Help! I'm meltiiiiiiiiing...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Lucy4, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. Lucy4

    Lucy4 Songster

    Um, has anyone else had this happen?

    I turned the brooder on yesterday morning to check temps before the chicks came this morning. Just walked into check on them, and this is what I found. (Sorry, I don't know how to post pics on here.)

    The light's not even touching it.

    So looks like I'm going to have to move them asap. (I have four chicks). I didn't even research other brooders and I'm freaking out. Can someone tell me a really quick plan?
  2. TheDuckCrew

    TheDuckCrew Songster

    Feb 21, 2009
    yikes. do you have anything of a harder plastic? or maybe get a kiddie pool and build up some wire around it (like a box) and then put the light on top. not sure
  3. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Songster

    Jan 10, 2009
    SE Iowa
    I would get rid of the heat bulb, Walmart or Menards have 85 -100 watt red bulbs, that will cool things down some. Raise the bulb us futher from the brooder floor. Get a thermometer and lay it on the brooder floor and get a reading, if it is higher than 100 degrees raise the bulb if cooler lower the bulb.....

    I haven't used heat bulbs for years now with no problems and I live in Iowa...
  4. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Cardboard box is a quick fix, but you must be VERY careful with that lamp. I would not want to leave it unattended AT ALL with cardboard.

    Do you have a dog cage/crate sitting in the garage or something (we had a couple, LOL!)? We used old dog crates with cardboard "sides" running only halfway up. Works great. Zip-tied the lamps for security.

    What wattage is that lamp you're using?
  5. Lucy4

    Lucy4 Songster

    It's 250. I had a 100 watt red bulb, and I couldn't get the brooder up to 95. It's 95 now with the high wattage. (I have 2 different thermometers to double check. They're about 5 degrees off from one another, but close enough.)

    The chicks seem happy enough, moving back and forth from under the lamp to the food/water area.

    A friend just suggested simply replacing the plastic top -- rather than the whole brooder -- with a plywood/chicken wire combo. You think? I'm thumbs down with plastic now.

    The dog crate is a good idea, I wish I had one. I might have an old cat carrier in the attic, but that's a plastic, solid type thing too.

    Here's a better pic of the whole set-up, pre-chicks. Obviously, I moved the lamp over farther to the center of the brooder to stop the melting.
  6. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    I suggest cardboard... won't melt and worked perfectly for me. But, be careful... that same lamp that melted the plastic can burn the cardboard. Make sure it's not too close to the brooder, no matter what you use.

    Good luck! Post pics of your babies when they arrive!
  7. Lucy4

    Lucy4 Songster

    Sorry, that pic's not working. Here's a new one:

    My husband came home and suggested cutting the middle plastic piece off the top (there's two "windows" right now) and putting the lamp in the middle, so there's no plastic. But I'm leaning away from using that top at all...
  8. welovechickens

    welovechickens Songster

    Mar 7, 2009
    Round Rock
    When I put in a 250 watt red heat lamp, I had it a foot or so above the cage, and the temp quickly went up to 150 degrees or something like that...can't remember for certain now.....but it was WAY too hot. I used 60-watt bulbs in 2 desk lamps and that worked perfectly.
  9. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    I bowed the center brace on a 55gallon tank using it as a brooder and having a 100w bulb next to it. Definitely possible to melt most anything plastic with a 250. Indoors you shouldn't need more than a 60-100w.
  10. amarook

    amarook Songster

    Mar 4, 2009
    Here's what my indoor brooder looked like.

    This is a 100 quart container. I cut the plastic lid and used an old fridge shelf. The light sat directly on top of it. With a 150 watt white bulb I could not get it up to 95.

    So I added a desk lamp... (cuz it's all I had at the time) With a 100w bulb.

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