chicks in the dark

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cookinmom, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. cookinmom

    cookinmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2007
    Saint George GA
    Kind of a dumb question here:

    When my chicks are 4 wks, from what I've seen in other posts, they won't need the heat lamp any more, but if they don't have that at night, that will put them in the dark.

    Should I just swap out the heat bulb (red) with a low-wattage regular light bulb?

    Also, at what point do they no longer need a nightlight?
     
  2. RSTX

    RSTX New Egg

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    My chicks are almost five weeks old and we turned off the heat lamp four days ago. When it gets dark, they just go to sleep. If I turn on a light in the room they all jump up and start doing their chicken things. Turn off the light and they all go back to sleep within a few minutes. Not a big brain running things for the chicks.[​IMG][​IMG]

    The dark does not seem to bother them at all. This evening we moved them into the permanent coop. I'll check them tomorrow morning and see how the night went.
     
  3. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    It really depends on where they're being housed, the temperature and if they are fully feathered. They usually don't need a heat lamp if they are in the house because it is typically 70 degrees or more.

    Here's how you can figure out your needs. The first week they need 95 F degrees in the brooder, then decrease that by 5 degrees per week as they develop. The way I figure, it is usually 6 weeks till they are fully feathered (for most birds, altho there are exceptions). By the 6th week, they should be in about 70 degrees. If the room or outdoors is that warm, then you are safe. If it's colder than that, you may run into problems. We change our heat lamps to a 100-150 watt red flood bulb when they start to appear too warm under the heat lamp.

    Your birds reaction speaks a thousand words, so if they're panting, they're hot. If they are huddled under the light and droopy, they're too cold.

    I also feel a bird requires proper nutrition for good growth in those first 6 weeks, so once the light is out, they don't get to munch and drink at night anymore.

    Jody
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yeah, the chicks reactions are everything. I don't even measure temps anymore like when I started with them, they just tell me :p
     
  5. shandea

    shandea Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 17, 2007
    I know about the temps and all for them, but I've never heard that they shouldn't be in the dark. I thought the light was just for warmth. Should they not be in the dark at night, even if it's warm enough for them?

    And another question: I am following the guidelines for my chicks as far as temp goes. But why are there such guidelines when on the farm, chicks are outside in very cool weather sometimes? They do just fine, don't they? I have nothing against babying my animals, but it's not completely necessary, is it? Wouldn't they be OK at say - 60 degrees - if they lived out in the coop?
     
  6. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    If they have a mama to snuggle with, yes. Chicks on their own do not fair well when it is cool outside. Some may make it, but I wouldn't chance it if it were me. jmo

    Jody
     
  7. shandea

    shandea Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 17, 2007
    Quote:That makes sense. But what about the light? I'm not harming them by keeping them in the dark at night, am I? BTW, they are in the toasty computer room.
     
  8. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I don't think so, as they wouldn't eat under mama hen either in the dark.

    Jody
     
  9. cookinmom

    cookinmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2007
    Saint George GA
    My husband brought up that point the other day. He said he could understand them needing heat, to replace their mama, but once they didn't need heat why the light. Chicks with their mom don't have a light, and surely they don't get up and eat in the night.
     

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