Chicks Raised Without Lamp?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JacobMaxwell, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. JacobMaxwell

    JacobMaxwell Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2013
    Can chicks be raised without a heat lamp in the summer? Where I live, it gets up to 25 to 30 C (77 to 86 F) in mid summer. Is this warm enough?
  2. OreoPlymothRock

    OreoPlymothRock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2012
    It concerns me that anyone would recommend 92 degrees Fahrenheit as an acceptable brooding temperature for a day-old chick. Newly hatched chicks do not thrive well at temperatures this low. Low brooding temperatures such as these can cause slow passage of food and severely hinder normal development. Anyone who recommends temperatures lower that 95 degrees Fahrenheit or higher than 98 degrees Fahrenheit is misinformed.
    The temperature that we use with the greatest success during the first few critical days is 97 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a half degree lower than is recommended in the hand-feeding book. Chicks have their development and digestion slowed during any time intervals that the brooder allows the temperature to dip too low. Although this is not an ideal situation, the chick does recover and begins normal digestion and development as soon as the temperature climbs back up to the point where it should be.
    This is not unlike what happens to a chick when the mother leaves the nest to forage for food. It must be remembered that this is something that she does not have to do very often when the chicks are only a few days old. If she has a good mate that feeds her, she will seldom leave the nest during these critical days.
    My point is, even though brooding temperatures that continually drop below optimum levels are creating a negative situation, it is a stress that the chicks have evolved to withstand. Its negative effects on the chick are reversed as soon as the chick is warmed back to proper temperatures–as long as the cooling does not continue for extended periods of time.
    Overheating on the other hand can be quite dangerous. Chicks have not evolved to cope with overheating and can suffer permanent ill effects or death. When brooding temperatures reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit and above, chicks suffer greatly. There is a general consensus among professional aviculturists that 99.1 to 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit is the optimum temperature range for the incubation of eggs. Incubation temperatures that are higher than this yield a higher percentage of chicks that die in the shell.
    Most also agree that lowering the temperature by one half to one degree for hatching is also advantageous. Taking this information into account, it is easy to realize that brooding above incubation temperatures will cause a noticeable increase in chicks that die before hatching.
    My reasoning for recommending 97 degrees Fahrenheit as opposed to 97.5 or 98 degrees Fahrenheit is due to the temperature fluctuation in most brooders, as well as the inaccuracy of many thermometers. With the majority of the brooders in use today, it is not uncommon for a 98 degree setting to cause intermittent temperature “spikes” of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This is known as overshoot. It happens because the hot heating element continues to heat the air for a few moments after the thermostat has turned the power to it off.
    Due to this, you must consider the temperature variable that the babies will endure at any specific setting. This is especially true when you consider that many of the best thermometers that are in use are only accurate to within one half of one degree. If you use a setting of 97 degrees Fahrenheit, and have good equipment, you should be able to have confidence that your brooding temperature will never slip below 95 or peak above 99 degrees Fahrenheit.
    © Howard Voren. So It would be to low. Instead of a heat lamp, you can use a heating pad.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    It might be better, if you are going to quote copyrighted material, you should probably give them credit and give props to the author?. [​IMG] Howard Voren.

    Sorry, it's just the one time teacher in me. [​IMG]
  4. SamanthaBrooke

    SamanthaBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 28, 2011
    Jefferson, GA
    I have used heatingpads many of times instead of a brooding light, I put it in a pillow case then bury it under the shavings, sometimes I put two to be certain, has worked really well. I am trying a brooding lamp this time but am unsure if I will use it the full weeks needed as I leave the house a lot and a hot lamp concerns me.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    They'll still need a heat source. A momma hen hatching babies in your area would still brood them, just not as much after the first week or so.

    Do you plan to brood them outside, or in an air conditioned house? That can make a difference.

    Chicks, especially that first week, need access to a warm area. With your temps, you also need to be sure your brooder is large enough they can get completely out from under the heat so they don't over heat.

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