HELP! I can't get the temperature of my brooder above 78 degrees!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kitchwitch, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. kitchwitch

    kitchwitch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, our brooder is in the basement which stays a constant 58 degrees. I checked it for a week just to find out the constant temps.

    The problem I'm having as that with the 250watt red heat lamp the brooder only gets to be about 78 degrees. The lamp is 18 inches from the floor.

    The brooder is a precision pet dog crate with specs of 42"X28"X32" (we're expecting 25 chicks)
    We've wrapped plastic all around the sides to about halfway up and laid some on the top of the crate to prevent heat from escaping but also to allow for ventilation.

    We've had the lamp on for around 6 hours now and it will not go over 78 degrees. It's been set at around 78 for 4 hours or so.

    I'm just at a loss for what to do. It's fairly small quarters for so many little chicks, and I told DBF that if we could at least get it to 90 I'd be comfortable because so many of them would probably generate enough heat to push the temp to 95. Can I rely on that though? Also there's a 1 gallon waterer and 7.5 pound feeder in the crate with them so that takes up quite a bit of space.

    Any advice?
    I can't bring that many chicks up into the house because there's not enough space. Right now I have a space heater going to try and bring up the temperature of the room the brooder is in, but I'm not sure if that will work or not.

    I need help! Thanks!

    edited to add: the chicks should be here tomorrow or Friday. Yes! I know procrastination gets you nowhere...
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Have you tried another thermometer?

    Also, can you afford a smaller waterer (maybe quart size) and the small chick feeder trays? You're right they're going to outgrow the space quick; especially with the feeder and waterer being so large.
     
  3. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Is the 78 degrees the reading right under the heat lamp bulb? A 250 red heat lamp bulb should really have done the trick. Are you getting the reading from a thermometer that is right underneath the heat?
     
  4. kitchwitch

    kitchwitch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the thermometer isn't directly under the lamp, it's in the heat 'zone' though. I'll move it and see what happens.

    I can afford a quart waterer, but they're so darn expensive and I didn't want to get something that wouldn't be of use when I moved the chickens into their coop. I may go get one though as it has been bothering me since I put it all together. :)

    Thanks!

    edited to add:
    A 250 red heat lamp bulb should really have done the trick

    This is true and DBF suggested maybe something being wrong with the bulb.

    Our housemate also suggested putting a blanket under the brooder to keep it off the cold basement floor.​
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  5. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Put the thermometer right under the heat lamp thats where you want the 95 or so to be. As the heat goes out the chicks will mingle where they feel the most comfortable. Also keep the feed and waterer away from directly under the heat source.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:But see, there's a method to my madness. After they move to the coop you use the bigger waterer and feeder. Then you really don't want the little one sitting around going to waste, so what to do? Get another batch of chicks of course!
    Really, IMO the smaller waterer would be better and safer. Takes up less space and less chance of a chick getting in the tray and drowning.
     
  7. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Quote:But see, there's a method to my madness. After they move to the coop you use the bigger waterer and feeder. Then you really don't want the little one sitting around going to waste, so what to do? Get another batch of chicks of course!
    Really, IMO the smaller waterer would be better and safer. Takes up less space and less chance of a chick getting in the tray and drowning.

    [​IMG] Yup on the drowning part!
     
  8. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    As Tuffoldhen said, you want it 95 or so under the light, they chicks are smart enough to move around and find the right temo for them.
     
  9. kitchwitch

    kitchwitch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Again, thanks so much for all your help. I've moved the thermometer to directly under the lamp and I'll see where that gets me. If it's still not warm enough I'll put a blanket under the brooder to keep it up off the cold floor.

    Now I just have to convince DBF to take my to tractor supply for a waterer :-D
     
  10. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    get one of those little mason jar bases, they're cheep and they work with a mayonaise jar or whatever... just make sure it's very clean! Heck, you can get a mason jar or a mayo jar cleaner than some commercial thing from a feed store!! (yes, I know how I spelled cheep, I mean cheap)
     

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