Heat light with 2 week old chicks

Ms Monk

In the Brooder
May 7, 2017
29
7
24
My 4 chicks are 2 weeks old - I've had the heat light on constantly - the temps are in the low 90s today and tomorrow with humidity - can I unplug the light during the day - they are in a metal trowel - I raised the light this morning and will be buying a lower wattage heat bulb today - yesterday the chicks were hot, hiding behind the water cooler - I unplipugged the light for a couple hours but turned it back on before going to bed. Thank you for any input.
 

PD-Riverman

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
5,007
1,304
406
Conway SC
My 4 chicks are 2 weeks old - I've had the heat light on constantly - the temps are in the low 90s today and tomorrow with humidity - can I unplug the light during the day - they are in a metal trowel - I raised the light this morning and will be buying a lower wattage heat bulb today - yesterday the chicks were hot, hiding behind the water cooler - I unplipugged the light for a couple hours but turned it back on before going to bed. Thank you for any input.
Yes, please monitor the temp in the brooder------a lot of people do not understand a Brooder---a factory brooder only heats one end----the rest is usually open somewhat so they can get away from the heat, plus the factory brooder is thermostat controlled----only puts out heat when needed. SO, you have to make sure you are only heating ONE END of your brooder to about 85 degree's being they are 2 weeks old----when the air temp gets close to that the heat source needs to be shut off until it gets some what below that. If you are only raising a few chicks a 25 watt or 40 watt MAX bulb is all that's needed this time of the year----making sure the temp is right with a thermometer or watching their body language----You lower the hanging light to raise the temp or raise it to lower the temp just below the light. My 25 watt bulb is usually about 4" off the floor----giving them enough heat to warm if needed. AGAIN heat source cut off these warm days when the room temp is around what they need. Yesterday My thermostat controlled factory brooder with about 40 chicks in it got up to 95 on the heated end even though there was no heat coming on----just their body heat so I had to open my brooder room up and allow fresh air(fan if needed) to come in to cool it off. This time of the year I would be weaning them off the heat soon---and give them a snuggle area for the nights when it gets cooler, BUT also allowing them room away from the snuggle area in case they get to hot at night.
 

SueT

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 27, 2015
9,928
31,732
1,007
SW MO
Welcome to BYC....yes, don't let it get too hot in there...Good luck!
Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 7.04.34 AM.png
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,077
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
Chicks do not need any near as much heat as "they say" they do (the start at 90 - 95 and decrease the heat 5*/week rule). If you look at how a broody hen raises her chicks, you'll become aware that the heat lamp brooding system is a very poor substitute. Mama broody can have a very large brood of chicks, and she will brood them in very cool and sometimes wet conditions. Those chicks from the age of 2 days old and beyond are tumpling along behind and around her all day long while she searches out goodies for them to eat. Rain or shine, they are out and about frolicking in the weather. I've seen pics of very young chicks playing in the snow. They duck under Mama for a quick warm up, then they are back out to explore their world again.

They need heat, because, like all newborns, their thermal regulation system is not mature. Add to that: their down is not a good insulator like a full coat of feathers would be. This makes them more susceptible to cold AND warm temps. Overheating can be even more deadly to chicks than not giving them enough heat. Both are bad, but an overheated chick can die in a matter of hours, while a chilled chick may not die for a day or more.

At 2 weeks, you should be working on weaning them anyways. They should only have a tiny little area in their brooder where they can go to warm up. The rest of the brooder should be as cool as what ever the ambient temperatures are. Yes, definitely turn off that lamp! If they act cold, rob an incandescent bulb from a lamp and use that. I would be more concerned in your situation with them being overheated. Any time you see a chick panting, it's overheated, and you have a situation on your hands that MUST be fixed immediately.

At 2 weeks, my chicks were moved out into their coop in very nasty, cold, damp weather, by 3 weeks, they had full access to their run. I use a heating pad brooder, and was able to leave one HP up in the coop loft, and move one down into the lower level run, so that if they couldn't figure out how to get up to the loft they could still warm up. By 4 weeks, I pulled their HP.

Check out heating pad brooding by clicking on the link to Blooie's article at the bottom of my signature.
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
58,330
242,651
1,687
You have some great advice above. I use a brooder plate, and by day 10 the brooder plate is turned off (room temps range from 60F - 70F in a 24 hour period). By day 5 I begin weaning them off the heat (turning the brooder plate off for increasing periods during the day, and gradually increasing the distance between plate and chicks at the same time).
 

Ms Monk

In the Brooder
May 7, 2017
29
7
24
You have some great advice above. I use a brooder plate, and by day 10 the brooder plate is turned off (room temps range from 60F - 70F in a 24 hour period). By day 5 I begin weaning them off the heat (turning the brooder plate off for increasing periods during the day, and gradually increasing the distance between plate and chicks at the same time).
Thank you
 

Ms Monk

In the Brooder
May 7, 2017
29
7
24
Chicks do not need any near as much heat as "they say" they do (the start at 90 - 95 and decrease the heat 5*/week rule). If you look at how a broody hen raises her chicks, you'll become aware that the heat lamp brooding system is a very poor substitute. Mama broody can have a very large brood of chicks, and she will brood them in very cool and sometimes wet conditions. Those chicks from the age of 2 days old and beyond are tumpling along behind and around her all day long while she searches out goodies for them to eat. Rain or shine, they are out and about frolicking in the weather. I've seen pics of very young chicks playing in the snow. They duck under Mama for a quick warm up, then they are back out to explore their world again.

They need heat, because, like all newborns, their thermal regulation system is not mature. Add to that: their down is not a good insulator like a full coat of feathers would be. This makes them more susceptible to cold AND warm temps. Overheating can be even more deadly to chicks than not giving them enough heat. Both are bad, but an overheated chick can die in a matter of hours, while a chilled chick may not die for a day or more.

At 2 weeks, you should be working on weaning them anyways. They should only have a tiny little area in their brooder where they can go to warm up. The rest of the brooder should be as cool as what ever the ambient temperatures are. Yes, definitely turn off that lamp! If they act cold, rob an incandescent bulb from a lamp and use that. I would be more concerned in your situation with them being overheated. Any time you see a chick panting, it's overheated, and you have a situation on your hands that MUST be fixed immediately.

At 2 weeks, my chicks were moved out into their coop in very nasty, cold, damp weather, by 3 weeks, they had full access to their run. I use a heating pad brooder, and was able to leave one HP up in the coop loft, and move one down into the lower level run, so that if they couldn't figure out how to get up to the loft they could still warm up. By 4 weeks, I pulled their HP.

Check out heating pad brooding by clicking on the link to Blooie's article at the bottom of my signature.


Thank you.
 

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