Chicks to the coop - Light/No Light????

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mrsgibber, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. mrsgibber

    mrsgibber Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 3, 2008
    Bolton, CT
    My chicks are ranging in age from 6 - 8 weeks now and appear to be feathered in quite nicely. They have been in the brooder with a 100W bulb that kept the temp at an even 60 degrees since I put them in at 4 - 6 weeks of age. Everyone has been quite happy and don't seem uncomfortable with the temperature. So last night I turned off the lamp completely and they stayed at about 58 degrees (the bulb apparently has been doing much) and they seemed happy to sleep in the dark for a change. They were cooing when the bulb when out and they all settled into their sleeping spots (some on the roost and some on the floor). This morning for the first time I came down to find the cage clean! Their water was free of shavings and poo and nothing had been knocked over. I think they actually got their first full night of good sleep. They were still snoozing in the same place when I came down this morning.

    My question is that we will be putting them into their big girl house Friday and our temps are still dipping into the mid 30's and 40's at night. I don't know what the temp in the coop is yet but I put a thermometer out there to check it at night. At this stage they seem to have enough feathers to keep warm and fluff up at night and they may cuddle up with one or two others.

    Do you think it is really necessary to put the 100W lamp out in the coop? It is a small 4 x 4 coop.

    Thanks...sorry so darn long.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009
  2. chicks for better health

    chicks for better health Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2008
    West Glenville, NY
    I think I would for a few more weeks.

    It has been getting pretty cold at night
     
  3. mrsgibber

    mrsgibber Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess it couldn't hurt. I'm just more worried about the light keeping them up and nutty.
     
  4. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Olympia Washington
    I would use a red heat bulb if I were you. You can get the bulbs and fixtures in the reptile section at Petsmart/Petco.

    I just put my ten 7 wk olds out in 12 x 12 former horse stall with their stock tank brooder and the two 250 watt red heat lamps. They choose to sleep in the brooder with the heat lamps the first night even though they had full access to the coop.

    I turned the lamps off yesterday around noon when the temp got up to 58-60 but when I went out to check on them at dusk, all ten chicks were huddled together in a corner of the coop.

    I turned the heat lamps back on and they all went to the brooder to warm up and settle in for the night.

    It's been dipping down to the mid 30's - 40 here at night.
     
  5. mrsgibber

    mrsgibber Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, I'll put the 250W red bulb back in the brooder lamp and put it in the coop. I just worry about fire with those which is why I switched over to a 100W bulb.
     
  6. ilovechickens

    ilovechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2008
    West Central Wisconsin
    Mine have been out in the coop for the past 2 weeks of their 5 weeks, It has been darn cold. So I started with 3 heat lamps, now I keep one on during the day all the time until the temp gets to at least 60 outside, and at night I turn the second one on. They have the red lights so it is not as bright as the clear. I will keep one on until it is warm enough at night. They are feathering out really good, but still, the warmth is needed.[​IMG]
     
  7. txchickie

    txchickie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    Texas
    I always turned the red250w heat lamp on for my 7 week olds (who have been out in the coop since 5 weeks), and last night it must have burned out during the night because it was out this morning.......scared the crap out of me, but they were just fine. They are totally out of the wind but it was down in the lower 30's. And they were just fine............fine enough for me to think that they probably don't need that heat lamp.

    I talked to my grandmother this morning about what happened and she told me I was nuts for putting a lamp out for chicks that age.
    She said they have feathers for a reason and they won't freeze to death. She said their coop and being out of the wind is all they need and the lamp is a waste of electricity. She's had chickens for 50+ years now, so I guess I am going to listen to her!
     
  8. mrsgibber

    mrsgibber Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:See that was my line of thinking. They are feathered and have been at 60 for two weeks now quite happily. I've seen people post here the same thing about being feathered is enough to keep em warm. I don't know. I feel better safe than sorry so I guess I'll start with a lamp for a couple more weeks but they will be in a smaller coop with lots of bedding, totally out of the wind and have each other to snuggle so I wonder if it is truly necessary.

    My biggest thing is the light keeping them too active at night. But I'm a beginner and don't want anything to happen to them so light I will! [​IMG]
     
  9. mrsgibber

    mrsgibber Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 3, 2008
    Bolton, CT
    See...this is why I am confused. This is what it says on BYC learning center as well as in my book.

    Temperature
    The brooder can be heated by using a light bulb with a reflector, available at any hardware store. A 100-watt bulb is usually fine, though some people use an actual heat lamp. The temperature should be 90-100 degrees for the first week or so, then can be reduced by 5 degrees each week thereafter, until the chicks have their feathers (5-8 weeks old). A thermometer in the brooder is helpful, but you can tell if the temperature is right by how the chicks behave. If they are panting and/or huddling in corners farthest from the light, they are too hot. If they huddle together in a ball under the light, they are too cold. You can adjust the distance of the light (or change the wattage of the bulb) until it's right.
     
  10. LauraM

    LauraM Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 7, 2009
    Everett, WA
    This is what I have been thinking about as well. I am not going to turn their light on tonight! I use a 125w bulb, the 250w bulb was a fire danger in their small space. better to have cold chickens than fried chickens! Anyway, they are well feathered and very active all day without any heat, I think they will be ok at night in their house.
     

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