Can I eventually turn off my brooder light?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by PopVultureATX, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. PopVultureATX

    PopVultureATX In the Brooder

    Jun 6, 2011

    So I've got two chicks that are five weeks old tomorrow, give or take a day. They're pretty much fully feathered and are getting pretty big; I plan to put them out in my coop in a couple more weeks.

    In the meantime though, I was wondering– do I even need the brooder light anymore? I've increased the height over my brooder box every week to lower the heat, but now I'm wondering if I even need it anymore. It's at its max height on a hook I have on the ceiling, probably about four feet from the floor of the box. I always have the AC on in my house– it's an old place, so it fluctuates probably between 77 and 82. I'm not concerned about electric bills or anything, just want to make sure the chicks are happy. I can leave it on or turn it off, would like to hear your thoughts.


  2. mszekely

    mszekely In the Brooder

    May 10, 2011
    Vermilion, OH
    I bet at 5 weeks they are pretty well feathered. Also, if the temp under the light is about the same as the area they are in, it is no longer needed.
  3. stubbornhill

    stubbornhill Songster

    Apr 11, 2011
    Shapleigh, Maine
  4. PopVultureATX

    PopVultureATX In the Brooder

    Jun 6, 2011
    Thanks for the help!

    So it's been close to 24 hours since I've turned the light off. It was really funny at first, because I think it was the first time the chicks experienced darkness. They actually sat down and seemed to relax a little bit; normally they run around like crazy all the time and poke their heads out of the windows I cut in the side of the box, but instead they got in the comfortable "nesting" position. I guess they slept like normal birds for the first time last night. This morning they were up and about as usual, cheeping and spunky.

    That said, I'm still keeping an eye out and will turn the light back on if they're snuggled up next to each other to keep warm. Is there anything I should watch out for?

  5. gale65

    gale65 Songster

    Ours are about 2.5 weeks old and slept last night with only a lightless warmer-no light. They were all sacked out all over the coop floor and didn't even wake up when I shone the flashlight in there (quickly, to check the temp). Probably the first decent night's sleep they've gotten.
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Betcha it's time for those chooks to be in the coop. [​IMG]
  7. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia

  8. sodabottlebantams

    sodabottlebantams In the Brooder

    May 31, 2011
    Alma, Georgia
    i would advise turning the light off during the day and then on at night for a few days to see how they react and adapt to the change. but if the air temp is staying stable throughout the course of day and night it should be fine.
  9. momdogz

    momdogz In the Brooder

    Sep 28, 2008
    Mine are about 3.5 weeks, mostly feathered out, have been without the lamp for the past 5 days and have done great. I have a thermometer on the floor near them (a safe one) to keep track of the temperature, and it's never gotten below 70 (and we live in Vermont). I agree that they almost seemed relieved to have the lights off so they could get a good nights sleep finally!

    I was going to take them to the hen house to begin integrating this weekend (inside a parallel/separate run so the 7 older biddies and the new ones can see each other but not get at each other), but am thinking 3.5 weeks might be a little soon - should I wait till 4-5 weeks old?

  10. tclegg

    tclegg Chirping

    May 15, 2011
    Yeah--my have been without brooder light for about 1.5 weeks and they are just alittle over 3 wks now...First night I thot they would go ballistic..but no--they seemed to have a good night sleep..I looked in on them several times too with flashlight--just few peep--peeps (dreaming no doubt) LOL First time they all got to sleep without one of the others "talking and running over them every 2 mins/24 hours a I say they were relieved...LOL
    No they are on schedule--almost dark by 9 here (WV) they are cozy and cuddled in and asleep every night by that time (by themselves) but their in brooder..But not hollering for me like before..and every morning aound 8 they are in there "yelling" nicely were up, were up..and I can tell if distress yell or not...(none yet) thank goodness) LOLBeen like clock work--3 days after turned off brooder lite....

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