Heat Lamp question

halfgut

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
18
0
22
I've got my brooder built and ready for the my new chicks to arrive Monday or Tuesday. I mounted my heat lamp with two hooks (in case one fails) and turned it on. I put a thermometer in the bottom and the temperature directly below the lamp came to a nice and toasty 95 degrees. However, 12 inches to either side of dead center the temperature was only 85 degrees. Is this okay? I could lower the lamp but then the temperature directly below would be too hot.

Any suggestions?

Halfgut
 

Dora'smom

Songster
10 Years
Dec 14, 2009
916
11
121
Oregon
How soon after setting up the brooder light did you take the temperature? Try serial (meaning several temperatures over a period of time) temperatures to see if the entire brooder warms up a bit over all. Usually what you are looking for in a brooder, is warm and slightly cooler areas, so the chicks can move if they are too warm or cold. Your temperatures may be okay. Once you get your chicks, watch them to see if they are all huddled under the light (meaning it's too cold in the brooder) or huddled away from the light (meaning too hot). What you are looking for is chicks circulating in a relaxed manner through the brooder. Some will be under the light for awhile, others away from the light and eating, drinking, etc. If you have that, you have achieved the right mix.
 

MISS MILLIE

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 27, 2010
39
0
22
PA
Im a newbie too, but my chicks are two weeks old now. I had the same issue but honestly think it's fine to have the brooder like this. The chicks will self regulate- they'll move closer or further to the warmth depending on their internal temp. You sound very organized and researched- just keep an eye on them and if they seem to be close to the light all the time, get another one. BTW- do you have a red bulb? Have heard this prevents picking on. Also, my research says to hang the light from a corner, not dead center so that the chicks are able to move away from the heat more if needed.
 

teach1rusl

Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
10,017
174
356
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
My Coop
My Coop
That sounds perfect! You want under the lamp to be around 95, and if they're too warm, then can head to other areas. After the first day or so, you'll learn to read their behaviors. If they're piling up under the lamp, you'll need to move it closer or get a larger wattage bulb. If they hang out on the edges mostly, or little clumps here and there...GREAT! If they're going as far away from the bulb as possible, too hot - reduce bulb or move a little further away. Have fun!!!
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ETA: Mine were all different. Some would sleep in the lamp vicinity (liked it warmer I guess), and others would be outside of the circle of light/heat. You can't please everybody, so just have room for them to find what's comfortable.
 
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halfgut

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
18
0
22
Thank you so much! I am feeling much better. I can tell you that my girls are really excited and I lay awake at night wondering if I'm able to keep these little guys alive. I'm sure you all will be my life line for a few weeks. I'll post some pictures as soon as they arrive.

Yes, i did get the red, heat lamp. One thing I did since I didn't want to have to keep raise and lower the lamp was to put a dimmer switch in the middle of my extension cord so all I have to do is turn the dimmer to decrease the light. It's running full blast now but I'm hoping to be able to turn the dimmer instead of moving the lamp.
 

catdaddy66

Songster
10 Years
Nov 18, 2009
1,050
17
151
Lugoff, SC
Quote:
ranchhand is right...there should be temperature gradient to allow the chicks to cool down if they get too hot. The chicks behavior will tell you if it's too hot or cold. You have a spot with the correct temp, so you have it covered!

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And by the way,...
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FrenchToast

"Draft Apple Ridge" a Bit from Heaven
11 Years
Jan 10, 2010
4,420
49
296
UP North WI
I have to ask, how did you attach a dimmer???
I am ready to set up my brooder too and that dimmer sounds like a great idea.


Quote:
 

halfgut

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
18
0
22
I bought a standard household dimmer switch and an electrical switch box (like the housing used when hooking up a light switch). I cut my extension cord in half, ran the halves into the box, wired the dimmer and nailed the box to a joist. It was really very simple, even to someone like me with very little electrical experience. I did run my idea by an electrician friend who said it would work.

Here is a picture of the dimmer and of my brooder.
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49929_dsc_0073.jpg
 

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