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Heat and light source for chicks in brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by hypnojessi, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. hypnojessi

    hypnojessi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2007
    Troy, MO
    When I get my chicks, I have a brooder ready to go and I have a heat lamp already. But I read that if chicks have light all the time, it can cause canniblism and other problems. Is this true? Do they need to have some time of darkness so they recognize "night time?" If so, I was wondering if I should use a ceramic "no-light" bulb for heat and give them light another way that I could turn off sometimes. Or I could use a regular light bulb and turn it off during the night and for heat have a heating pad instead. Would a heating pad work? Of course, I plan on testing my heat lamp and/or heat pad to see if it would be suffient before the chicks come. What do you all think?
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Actually, they do need light for proper growth for the first little while and will totally freak out if they get put in total darkness, sometimes piling up in fright and smothering each other. I've never had a cannibalism problem at all, but if you are concerned, you can use a red heat lamp. Honestly, do not be concerned about it. I use a 125 watt white heat lamp that stays on 24/7 and have not once had a problem. Also, you'll find that chicks will lots of extra light grow larger as well. I'd venture to say that overcrowding and improper feeding would contribute more to cannibalism than the light factor. You'll have such fun with your new chicks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2007
  3. hypnojessi

    hypnojessi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2007
    Troy, MO
    Thanks for the info. That's just what I needed to know!![​IMG]
     
  4. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Be careful you do not use too high a wattage light in your brooder. A small space with enclosed sides and a 250W heat lamp can mean disaster. The heat will be the hottest directly underneath the light, so check the temperature away from the light to make sure the chicks have a place to go if they get too hot. Like Speckledhen says, a 125W or even lower is sometimes all you need if you are brooding in the house. In an unheated basement or coop it is different.
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I should clarify my situation as well. The brooder is in my unheated bsmt bathroom and the brooder has hardware wire on the front and the top. This year has been particularly cold so I also put one of those oil fired heaters in the bathroom on the lowest setting to keep the room from getting so cold in addition to the 125 watt light. Carla is correct-250 can be way too hot in some situations.
     
  6. JudyMcKinn

    JudyMcKinn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2007
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    I, too,have a wooden box brooder, with hardware cloth top, and a 100 watt light bulb, in our unheated garage. Temp in there 30 to 40 degrees usually. If I think it will be especially cold, I toss a bathtowel over the wire, to help hold in the heat. My bulb is near the end of the 2 1/2 ft. by 4 ft box, so they can get directly under the light if cold, or move to the other end if getting too warm. I have never had any trouble with cannibalism. One thing you need to watch is that your bulb doesn't burn out in the middle of the night, and they all freeze, or get so cold they pile up and suffocate. I'd use a new bulb.
     
  7. pueawjapygrta

    pueawjapygrta Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2007
    Judy, I remember seeing a link to some pictures of your brooder on the old site once, can you repost those pictures?

    I want to build a new brooder.
     
  8. JudyMcKinn

    JudyMcKinn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Go to my Photobucket account:
    http://s25.photobucket.com/albums/c67/JudyMcKinn/?
    and click on "Chick brooders" and there are 3 or 4 pics there.
    I don't really have any details there, but it is just a box, with 4 legs so it is up at a handy height. I then have the back of the box higher, so I can hang a heat lamp there, and the front of the box low, so it is easier to work in. The sides slant, then, and I have doors on top. The first 2 we built just has the one door, with screen over it, but the 3rd one we built had half the top as a door/lid with screen (1/2 inch hardware cloth) and the other half is just a solid lid that also is on hinges and can be opened. Much handier. As I said in the upper post, if it is pretty cold, I drape a towel over the screened lid, and this h olds heat in. If it is warm, they can see out, and I can see them without removing a towel. We have found this style handy--especially the one with the double lid.
     
  9. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    hypnojessi, Being prepared for the new peeps is the best thing you can do. Knowing the temp of the brooder, before they arrive is a smart move.

    Once the peeps are in the brooder a while, the way they act will let you know how it's going. If it's too cold they pile, too warm and they constantly peep trying to find a cooler spot, and if just right, eating, drinking, peeping some and streching out and sleeping.

    bigzio
     

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