Controlling the heat of my brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kidd42, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. kidd42

    kidd42 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    Valley Springs, Ca.
    I'm hoping for some advice. Don't know if we are over reacting being new to this. We have week old chicks, I am using a plastic bin that we use at work for fresh fruit shipments to the plant. It is 45"w x 45"w x 28" h, with a plastic cover that I have cut a hole for the heat lamp and another hole for ventilation and viewing the chicks, this hole is roughly 30"x17". I am using a red 250 W bulb for the heat. The brooder is set in a sunroom facing South, has a shingled roof no insulation, but 3 glass walls that are windows that open. I was home yesterday, it was a partly sunny day with temp's here in the mid 50's to lo 60's. I went out and noticed that the temp in the brooder had pegged at 125 under the light, and the chicks (24 of them) had all moved to the far side which was cooler. according to the electronic thermomator I had in the room, that temp got up to 104. I shut off the heat lamp and opened a few windows to vent the room. I have since bought curtains for the windows to block direct sunlight coming into the room. As of right now at 8:50 am it is 67 in the sunroom. Here is my question, I bought a second brooder lamp yesterday and put a standard 100 W bulb in it. I'm thinking of opening up a couple of windows before I leave for work ( The room is elevated being on a slope, about 7 - 8' off of ground level and the windows are screened), Putting timers on the two lamps one to have the 250 w shutoff at around 8 am and the 100 w come on at the same time when it will be a sunny day and warm. Right now with the room at 70, directly under the 100 w bulb is 85 - 90. Will this work until someone get's home at around 2:30 each day, and can turn the 250 w on if needed? I don't want to keep the 250 on and cook the chicks, but I also don't want to freeze them out. I know this is lengthy but I'm trying to get the whole picture out there. I stayed home today to track temps, since it is sunny. There is a photo of the brooder on my BYC page. Thanks, K2
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2009
  2. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    IMHO a 250 watt bulb is overkill unless you are brooding a huge batch in something like a horsetrough. You should be able to keep the temp okay with a 100 watt bulb, as long as there are no drafts in the brooder (solid walls) and you are using a reflector. If you have two reflectors, I would put a 100 watt in each and put them in separate corners so you have a backup. And keep direct sunlight out so you don't have temperature swings. And of course monitor their behavior.

    ETA--wow, that is a nice setup, what is that box? They should be on pine shavings by now.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2009
  3. Momma_Cluck

    Momma_Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2008
    N. West Michigan
    even that much in a mostly closed box may be a bit too hot...
    we have an OPEN box with one reflector and a 100w bulb, and we had to keep raising it because of the heat going over 100f....

    I think if you have a good thermometer in there, you could adjust the # and size of the bulbs until it is "just right"... or remove the lid, replace it with a window screen and try it that way!
  4. kidd42

    kidd42 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    Valley Springs, Ca.
    chookchick , Thank You!, Yes they have been on pine shavings since Tuesday evening. The box is a "Bin" that we use at the processing plant to bring peachs in from the orchards. Before anyone ask's, Yes I did clean it out very good with a pressure washer with soap, and then used a rinse free sanitizer I use for homebrewing, then a rinse down again with the washer.
    Thanks to you and Momma_Cluck for the advice.
    We feel like new parents again.

  5. pnp4kidz

    pnp4kidz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh Kidd...
    can I get a few of those boxes from you?
    do you have access to the extras or old ones?
    I'm near Concord... but I'd drive to you!

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