Heat Lamp & other questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tim85a, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. tim85a

    tim85a Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 27, 2014
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    Hi guys.

    I'm looking at getting some day olds mid April and want to start sorting stuff out for them. This will be my first time so I'm not to keen on spending loads of money incase I don't do it again.

    What I would like to know is can I use a table lamp (like the one Pixar use in their logo) as a heat lamp? If so, do I need some special type of bulb or will a normal house hold one work? What kind of wattage do I need?

    Also, am I missing anything from my list of this to get:
    Food and something to put it in
    Something for water
    Sawdust for the bottom
    Heat lamp

    I was also thinking of getting a storage box (like this one http://www.poundstretcher.co.uk/80l-box ) to put them in, what do you think? I'm thinking of getting 3 chicks. What kind of size should I be looking for? As I'm looking at getting them mid April, they should be going outside full time at about 3/4 weeks?

    Wow, that was more questions than I thought I had!

    Thanks for your help in advance.

    Tim
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    What is needed is about 90 degrees for the first week. It all depends on your setup what it will take to get that. You can brood chicks outdoors in freezing temps with the right setup. Of course, they need a lot less heat if you brood them in a spare bedroom. A 100W old fashioned incandescent bulb may be sufficient, or even less. I'd suggest you set thigs up and pick up a cheap thermometer, and see what the temp is in the brooder. Once they are a week or so old, you will know from how they distribute themselves in the brooder whether the temp is right for them. Be sure to make the brooder large enouth: by 4 weeks they will need about 2 sq ft per chick.

    Most people buy a clamp on half-bowl shaped utility light, the kind with the ceramic bulb receptacle, not the plastic one, for about $10 I think. It will tolerate a 250"W heat lamp if tht is what it takes .A table lamp might or moght not work, depending on how it is made.

    For the first couple of days, chicks will tend to eat their litter, so people put paper towels, old bath towels, etc. directly under them til they learn that the food is in the feeder. Pine chips will absorb odor and moisture better than sawdust, but if you have a large and free supply, you may want to try the sawdust anyway. All sorts of stuff is used for litter: dried leaves, grass clippings, ground up corn cobs -- it just depends what you have around. sand is becoming quite popular as well although it's usually too hot on their feet in direct summer sun.

    You'll probably want a coule of bricks or pieces of concrete block or the like to raise the waterer above the level of the litter, to help keep it clean. Baby chicks will fill a waterer with the sawdust in no time.

    Please check out our Learning Center. Good luck!
     
  3. tim85a

    tim85a Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for that info Judy. I'm assuming that is 90F.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, sorry.
     
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Judy covered it pretty well - especially regarding raising the feed/water stations out of the bedding because you will be amazed at how quickly they can fill those things up with bedding. Chest height is a good height for the rim to be at - they can easily reach up and over/in to get a drink or eat at that height and it lessens the amount of debris that will end up in the food/water. As the chicks grow, raise it accordingly. Another option is to have an area of the brooder that is raised up or otherwise sectioned off and completely bedding free and setting the feed/water in that area.....the method that would work best for you would depend on the type of brooder you end up setting up. You'll want a "warm zone" and "cool zone" in the brooder so that the birds are able to move to/away from the heat to self-regulate their temperature so set the heat lamp at one end of the brooder. Place the feed/water in the "cool zone".
    Don't forget to plan for a cover for the brooder - the chicks will be able to jump/fly before you expect it and this can lead to them getting out of the brooder and into trouble.
    Have you started construction of your coop/run yet? A lot of folks get the chicks with the intent of doing construction while they are in the brooder and are surprised at how quickly the chicks grow and how slowly the construction is completed and end up with birds that are ready to be out of the brooder (or people who are ready to have them out of the house for those that brood in the house, lol) before there is a place to put them.
     
  6. tim85a

    tim85a Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 27, 2014
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    Yeah, I have started to build a bigger run for my flock. At the moment I have 3 girls and hope to get about 3 day olds in a few weeks.

    I have learnt the hard way about having the water at chest height. I think I read it on here somewhere? I was changing the water 2-3 times a day because it was dirty :s
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Those plastic bins are often too small. They will seem okay for the first week, when baby chicks are mostly sleeping and tottering about. But by the second week, these guys are very active, and need quite a bit of room. You don't have to spend anything for a nice roomy cardboard appliance box. Simply line the bottom with heavy plastic. I also recommend you cut an access door into the side so you're reaching into the brooder sideways instead of from above. You'll find the chicks are completely trusting and unafraid being approached in this manner, as apposed to from above, which resembles a predator attack to them.

    Until I read on and discovered you already have three adult hens, I wasn't going to mention anything about your choice of number. Since it sounds like you haven't ever attempted to integrate young chicks into an existing group of older chickens, you need to understand there's a dynamic involved. It's sort of like junior students at a school, where kids who are members of a clique with greater numbers fare better than those with just a few members. They also derive their self confidence from the number.

    This magic number happens to be four, especially important in your situation, since your chicks will have to compete against three adults. I've integrated different numbers, and found four to be significant. Any less, the chicks have a far more difficult time of it, and the effect of it lasts their whole lives.

    I often use a 100 watt incandescent bulb to heat a brooder, and I've found that most chicks find 30-32C more comfortable than the recommended 32 -34C, which is often far too warm, even for day-olds. But you'll find out their preference by observation. If they need more heat, just lower the bulb, raise it to achieve cooler temps.

    I've found that by suspending the water bottle, rather than resting it on a platform, is the best way to prevent spills and to keep the water from getting despoiled. You can easily do that by cutting slots into the sides of the brooder at the top and slipping a dowel or stick through the slots and hanging the bottle from the horizontal stick. To make a hanger for the bottle, I use a small net bag such as clementines come in, and secure it with wire around the neck with tightened wire. You can easily slip an "s" hook through the netting at the top of the bottle and hang it.

    I found chicks often eat, not only wood shavings, but paper toweling, too. I have chicks coming in May, and plan to use puppy training pads the first few days until the chicks learn what "food" is and isn't. Newspaper is too slippery for them, and they will eat that, too.

    If you're making modifications to your coop and run, I would take a look at coop entrances, and build a second one if yours only has one. This will make it easier to integrate chicks with adults if one of the adults decides to bully the chicks by not letting them into the coop at night. It's always good to give chicks a second option to evade adult chickens, or else you invite injuries.

    That's enough for now. Good luck on all your preparations.
     
  8. KeriT

    KeriT Out Of The Brooder

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    I would not suggest using a plastic container. When certain ones heat up, it can emit poisonous fumes that can be deadly to birds especially youngs ones. Wood or metal is best. Not to mention if it melts it can cause a fire.
     
  9. KeriT

    KeriT Out Of The Brooder

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    You can get an inexpensive piece of plywood and cut it into pieces to make a box.
     
  10. mossyroo

    mossyroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have read of the Pixar type lamps melting and catching fire when left on continuously.
     

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