1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

First time using a brooder! - Advice needed

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kimmj, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. kimmj

    kimmj Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    Sep 30, 2014
    Berkshire, England
    [​IMG]
    Hi everyone!,
    I'm looking for some advice about brooders!.
    This will be my first time using a brooder, I know basic info on them but I'd prefer to hear good tips and info on ensuring I have the brooder right for my chick.
    I bought The brooder from eBay the other day for my 4 day old Pekin cross who was injured by its mum when it was only a few hours old. I brought the chick inside straight away as it was nearly dead from shock!. For the past four days I've had it living in a cardboard box ( really not ideal, I know) and it hasn't had any other heat source other than a hot water bottle that I've been changing every hour or so and a teddy to snuggle at night.
    I know chicks need adequate heat but I'm worried this brooder will get too hot with both heat bulbs on? The seller on eBay said there was no need to measure the heat temp as the bulbs are the correct heat source for this size box.
    The box is probably too big for the chick on its own L: 30" W: 14 but I'm hopefully getting a companion or two for the recovered chick at the weekend. Also another big question of mine, do I leave the plastic lid on the container? It said in the info leaflet to leave it on at all times but I don't know how I feel about leaving it on? It does have one air vent but is that really going to provide enough ventilation?
    I'd be heartbroken if I kill this chick by putting it in a brooder for the first time that is too hot and not ventilated enough after nursing it back to health!!! [​IMG][​IMG]

    The final thug in worried about is the chick hurting/burning itself on the heat bulbs, i have just placed my hand over one of the bulbs then placed my fingertip on the bulb and I felt that if I'd kept my finger on the bulb for much longer it would have burnt me. Is this normal? I'm only concerned because the bulbs are fixed onto the box fairly low and I'm not able to move/ change their position. Would the chick (once it's slightly older/bigger) stand so close to the bulb that it would burn its self?.
    Sorry for all of these questions! I just feel that this little chick has come so far so quickly and I'd hate to think I've done it more harm by putting it in this brooder. Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,482
    2,429
    458
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    What is the wattage of the heat elements?
    What are the dimensions of the brooder?
    Birds can't have too much space so don't worry about that. You do need to provide warmth but the entire brooder doesn't have to be 90F.
    Think about mother nature. A hen provides a warm spot for chicks to warm up under them. Then the rest of the space is cool. She doesn't make all ambient space 95F and lower it by 5 degrees each week. Chicks choose when they need to warm up and cool off. The ideal brooder has a warm space and a cool space.
     
  3. deegee68

    deegee68 Out Of The Brooder

    42
    4
    36
    May 23, 2015
    Is there any way to take one of those lights out? The chicks have their own thermostat, of they are cold they will come under the lamp as they heat up they should have an area where they can move to. Also I try to keep my water out of the hot area.

    As far as the lid goes, I wouldnt put it on, at first you should be ok, as she gets older you can cover it with some hardware cloth.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,482
    2,429
    458
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    X2. I forgot to mention that it shouldn't be covered with something solid. They need fresh air.

    To kimmij, is this something the Ebay seller made for themselves and no longer needed or is it something they are making multiples of to sell?
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015
  5. kimmj

    kimmj Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    Sep 30, 2014
    Berkshire, England
    Thank you both for your replies! :)

    ChickenCanoe - the bulbs are 60 watts. Dimensions of the brooder: Length: 30inches width: 14 inches height: 10 inches.
    Thanks for the advice, I've found it very reassuring!. I shouldn't doubt my instincts, or the chicks they're such clever little things.
    The eBay seller I bought this from are making/selling multiples of these.

    Deegee68 - I have taken one bulb out now as I felt both was too much? I may be wrong. The light bulbs themselves are detachable but the light fixings aren't removable.


    [​IMG]

    How does the brooder look?

    I just touched the bulb to feel how hot it was and its pretty hot!, the chick seems to be really enjoying it though!, although it does keep trying to press its self on the bulb and when it does it squeals. Is this the chick learning how close it can and can't go to the bulb? Or is this not normal for the bulb to be so hot that you can't touch it for long?.
     
  6. kimmj

    kimmj Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    Sep 30, 2014
    Berkshire, England
    Another thought I've had... Are wood shavings safe near the light? Or should I move the shavings further away from the light.
    And now for probably a really stupid question, I am supposed to leave the heat bulb on day and night aren't I?... Gosh I feel like I've asked 101 questions but I just sontbwantnto get anything wrong haha.

    If there are any other things you think I need to know about brooders or things you would advise please let me know, I really appreciate the help :) thanks
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,482
    2,429
    458
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    The heat lamp holders look secure, I doubt they will be a fire hazard. 60 watts isn't that hot unless they're almost touching the shavings. You can experiment with that. Sit a shaving on a hot lamp and see how long it takes to ignite.

    Yes, babies need a heat source around the clock. Ideally, they should also have a dark period after about 3 days or so. Many people use heat lamps 24/7 but I use ceramic heat emitters so I can give them hemeral lighting without losing heat.
     
  8. henless

    henless Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is there a way you can move the bulb up so the chick can't touch the bulb? I'd be afraid the chick will burn itself.

    Another thing you can do is try a heating pad and get rid of the heat light altogether. Less chance of fire and more like mama. Great thread about it if you would like to check it out: Mama Heating Pad in the Brooder. With having only one chick, this may be your best bet. It gives them something to get under, more like having a mama.
     
  9. 16 paws

    16 paws Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with using mama heating pad. I use broodies for my chicks but if I didnt have a mama to brood them I would use the heating pad method for sure!

    Try going to The Chicken Chick.com and read her advice for brooding.
    Marie
     
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,482
    2,429
    458
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I really doubt a chick would burn itself on a 60 watt lamp. They're not that stupid.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by