Heat lamp question

Chicklady92

Chirping
Mar 7, 2018
45
52
89
Maryland
Hello, I have 16 baby chicks 12 chicks are 2 weeks old while the other 4 are a week old and I have them inside (it is winter and stays below 30° at night but almost spring). My brooder that I have them in is divided into two parts a heated part with a few perches that are low to the ground and the other part that has the feed and water with extra room to escape the heat if need be (brooder is roughly 4ft long and 1ft wide). My question is that i have a 250 watt red bulb about 20 inches away from the chicks and they will lay under it occasionally but prefer to sleep in the non heated part. Is my heated side too hot for the chicks? They huddle together on the non heated side and occasionally go back and forth. My house is also kept about 71° 24/7. I have heard of people using regular bulbs but I have read that can mess with the sleeping habits of the chicks. I just want what's best for my chickies! Pic below for cuteness overload.
 

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ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Jun 23, 2013
9,161
12,992
977
The Big Island/Hawaii
If the chicks are huddled on the non heated side, yes the heated side is too warm, you could try raising the lamp. When first hatch they should be kept around 95*, decreasing 5* each week. I used to brood indoors (4wks) with a regular 40watt bulb, you're brooding indoors, house being 71* thinking the 250watt bulb is too warm, you could raise it more. Have you read the thread in this forum about MHP by Blooie? I used to use a "heat light" (regular 40watt bulb) but switched to MHP. Chicks are calmer & quiet, learn night & day.
 
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treslilbirds

Songster
Mar 13, 2017
276
625
197
North Mississippi
If the chicks are huddled on the non heated side, yes the heated side is too warm, you could try raising the lamp. When first hatch they should be kept around 95*, decreasing 5* each week. I used to brood indoors (4wks) with a regular 40watt bulb, you're brooding indoors, house being 71* thinking the 250watt bulb is too warm, you could raise it more. Have you read the thread in this forum about MHP by Blooie? I used to use a "heat light" (regular 40watt bulb) but switched to MHP. Chicks are calmer & quiet, learn night & day.

Agreed. I’m using the MHP and currently have 9 chicks brooding outside in 30 degree rainy weather and they’re happy as pigs in a blanket. :thumbsup They play during the day and sleep at night. I swear they poop less too. I credit the fresh air. :D
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
6 Years
Feb 25, 2014
17,197
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Northwestern Wyoming
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My Coop
Actually, @treslilbirds, it’s more likely that they sleep all night through and aren’t eating 24 hours a day! A broody hen doesn’t get them to eat constantly once it gets dark - they tuck under her and sleep all night through. I dunno - that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it! :lau

I don’t see any difference in how much they poop, truth be told.....but then as long as they WERE pooping and it looked normal, I was happy.

I agree that the chicks are too warm. Smaller bulb would help. Mine are off all heat at 4 weeks old, outside when our highs are barely bumping up to 30. I start weaning them off Mama Heating Pad at 3 weeks.
 
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Chicklady92

Chirping
Mar 7, 2018
45
52
89
Maryland
I moved the heat lamp up further and I have noticed a difference in the chicks. They are more active and less sleepy. I'm going to my local pet/feed store to buy a heating pad for the chicks which will allow me to adjust the heat accordingly. Thank you all so much as I never thought of a heating pad.
 

ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Jun 23, 2013
9,161
12,992
977
The Big Island/Hawaii
You can go to Walmart pick up a heating pad that does NOT have a automatic shut off. I got Sunbeam 732-500. Start off with Med may be able to use Low since you've got a bunch & body heat helps. You need to make a skeleton (check out the thread by Blooie on the MHP)
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,066
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
Save your money and buy your heat pad at Walgreen or Walmart. The pad you need MUST be able to stay on 24/7 instead of having an auto off feature after 2 hours of use. Many of us use Sunbeam XPress. A pad that is sold for reptiles won't stay warm enough if you are using it outside. Read the articles and thread written by @Blooie to get the details re how to set up your MHP system.

Also, your current brooder is only big enough for 2 chicks. By the time they are 2 - 3 weeks old, they should have 2 s.f. in the brooder per chick. They will need 4 s.f. per chicken in the coop.
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
6 Years
Feb 25, 2014
17,197
32,619
827
Northwestern Wyoming
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My Coop
There’s a difference between a heating plate - like a Brinsea or Eco Glow - and a heating pad. The first two are made for chicks, the last one is made for people. Any of them are a better bet than a heat lamp. Your local feed store will probably have the heating plates do you should be golden. I use a human heating pad...a little more time to set up than the plates but just as effective. Good change for the chicks! Thanks to my friends for chiming in on where to get a heating pad. I just didn’t want you asking for a heating pad at the feed store and them having no clue.
 
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