Ceramic heat emitter versus heat bulb w/ light?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by fluffpuffgerbil, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. fluffpuffgerbil

    fluffpuffgerbil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hey everyone, I've been lurking the forums for some time learning everything I can about chicks and chickens, for this spring we're hoping to get a few(aiming for 6) and yeah! Mostly for pets and I want to see about entering them into shows, and the eggs are a perk.
    Anyway, I'm not sure what type of brooder I'll be making, I was thinking a rubbermaid tote, but my mum wants to get one of those large metal troughs from the feed store that they use to keep their chicks in while they're in the store. No matter what we use, we need a heat lamp for them, and I was wondering if they HAD to have a red or white bulb, or if I could use a ceramic heat emitter, no light, just heat, instead? Mainly wondering this because we're not to sure where we're putting the brooder, and I think I have a spot in my bedroom at the end of my bed for it, but I won't want it in my room if we have to have a light emitting bulb. So was just wondering if chicks need a light or if a CHE(usually you can get those from petstores for reptiles) will suffice as long as the temps reach ~95*F for the birdies.

    Thanks!
     
  2. alaskanchickens

    alaskanchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The CHE would be great for night. They need light during the day though otherwise they won't move around because they can't see, like if your curtains were drawn. We have always had the brooder in the basement with no windows so used the heat lamps. I don't think I could stand having chicks in my room or main house because of the smell! We clean our brooders daily and our home still ends up smelling like a coop right before they go out to the real coop. Might not be too bad with only 6 though, a 55 gal rubber maid tote would be plenty of room for a little while, probably a couple of weeks depending on breed. If you don't have a basement I would personally stick them in a spare bathroom or garage.
     
  3. fluffpuffgerbil

    fluffpuffgerbil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good for night-- light in day, got it. Um, we're a bit tight in space indoors. We don't have a basement and we only have two small bathrooms. Our garage houses our outdoor cat that is quite accustom to killing small critters, so I don't think that's a good idea. We have three indoor cats, and they are all declawed and only one of them would be interested in the chicks, but I wouldn't worry about them once they got bigger. And we'll have a lid on the brooder obviously. I have pet rats and other animals in my room, so the smell probably wouldn't bug me like it would everyone else. And since I spend the most time in my room, and they would be in a place everyone can easily access them, I think that would be one of the best places for them. My mom was thinking about putting them upstairs in our garage's storage area, but I wasn't too thrilled on having to climb up our flight of stairs to see them, take them out, play with them, clean and feed the brooder, etc,., and then we have to make sure our outdoor cat doesn't manage to get up there....

    As far as breeds go, we were planning on getting a sort of mixed flock.... I want an EE, Buff Orpington, and white Leghorn(all of which I think are carried at the feed store we're planning on buying from), and I think my younger sis wants an EE, but I'm not sure what type my mom and older sis want.

    And a quick coop question--- would it be good to build the main coop and run, then also a smaller temporary moveable coop for if we get more chickens eventually, or have to quarantine at some point?(Like coming back after a show, since I really only want to show the Leghorn and Orpington?)) It could even work as a grow-out coop I guess if needed. The main coop we're building is going to be built big enough for more than 6 hens, or at least that's the plan.
     
  4. AlohaChickens80

    AlohaChickens80 Out Of The Brooder

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    A ceramic heat lamp is fine, we were using one before stepping the wattage down to a red light bulb. The red bulbs don't put out much, if any, light. So if that is your concern it shouldn't bother you.
     
  5. alaskanchickens

    alaskanchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like your room is the best place! The easier the access the better. With the cats being around, I wouldn't just use a window screen or something which most people, and myself, use. Cats will tear right through that. Even if they are used to your rats, chicks are different, they chirp all the time and primal instincts could kick in in the cat. It's not the claws, its the teeth to worry about! But you do have to come up with something that can be secured to whatever your using for a brooder that will let the heat in because those totes and tubs are not tall enough, the heat would cook them. As for the coop, if you just plan on using it for that short of a time a small one would suffice. I prefer introducing chicks to the flock a different way but if you have them side by side it should work! Doesn't need to be huge and quarantine time is pretty short, even though they don't like sleeping on the floor a couple of night won't hurt them
     
  6. fluffpuffgerbil

    fluffpuffgerbil Chillin' With My Peeps

    The temporary coop doesn't need to be done right away since these are our first birds and it will probably not be until October at the earliest when I can show them and will need something to quarantine my showbirds from my not-for-show birds after I get back from the shows with them(just to make sure they didn't contract any sicknesses from other birds at the shows). =P And definitely the teeth are the problem with cats, and I figured we'd use hardware cloth or something similar to put over the top of it. I definitely expect the cats to be VERY interested in the chicks, especially our youngest cats. I do not doubt it at all and would expect nothing less of the cats than for them to take interest in new, fluffy small critters, especially since all of them like to watch birds through windows. As for making it taller, I'm pretty crafty and could easily find something to use to increase the height of the brooder so the heat isn't as concentrated and there is more of a temp gradient. Also, longer I assume is better for brooders so the chicks have more room to get away from the heatlamp and each other when wanted, right? My mom still wants to use one of those big long metal troughs from the feedstore, and that I know would be able to house them for some time, and it would fit in my room I think, so maybe one of those would be better than the plastic totes, and it should be big enough to where it won't get too hot, even with it being made of metal.... thoughts?
     
  7. alaskanchickens

    alaskanchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For my first chicks, I cut one end off of 2 cardboard boxes and taped them together! You can use anything! My sister used a large fish tank and my mother-in-law uses an old freezer, just depends on what you want to use! The wash tub would be best, especially if you don't want to move them from brooder to brooder as they grow, depending on where you live will affect how much time they spend in your room. You wouldn't need to make it any taller if you used hardware cloth because it's open and heat rises, I would hang the lamp on the outside of it though, don't put it in the brooder with them. That way you can raise and lower it easier. I don't ever have a thermometer in mine, but you may want a small one just to make sure its not too hot or cold. If you don't, you will know 1 way or another. If they're all huddled under the heat, they're too cold and you should lower an inch or two at a time. If they're all spread out, too hot so raise it. Experience is the best way to learn any of this and from the sounds of it, you're going to do great!
     
  8. fluffpuffgerbil

    fluffpuffgerbil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yeah, moving them from booder to brooder sounds more of a hassle than giving them something big to start with. ^,^ I've been looking at the brooder thread on here and people definitely do use everything and anything!! I've been doing a lot of research since I've been wanting chickens for some time, and I'm really excited that my mom of all people(who always is skeptical about my want for certain pets... I have like, 13 lizards, 4 different species of them, rats, and two colonies of different sorts of bugs) suggested we get chickens.
    She told me she wants them mainly to make the backyard look nicer! That and for fertilizer, but still a bit of a funny reason. As it turns out, I'm leaving my current public school in two days to be homeschooled again instead and there are other reasons behind that, but now I'll be able to be with the chicks 24/7 once we get them. Me and my dad will be building the coop, and he built a two story addon to our house and converted our old garage into a gaming and movie room, so with the both of us and the fact we have mostly all the materials we will need for the basics of the coop, it shouldn't be too hard. Would it be recommended to get the coop built before we buy the chicks at all, or work on building it while we have them since they'll have to be inside for around 6 weeks? Or is it just preference on what you know you'll be able to do or not do?

    Hah, I've already done a ton of research, but now I've started asking questions and can't seem to stop! Man, these birds are going to take over my life...
     
  9. alaskanchickens

    alaskanchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got my first chicks in early April, we usually have snow until mid to late May and had no coop. My husband said sure to chickens one day in Feb. and I ran with it! I ordered 40! Meat birds and layers and had no coop. Once the snow melted down, I threw wood ash on what was left to finish melting it faster and we got to work on the coop. The chicks were 8 weeks old before we were finally done and it was warm enough. I think you'll be ok, your not building a mansion and you can usually get one built in a weekend. You don't need nesting boxes for fancy roosts right away, I just had a pallet leaned against the wall with a cinder block underneath ( every other board on the pallet removed) and the chicks used that for about a month before they were too big and I had to put in a real one! Now I've put myself in the same situation again! It's called "chicken math". I have 14 chickens right now, 13 hens and 1 roo, and I just ordered 46 more birds (chickens, ducks and turkeys) for the end of april! Now I need a building 3-4 times the size I have and we can't start building until at least May.
     
  10. fluffpuffgerbil

    fluffpuffgerbil Chillin' With My Peeps

    See, I told my mum we don't have to have something super fancy right away, but she's scared we'll never get the coop she wants if we don't get it right off the bat. I know it won't take long for us to build it, and also, we only get snow from like, now to the end of February and I think that Wilco(NW local feed store) gets their chicks in mid Feb, so in two months we'd have to have the coop built, which is more than enough time, so I probably won't wait before getting mum to take me out so we can buy the brooder things and get it all set up for the chicks. That's a lot of birds you're getting! We're only getting less than 10, but I'll probably end up wanting more eventually. =P I want ducks at some point, too. Always have wanted a pekin duck.
     

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