Cornish X chicks and heat lamp ???

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jossanne, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. jossanne

    jossanne Songster

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    Do cornish X babies have the same heat requirements as egg-layer chicks? They grow so fast that it seems that their bodies would produce more heat. Mine are 2 weeks old today, and they're still in the house. How much heat do they need?

  2. jossanne

    jossanne Songster

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    Anyone? I'm asking cuz I've got silkies hatching tomorrow, and already have two brooders full of chicks. The meaties weigh over half a pound already, and I'd like to use their heat lamp for a 3rd brooder if they don't need it. It'd be better than running out for a 3rd heat lamp...
  3. jaku

    jaku Songster

    At two weeks, they'll still need some supplemental heat. Although, if you're keeping them inside, maybe not. I don't take mine off the heat lamps until after week three, and even then, I give it to them at night, but mine are outside. I'd say give it a try if they're inside where it's heated.
  4. jossanne

    jossanne Songster

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    Okay. My house isn't heated, but I'm in southern NM. It's not terribly cold, but they would probably at least need it at night. I was hoping to have them outside by now, but we've had a bit of a cold snap, and at least 30mph winds every day, so I decided to just clean bedding often and give them another week in here. They're sure feathering out slowly. I guess I'll get another heat lamp.

    Thanks for your input!
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I keep them at the same temps as layers for the first few weeks, but after that, the amount of heat I add to their body heat is less than if they were layers. In other words, I keep them at the same temps as I would layers, but the wattage of the lighting added is MUCH less to get the same space warm.

  6. jossanne

    jossanne Songster

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    Quote:I guess I don't understand this. What difference does the wattage make? Any to the chicks? Or just the electric bill?
  7. HidingInTheHenHouse

    HidingInTheHenHouse Songster

    Jun 21, 2008
    Different wattages produce different amounts of heat. For example, with regular layer breeds, I start with a 100 watt in the lamp and use that for the first week, then decrease to a 60 watt for a week or two, then down to a 40 watt, and finally a 20 watt. This allows me to slowly decrease the temperature in the brooder without having to raise or lower the light. I watch the chicks to see how they are responding. If I change down the wattage, and they all huddle under the middle of the lamp and cheep loudly, I know they weren't ready yet, and I put the higher wattage one back in. If they are in the cooler part of the brooder and panting with mouth open, then I know I need to decrease the wattage because they are too hot.

    I know with the cornish X I've raised, I see a lot more panting early on, so the wattage might go down pretty fast. I might only use the 100 watt for 2 or 3 days, then go down to the 60 for a week, then the 40 for a week, and finally the 20 by the time their 4 weeks old. Mostly, I just watch the birds and see whether their too hot or cold according to their behavior, and adjust wattage accordingly.

    Please keep in mind, this is for brooding in my house, not outside in the garage or in the basement, which would affect the heat requirements.
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:If you look at how much a 250 watt bulb is costing you to run, you may not call it "just" an electric bill...! [​IMG]

    A lower wattage bulb is also considerably less fire hazard.

    Have fun, good luck,


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