Do you have to use lights for brooders?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Bettacreek, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

    5,517
    36
    278
    Jan 7, 2009
    Central Pennsyltucky
    Like the title says, can you use something other than a light bulb to produce heat? I have two heat packs in my brooder now, thanks to the power outage, and they seem to enjoy these better than heat from the light. I was wondering if I could use an under tank heater or flexwatt heat tape to heat my brooders instead? They'd obviously be on a dimmer to control heat to avoid from cooking everyone. If I can use flexwatt instead, then I can set up more than one brooder to keep smaller birds away from the larger birds, plus I wouldn't have to be concerned about other critters getting TOO much light, plus the fact that it would make it so much more organized to have a single shelf in a rack system for brooders, and use a heat tape instead of having to have a big, ugly, bulky clamp lamp. Anyone have any ideas on whether or not this would work?
     
  2. birdsofparadise

    birdsofparadise Chillin' With My Peeps

    397
    5
    131
    Nov 15, 2008
    North Kohala, Hawaii
    It might work, but I think the brooder light would end up cheaper. The trick is maintaining a constant temp of 95 degrees for the first two weeks and then 5 degrees less each week or two after that. With a light, you just have to raise it and check with a thermometer. With your options, it might be more difficult. Plus it reminds me of trying to air-condition your house by opening up the freezer door. It might get cooler, but its not efficient.
     
  3. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

    5,517
    36
    278
    Jan 7, 2009
    Central Pennsyltucky
    I already have excess heat tape, and the electricity output for a 4' piece of tape (which could do up to four brooders) would be less than that of one lightbulb. I also already have the dimmer to control heat. The heat tape is actually pretty good at what it does. Most people with snakes swear by it for heating their snakes to the perfect temperature. The dimmer would make it easy to drop the temperature down.
     
  4. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Overrun With Chickens

    9,761
    707
    336
    Oct 16, 2008
    wausau,wisconsin
    I do not see why it would not work..

    as long as you control the heat so that the chicks can go to a cooler spot if it gets too warm for them.

    you do not need light.. the chicks will sleep better at night..

    what type of heat source is that?
    like a heat tape> or what?

    would it work in an incubator??
     
  5. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

    5,517
    36
    278
    Jan 7, 2009
    Central Pennsyltucky
    People use flexwatt to make incubators for snake eggs all of the time. I made one using it, but had a heat spike and lost them. My incubator was poorly put-together, and I was using a dimmer to control heat instead of a thermostat, and it was still air. I probably could have had an excellent hatch rate if I had done everything to the "T".
    http://reptilebasics.com/Flexwatt-Heat-Tape-p-1-c-297.html

    There's where I got mine. The guy from there will connect your wiring to your flexwatt without a service charge, and he's super quick about getting it out.

    I'm not sure what it was originally invented for, but, reptile owners have adopted it as a very cheap and reliable form of heating for snake racks.
     
  6. ButtonQuailHeaven

    ButtonQuailHeaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    100
    0
    109
    Jan 8, 2009
    Michigan
    I would still use some form of light as then they can eat all day and all night if they want. Especially since their little metabolisms are so fast they do benefit from eating whenever they want. Plus they will cry without some light. I use a nightlight in my birdroom with all my birds. With Button Quail they need to be 95 for the first week and 5 degrees less each week after that.
     
  7. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

    5,517
    36
    278
    Jan 7, 2009
    Central Pennsyltucky
    I wonder if a fish tank light near them would work well enough for a night light. I guess it would depend on setup. It just seems like they like the under heat better than the scalding light. With an under brooder heater and a night light, that should give them enough light to eat, while still allowing them to be able to sleep without the "sun" glaring at them from the other end of the brooder. I'll just have to make sure that water and food would be near the front, where most of the light would be... Hmmm. Lots of info to mentally munch on. [​IMG]
     
  8. lowcountrypoultry

    lowcountrypoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use a light with a normal bulb for poultry and a red bulb for gamebirds
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by