Cofused about temps in brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cochinbantam-lover, May 12, 2009.

  1. cochinbantam-lover

    cochinbantam-lover Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    Hi all,
    I don't get the differences in brooder temps as I am getting so many opinions. One hatchery says 95-100 another 99-100 and maybe slightly higher for bantams and other small bodied birds.

    Asking now for yours, I am getting Cochin Bantams and I have my brooder temps at about 99 and plenty of room for the chicks to go to if it is too warm for them. Do you think that this will be ok and just observe the chicks to see how they feel about it. When you think about it, it isn't all that much of a difference.

    Thoughts please!!!
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    The right temp is the one they do best in. Watch their behavior. It is easy to tell if they are too cold as they will pile on top of each other. Too hot is a little trickier, they can just get quiet and lethargic. The will move away from too much heat. But if the temp is nearly the same at the end of the brooder away from the heat source, they can't.

    I personally feel we tend to keep the temps too warm. I think it's also true that too much heat is worse than too little.

    This is just one person's opinion of course, although it was confirmed in my large, L-shaped brooder by my own chicks. I don't know of any scientific studies out there.
  3. WVJeanne

    WVJeanne Out Of The Brooder

    I don't even use a thermometer unless I am just curious as to what the temperature is. I put a light bulb at one end of the brooder and put the chicks in.

    If it is too warm and they are huddled as far from the light as they can get, I raise the bulb a bit.

    You don't have to even look to see if they are cold. When they are too cold, they make a plaintive "peep, peep, peep" sound. They will be huddled under the light. Lower the light or get a bigger bulb.

    I like to have it just a bit too warm right under the light. That way, they can get at a comfortable distance from the light, and if it gets cooler in the room, they can move closer.

    When the chicks all lay down to sleep, if they are not directly under the light or as far from it as they can get, you know that they have found a comfortable temperature.
  4. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    I watch the babies to see that they are at the right temp. If they are piling on each other right under the light, they are cold. If they are sleeping in a circle at the edges of the light (avoiding being directly under it), they are too hot.
  5. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    My brooder boxes are large enough that I start their temps out right under the light at 95 degrees, that way if they need to get away from the heat they can in any direction. I keep my water and feed on one end away from the warmth. 5 degrees less each week depending on the temps in the house. I only use 75 to 40 watt reg. light bulbs inside the house for their warmth.
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I certainly agree with the posts here. But I would add a couple of things.

    Red lights may be safer than white, as they seem to discourage pecking. Does not mean you need a red heat lamp, or even any heat lamp. Any red bulb does much the same thing, and you can buy them at different wattages, so you are not stuck with the electricity-eating 250W heat bulbs. And many brood successfully with ordinary light bulbs.

    They will certainly peep loudly at you if they are cold. They will also pile on top of one another, risking suffocation. Huddling, or sleeping close to one another, is not an indication of being too cold. They will do this when they are a bit warm as well; part of their socializing.

    You do not have to brood them in your house. If you set up a brooder in your coop, garage, or whatever, before they arrive, you can find out what temps you will be generating. And their body warmth will add to it. If you are getting shipped chicks, they will often need some extra heat and attention for a day or two, as the shipping is stressful. But once you get them eating and active, you can probably move them outside.

    Don't get stressed about all the different recommendations. Watch your chicks and do what they tell you!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2009

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