Great site! Yes we're newbies and have some questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by meandwi, May 10, 2008.

  1. meandwi

    meandwi Hatching

    May 10, 2008
    Boynton Beach Florida
    Just got 10, 2 week old chicks from the feed store today. Been busy building the perfect chick house. A brooder? Any way, we are looking forward to watching them grow and get some good eggs.

    Our first question.

    We live in South Florida. Today in our barn it was 95 degrees. We had the lamp on (a 25 watt bulb) And did nothing to raise the temp, but wanted the critters to have some light. Now the sun is set and the temp has dropped to 82! brrrr. haha. I've changed the bulb to bring the temp back to 90F. Do we leave the light on 24/7 ? And for how long? Basicly, we need lighting instructions to help produce happy egg laying chickens.

    Thank you
    meandwi (pronounced we)
  2. bangor777

    bangor777 Songster

    May 4, 2008
    I'm new too, but this site is great. There's a link on the BYC home page that gives you great basics on rearing your new brood. Chicks need 95 degrees farenheit the first week, then you can drop the temp 5 degrees a week until you're at ambient temp OR until they're all feathered. I imagine in FLA you might only need the light at night. Your babies should be at 85 or 90 at this point. I'm here in Maine and my chicks are under the light 24/7 and they're in my living room (so I have to bring the temp up from the 68 or so in the house).
    Good luck!
    Last edited: May 10, 2008
  3. Lots of good information here. Please try to keep them in a place where critters can't have them for lunch. They should be in a safe environment the first few weeks. As long as your barn in enclosed it should be okay.
  4. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    You could turn the light on just in the evening and turn it off in the morning, or you could leave the light on all the time, as long as (this is important) the brooder is large enough that the chicks can get away from the lamp into a cooler area if they get too hot. If your brooder is small and they can't get away from the heat then they may get too hot if you leave the lamp on all the time.

    Honestly, the temps sound warm enough where you are. My chicks weren't always under the heatlamp even when I thought they should be, so it's not a perfect science.

    You can place a thermometer inside the brooder to get a reading of the temps inside, and yes, the chicks need to be kept (generally) at the same temp until feathered out as above post said. Having said that, the chicks will tell you if they are too cold or too hot by their behavior. If chicks are piled up in the corners away from the lamp, they are tooo hot. If they are huddled in a pile underneath the lamp and chirping loudly (complainingly) they are too cold. Regular chirping of course is normal. You'll be able to tell if its "i'm cold" chirping.
  5. annrich

    annrich Songster

    May 27, 2007
    Western NY
    Hi there [​IMG]
  6. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    I agree with chickenannie, At two weeks old they will spend much more time away from their mama if she was raising them. The light is to warm them up if cool. With your temps you could easily leave the light off during the day or like you mentioned use it only for lighting purposes. It is really better for the to experience some temperature variation at that age it helps them in developing resistance. Just make sure if the temps go down you have a light for them to warm up with.

    I use my broody hens as much as possible to raise my chicks and it is amazing how much time the little bitty ones are not covered by mommy. They romp around and peck in temps much lower than the brooder.

    Welcome and good luck with your babies

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: