a 100 watt and it smoked within seconds, tried a 60 watt and it seemed really hot. Keep in mind it hasnt been used in years so it could be burning dirt. Any clue what is standard? The bulb screws in and rests against a metal contraption that you can adust for heat control.. there is a thermometor that looks like it has seen better days I will put another thermometor in the brooder.
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As you said the socket could be dirty. Any wattage is fine if it's doing the job of providing heat. If in a back storage room and cold part of year you may need a heat lamp (250w) but this time of year it doesn't take that to give 95 F heat. Then raise the bulb every week to drop heat by 5 F. Or lower wattage. Always provide area in brooder for chicks to get away and cool down if too hot.
thank you, yes there is a curtain to install to give the chicks a way to escape heat if they desire. I am going to get 40 watt bulb and check temps.. good thing my babies are not due to arrive for a week or more!
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I used a 40 watt and it was plenty. That said, the actual temperature is controlled by bulb height above the chicks, so go for the temperature achieved and not the wattage used. Better too cool than too hot, and somewhere for them to escape to is good.
It depends on the size of the brooder, the number of chicks you want to keep warm, the ambient temperature, and a few other things. I've used a 60W red bulb in a cardboard box indoors and a 250W heat bulb outside in a shed. Just beware of overheating them. I honestly believe that 95F is often too hot, even for the first week. But as long as they've got a cool-space to escape to, they should be fine. Just experiment a bit with bulbs and heights till you get the temp where you want it...

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