Help to rear new chicks


5 Years
Apr 27, 2014
Hi my husband and I started keeping chickens a few months ago, we live in Guernsey, Channel Islands.
We put 21 eggs in to an incubator for our 1st time read loads of info on the net and we now have 11 chicks 8 days old, today we have aproblem our infra red lamp has packed upwe have to buy all these things from UK mainland as Guernsey is a small island where you cannot buy anything like that.
My husband put an ordinary light bulb above the brooder, not knowing what else to do, however, it seemed too bright so we have now put a soft 60W bulb.
At present the chicks seem happy enough but it is still daytime, we have put an electric storage heater in the shed where the brooder is but we do not know if this will be enough for nightime.
As I said, Guernsey is a small place with only half a dozen shops that are open on a sunday we have been to all of them and cannot find a red bulb.
Help have any of you any advice to save our chicks ????


5 Years
Mar 29, 2014
Trinity nc
The main thing is to keep them warm. I'm really not sure what to tell u except that the first thing coming to mind is to get a heating pad and put it on the bottom if the brooder and cover it with a pillow case. This way there little bodies can stay warm. Also if they are outside I'd bring them inside or somewhere to keep the night time cool air off if them. Also for the future I'd order/buy extra lights! Just to keep on hand. Good luck! I'm new to this to do I hope so more experienced people will post too with more ideas!


Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Feb 18, 2011
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You might want to post on the Raising Baby Chicks forum for other suggestions to keep your chicks warm. A lot of people do use a white light bulb to keep chicks warm, so it should work, the temperature is the important part so be sure to use a thermometer to see where it is at and use the lowest watt bulb that will keep it there and the chicks happy. X2, if it is a lot warmer in the house you might want to bring the chicks in until you can get the temperature regulated.
Be sure to check out the BYC Learning Center, lots of good articles on all aspects of chicken keeping you might find helpful.


Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
I visited Guernsey many decades back, a day trip when working in Cherbourg. It was a beautiful place, very relaxing. No, I did not spend all day in a pub. Not all day.

Dad used to raise chicks in a cardboard box on the back porch using a 60 watt incandescent bulb. Soft white had not been invented yet. A lot of people give dire warnings about what you absolutely have to do or you will have an unmitigated disaster. The reality is that chicks are pretty resilient. While some things may be “better” they are usually not “necessary”. You’ll be OK with that bulb. The chicks will not get traumatized and need psychotherapy if they don’t get a red bulb.

Just watch your chicks. If they act cold, they need more heat. If you can, lower the light bulb. If they are hot, raise the light bulb. If they are huddling near the light, they are cold. If they are as far from the light as they can get, they are hot. Perfect is when they are kind of scattered. At night, they will probably sleep in a group, likely near the heat. That doesn’t mean they are cold, just that they like company.

You can get a thermometer and put it at the level of your chicks. If you read somewhere around 27 to 30 C you are fine. It helps if the broody is big enough hey can get away from the heat. Just like people, different chicks are comfortable at different temperatures.

Good luck! I really don’t see that as a huge problem.


5 Years
Apr 27, 2014
Thanks for your reply and your advice much appreciated.
Pubs are something we have plenty of here, shame they don't sell lightbulbs!!


Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Mar 21, 2011
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop

Welcome to BYC!

Good luck with your new chicks! You have been given some great advice and links to read thru.

Enjoy this new journey you are on and welcome to our flock!

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