Heat Lamp issues!

Samantha W

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 21, 2014
Denver, CO
Please help, I have 5 chicks, breed and sex unknown!, we got them from my daughters preschool, they hatched the chicks and needed homes for them......so we volunteered to raise some!!

Anyway, they are in a lovely box with food, water and lined with clean pine shavings, but my problem is that our original heat lamp was perfect, they would snuggle underneath the heat and snooze but it conked out within a few hours!!! My new heat lamp is up and running but they are as far away from it as they can get. I have made it higher but they still squeeze past each other to get as far away from it as possible!

It is the same as our first one, just a different brand. I can't raise it up any higher, it's at the max I can get it!!

Any suggestions? Our chicks are about 2 weeks old, and we have had them for about 10 hours!!!!!
I'm wondering that if it only lasted a few hours then it may not have been putting off as much heat as it should have. So maybe the new one is just too hot? You can put a lower watt bulb in there....menards/lowes/Home Depot has red light bulbs at different watts.

Also, if they're in a cardboard box, then you easily add more boxes to it and add more "rooms" I have done this and it works perfectly :). It sounds like it's too hot for them and at two weeks old, they don't need heat right on top of them.
Can you put in a lower wattage bulb? It sounds like maybe at first they were cold and now that they've warmed up they don't need so much heat?
Remember that chicks happy with their temps move about the brooder freely! If they were all huddled under there last time, they were too cold.

If a lower watt bulb isn't enough, you could also try a pet shop and look in the reptile section for a heat lamp with a dimmer attachment. This allows you to control heat output without raising or lowering the bulb. You just turn the dial on the attachment to control the amount of energy being output by your device! If you don't have one yet, it might also benefit you to pick up a thermometer with a digital display (dial displays are inaccurate and hard to read) to help you pinpoint your temps and what kind of changes you are making with more ease! :)
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Thanks Skink, great idea about the reptile heat lamp. I think I have been totally over thinking it, I have noticed that during the early evening hours they move away from the Leo but at night they huddle up under it, just the normal lives of chicks I suppose!!

Thanks everyone for the help, it's appreciated and I am sure more will be needed soon!!!
I use a normal 40-60 watt bulb hanging about 8" (depending on how they huddle) from the bottom of the brooder. That works for my chicks whether it's 50 quail in a tote in the house or 10 chicks in an outside wire cage. If they're outside in a wire bottom cage and it's 40* I put a piece of cardboard under the light so they won't get chilled from underneath.

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