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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AccentOnHakes, Oct 28, 2009.
How long do they need them? Do they really need them?
Yep! They really need em'! 95 degrees for the first week; reduce by 5-10 degrees every week thereafter. If they get cold they will huddle together and possibly injure or suffocate one another.
Depends on where you live and the weather conditions.
What's most important is that you are able to keep the chicks brooder to the temp. needed per their age, that is 90 - 95 the first week, decreasing by five degrees a week until you are down to 70 degrees (five weeks) and the chicks are mostly feathered out.
Rather than watching a thermometer I've found you'll do better watching your chicks. Huddled under the heat lamp with loud peeping and piling, too cold. As far away from the lamp as possible with panting and wing spreading possible, too warm.
Cool! I only need a heat lamp for like, the first 5 weeks! Last time, we just used a lamp since we didn't have a heat lamp. But now that I think about it, they were from the feed store, and their wings had already feathered out. So I guess they were fine. Do you think the basking lamps would work? I'm not sure if they have temperature on them though...
Quote:I've mentioned that here many times. Those temperatures are for thermostatically controlled brooders, those stackable sheet metal boxes that hold hundreds of chicks at an exacting temperature.
Much of the advice here and in many books gives you those temperatures, then goes on to talk about brooding under a heat lamp, but measuring the temperature under a heat lamp is problematic. The infrared rays of a heat lamp heats objects, not the air in a room. Ever take a shower and dry off under one of those heat lamps installed in a bathroom? The bathroom can be very chilly, but the heat lamp feels good as it's shining on you. It warms you without having to heat the entire room. It's the same with the chicks. A thermometer will measure the air temperature in the brooding area, or how well the infrared rays are heating the thermometer itself, but it can't really measure the amount of warmth that a chick actually gets from a heat lamp.
Observation is the best method, if the chicks are piled up under the lamp, they are too cold and you should lower the lamp a little. If they are avoiding the area under the lamp and doing their best to stay away from it, then they are too warm and the lamp is too low. In between, there is a happy medium where the chicks will spread out in the brooder space, some under the lamp, others wandering around away from the lamp, all spread out amongst the space in the brooding area. They will regulate their own temperatures as necessary.
Quote:I agree with Mac here. Observation is the way to go. I use an Ohio brooder hover with whatever type of light bulb I think the weather conditions dictates in an open bay of my workshop. Haven't measured temperature in years, but I do carefully observe the chicks to see how they are behaving. I've used that brooder out there in weather down to 20 degrees and they did fine so long as I paid attention to the way the chicks were behaving.