Heat Lamp Advice

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Oktober, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. Oktober

    Oktober Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 6, 2011
    Rhode Island
    I'm putting together my brooder (using a 24"x18"x18 plastic bin) with pine shavings. I was out looking for a heat lamp when I realized I was not sure what I was looking for - can anyone give any advice on an economical heat lamp setup? Should I pick up a reptile heat lamp at the local pet store (what type of bulb)? Or can I just pick up a heat bulb and plug it into a 60-100 watt desk lamp?

    Also, what is everyone using to monitor the tempurature in the brooder? Do you leave a thermometer in the brooder, or just use a thermometer to set the right lamp height and then read the chicks behavior from there?


  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    You can get a heat lamp set up at your feed store, or put it together from a hardware store. The wattage of the bulb might depend also on how warm the room is as well. You want your set up to be very secure. You can also get a special brooder thermometer from most feed stores. You leave it in the brooder at chick level and there are markings on it to tell you the temperature you need for the age they are at the time. I used a red 250 watt heat lamp (metal casing) hung from the ceiling that I could adjust up as the temperature needed to be lowered. They were not in a heated room at the time, either.
  3. Fowel Frenzy

    Fowel Frenzy Out Of The Brooder

    May 24, 2011
    Check our your local farm/feed store I have a murdochs but even a hardware store should be able to help. You are looking for a brooder lamp. I had to replace mine this year and a simple lamp with a clamp for easy attachment to wall, support or side of brooder box was $13.00 The bulb, which is a standard bulb base size and is 250 watts was sold seperately for about $9 ea. (they are rated for something like 900 hours) so in total about $20. I chose the red bulb because it helps to hide any red(blood) on a chick which helps keep the others from continuing to peck it.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  4. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I have to say that there are times a 250 watt bulb is TOO hot. You can use a lower wattage to get the temp you want. I've used 100,75 and 60 watt bulbs in my office. I put a thermometer in the brooder, taped to the side at chick level.

    Happy chick keeping

  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    You do NOT want to use a heat bulb in a regular lamp. What wattage heat bulb you get (you can get lower wattage ones at pet stores in the reptile area - TS generally only sells 250s) will depend on what the temp is kept at wherever their brooder will be, and how your brooder is made (solid all the way around except top or more open walls). Ideally, for better safety, you'll use the smallest wattage bulb possible that can maintain temps where they need it in the brooder. Even a cheapo thermometer will help - soon you'll use their body language to tell whether the temps are good or not (grouping/huddling means too cold generally...do they avoid the lamp? - too hot...are they spread out a bit? - ideal).
    Oh - and make sure your bulb housing is rated for you bulb. And don't just clip the lamp in place (most come with a clamp), wire it into place.
  6. Kyle241

    Kyle241 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 6, 2011
    I returned my 250 watt heat lamp as I was too concerned about it being a fire hazard and also it got very hot. Instead I have a 100 watt porcelain model and it easily heats my brooder to 100+ degrees depending on how low I hang it. I'm adjusting it to get to the 95 degree mark so my chicks will be happy come Wednesday when they arrive!
  7. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    I use the 250 watt red heat lamp bulb if they are outside and I have the 100 watt repitle bulb for indoors. It is more expensive to buy, but maybe I'm saving something on the electric bill. [​IMG] Also don't relie on those clamp on holder. They can fall off. Some folks here can attest to that, almost burnt down the barn. Always wire them in place as well. [​IMG]
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Seeings how it is summer time, the wattage required isn't going to be too much. No sense wasting electricity. Since the ambient air temps this time of year are 75 and higher, it doesn't take much to bump it up to 90 to make them comfortable. Since the air temps are high, it is important not to "cook" them in a tub. Also, it is important to have an unheated area of the brooder where they can go to be cooler.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Looks like you are ready. With this hot weather you may not have to use it during the day. Here it has been in the mid to upper 90"s during the day and lower to mid 70's at night. Also the be careful about buying a shop type lamp from the hardware store if you are going to use a 250 watt heat lamp bulb, as some of them are rated for no more than a 185 watt bulb. Walmart has 250 watt brooder lamps next to the shop lamps in their hardware section. Good luck, enjoy and have fun...

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