GAH! Having trouble getting brooder temp where I want it

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by hokankai, May 13, 2011.

  1. hokankai

    hokankai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2010
    SW WA
    This is my second time raising chicks, and today I brought home two little silkie chicks [​IMG].

    I seem to be having trouble A. stabilizing the brooder temperature or B. getting an accurate reading from the thermometer. They are currently in a 4' by 33" brooder with a wire mesh door and a lamp hung inside of it with a 60W regular bulb in there. The interior is only 17", so the heat bulb is about 12" away from the floor of the brooder. The chicks seem to be sitting directly under the light, but when I put the thermometer in that spot it reads over 100 degrees. Will they move if they get too hot? I think I'm going to have to take my digital thermometer out there to get an accurate reading, but if it's too warm there's really no way to raise the lamp any higher. However there's only one spot that the warmest, the light only really covers 1/4 of the brooder and there's plenty of room for them to cool off. The question is...will they regulate that themselves or cook themselves?

    The brooder is being kept in our shop, which is pretty much insulated but still fairly cool. I set up a parabolic space heater on low and angled at the brooder to just add a little heat since the room is cold and we'll be in the 50-60 degree range for awhile.
     
  2. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    They will usually move away from the lamp if too hot. So the brooder is open on one side ? That is probably the problem, keeping a stable temp with cool air flowing in is hard. When I have new chicks I cover the screened in part with plywood. When they get bigger, I take it off. Good luck
     
  3. earnhardtlvr

    earnhardtlvr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hagerstown, MD
    u have to regulate the temp for...unfortunately from everything I have read on here they CAN cook themselves...like the other poster said - u should have 4 solid sides for now to help stabilize the temp. I have found that my silkies will sleep under the lamp of another chickie who is willing to snuggle. They seem to need more to stay warm. Good luck!
     
  4. hokankai

    hokankai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, it's open on one side. If I covered that side I wouldn't be able to see them [​IMG].

    However, I just realized we have some acrylic I can try and stick over the opening. There's also a towel under the light for them to snuggle on.

    I guess I'll just have to wait and see if they move out from under the light when they get too warm then. I also have a 100w red reptile bulb. It makes a pretty warm spot, but it does warm a larger part of the brooder. Should I give that a try or stick with the 60w?
     
  5. earnhardtlvr

    earnhardtlvr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't use the reptile light because they need a cool place in the brooder to be able to get away from the heat if they need to. Keep us posted! [​IMG]
     
  6. hokankai

    hokankai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alright, so I checked on the babies this morning and they seem to be doing well, albeit a little lonely because their brooder mates are in the process of hatching right now! [​IMG]

    What I did was drape a towel on the front that covers most of the door and then put a parabolic space heater on Low facing the open part of the brooder. That kept the "cool" side of the brooder 70-75 degrees. The area under the light is at least 95, and the babies were spending most of their time under the light.

    I'll post pics later today!
     
  7. Auscal

    Auscal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:My experience was that a "regular" bulb gave out a lot more heat than a red reptile bulb of the same wattage. My reptile bulb "died", so, I put in a regular light bulb that was also 100W - after fiddling with the thermometer, I realized that I needed to lift the "white" bulb up about an additional 18" to get the same temperature as the red bulb.

    I don;t know that that info really helps with your original question. I prefer a red bulb, the light just seems "softer" at night - so, fiddle with wattages and heights to see what works for you.
     
  8. earnhardtlvr

    earnhardtlvr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Sounds like u r doing great!! Can't wait to see the pics! I think tomorrow I am going to put the leg bands on mine and name all of the ones I haven't named yet. I will have plenty of pics myself then! [​IMG]
     
  9. hokankai

    hokankai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah right now I feel like the light is very harsh, but they had regular white bulbs in the breeder's brooder so [​IMG]. I might return the red bulb and get a 75w red bulb instead to see how that goes, I just don't like having the bright light on them all day, even if it does mean seeing them better [​IMG].

    Here's a pic of the brooder setup just for reference. The problem with raising the lamp is that...well...I can't, lol. This is a rented brooder and this is the setup I was given. I guess the babies will just have to regulate their own temperature until it's time to go down a bulb wattage.

    [​IMG]

    how I keep it warm
    [​IMG]

    and of course...the BEBEHS
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I watch my chicks rather than the thermometer. As long as they are acting well, bip-bopping around about their birdy business, I figure they're comfortable enough. If they stay huddled under the light they must be too cold. If they crowd to the opposite side, it's too hot. If they move in & out of the light and all about the box, cheeping happily but not yeeping in protest, it must be just right. I use a clamp lamp or a desk lamp with a regular 60-watt bulb. A thermometer is a good tool to have to see what temp you've got, but I don't find it necessary. I put the light on one side of the box so they have a variety of temps to move about in. That's what they do with a Mama hen, they cuddle with her for a while until they're warm, then venture out & away for a while to eat & explore.

    But especially in your cool damp climate, you probably want to have an enclosed brooder box to prevent drafts.
     

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