confused about how long to leave light on

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 6chicks, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. 6chicks

    6chicks Hatching

    Sep 13, 2008
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Help! We're brand new to this "chicken thing" , are very enthusiastic but it seems the more I'm reading, the more I'm getting confused about the light/heat thing. We built a coop, bought some chicks and they just got moved outside to the coop today at 4 weeks old - they're feathered out and were getting too big for the inside set up... have a small insulated chicken coop 4X4X4 and a reflector lamp with 250 watt bulb inside the house itself... am leaving the light on 24/7 for heat.... but am a little confused about how long they will need the light on 24/7? And then after that, how do I know when and at what rate to reduce their light/heat needs?
  2. newbie coops

    newbie coops In the Brooder

    Jun 20, 2008
    Northern New England
    We're new, too, so don't take my comments as the bees knees...but:

    From what I've been reading and how it's been playing out at our house, birds don't need light 24/7 and in fact it's not recommended. Born from May through July and August, those birds can be reared on natural light. Don't subject them to unnatural circumstances and you will avoid most behaviorally motivated issues.

    We do have our birds (in the coop) on an infrared heat lamp. so the light is there of course but for heat only. They seem to know when it's day and when it's night. The heat lamp comes on at night as it gets colder.

    Our experience dictates light to be on only during the day, heat lamps ok as long as it's infra, and the chicks need the natural passing of day to night, as well as the seasons - and they are beautiful.
  3. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    All depends on the temperature. I always brood my chicks for 7 weeks. If your nights are cool, below 70, I'd leave a light on them at night. May not need to be a 250 watt light either could be less depending on the temp. Now if the days are warm then you can turn it off during the day.

    Chickens start out brooding at 95 degrees. You lower that 5 degrees a week until you get down to 70 degrees, then they are ready to go out earlier if its warm climate. Now if you didn't do that and just kept the light on them the whole time, then I'd probably take the light and heat away gradually now.

    I personally recommend giving them an hour of "night time" too. If all the sudden they have 10 hours of dark they are going to freak out. I usually start giving them an hour of dark a day after about 3 weeks so they won't be scared at night. Some people don't bother, but I do. I just like them to know what's happening. Lowers their stress.
  4. havi

    havi [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Si

    Mar 23, 2008
    Waco, Texas
    Just wanted to say [​IMG]
  5. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    If you us the red brooder light , it does not act like daylight. So the chicks will get used to natural light.
  6. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    If they are not sleeping under the light I put in a lower wattage bulb. When I run out of lower watt bulbs I start turning it off for an hour during the day and slowly increase. The chicks will let you know when. If they are cold they will huddle under the light. If they are hot they will avoid it. When they are running around all over and sleeping only somewhat near the light then they are fine.
  7. 6chicks

    6chicks Hatching

    Sep 13, 2008
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Quote:RE: Temps here - it's getting cool at night here - 40's - 60s-70s during the day
    RE: the temp recomm., no, I did not lower it gradually until I got it to 70 degrees... so I think I'm going to put the light on a dimmer switch so I can take it away gradually... and I think I need to get a thermostat for inside the house so I can know for sure what the temp is...
    RE: giving them an hour of nighttime... at what hour of the day do you do that?
    Thank you so much for all of your help!
  8. 6chicks

    6chicks Hatching

    Sep 13, 2008
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Quote:I keep reading about the red lights but I didn't seen any at the feed store where I got my other light.... is this something I need to look for? Do they put off heat? I do like the idea of them getting used to natural light...
  9. cube

    cube In the Brooder

    May 31, 2008
    Casa Grande, Az
    I wondered about this too, I have my chicks indoors in their brooder with a infared light. We are in arizona and at night it is still warm and will be most winter. After a few weeks when there brooder should be in the 80s could they go without heat if its 80-85 degrees inside?
  10. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    If your chicks are fully feather you can turn off the light. If you have reduced the temperature to where it is the same as the ambient temperature you no longer need it.

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