Hello from new member, question on how low brooder lamp can go


14 Years
Mar 8, 2008
Southwest Missouri
Hi, I'm afraid I'm a bit of a refugee from another chicken forum which has gone down tonight, and I could use some advice! So, please excuse my just leaping in here!

We are first-time chicken owners with 17 chicks just over 3 weeks old.

We've just moved them out to the coop brooder from the house brooder. They loved their big new space during the day, but they are huddling under the lamp tonight. We currently have a 250W brooder lamp, suspended about 16" above the litter (which gave 95 degrees in test conditions), plus we've added a temporary "work-light" lamp to add some additional heat tonight. The temp is probably in the high 50s once they get away from the light.

They are alone in the coop, no brooder walls and no other chickens making heat. Thick layer of pine shavings on floor.

My question is, how much lower can I move the brooder lamp? I'm concerned that if I move it lower the circle of heat will decrease in size or be too hot to be usable. Or is it OK for them to huddle at night?

Do I need to scoot the feed and water way in toward them, they're about 2 feet away from the lamp center.

Also, I'm thinking maybe I could put an old wrapped heating pad out there. Am I just completely nuts?

Any other suggestions? Thanks for letting me barge in here!

Nervous Chicken Parent
If there are no drafts, I think they'd be fine with that... they will generally huddle together at night, you should think of adding a little roost for them, then they can line up on it.
Are they in a cage???? or just in a big open coop???
If they are in some type of wire pen
They should be fine but I would try to put up some walls on at least 3 sides preferably all four to keep the heat in.
I personally would not want to lower the lamp any more.
"fire prevention"
Well, the coop is pretty tight, no drafts. DH even put cardboard over the top vent under the eaves. I'm glad to know that it's OK or normal for them to huddle at night, so that makes me feel better.

I hate to go in there and lower the lamp if we don't have to, because to do that we have to open the door and let in all the cold air.

So, maybe tonight as it is, and tomorrow some more bedding and some kind of "walls". We do have a little roost for them, they're practically outgrowing it.

Thanks for the quick response.
Flufnstuffs, I posted across you, but yes they are in an open coop. I'm glad to hear you say that about the lamp, I wasn't comfortable lowering it more either.
Well, DH just went out and re-checked them through the coop window, and they are slightly more spread out now (we had lowered the lamp from about 20" to the 16" I mentioned just before I came back in here and did my first post). So things are good.

In other news, he practically ran into one of our neighbor's cows in the dark on the way back from the coop. She was at our place this morning and the neighbor couldn't round her up! She ran off into the forest and now she's back.

With that, I wish you all a good night. I will post back with an update on how the chicks do in their new digs, and a real intro.
My two lamps have to be at different heights due to the two red bulbs being different brands. I'd just watch them, they tell you if they're too cold or hot.

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