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Help with brooder temps

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by TubbyChicken, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. TubbyChicken

    TubbyChicken Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    My baby chicks are here! [​IMG]

    I have 11 in the brooder and I'm having some trouble getting a consistent temp in there. With the lamp clipped a few inches above the brooder the temps read close to 92...With the lamp directly over the brooder the temps were above 100. I have a crappy digital thermometer that takes FOREVER to give me a reading.

    The brooder they're in 2ft x 2 ft, so I'm hoping that with enough space they'll spread out to cooler spots if it's too warm.

    Any advice?
  2. Oh, the brooder sounds too small.
  3. TubbyChicken

    TubbyChicken Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    Really? It seems huge...It's an open wire brooder/hutch. They have enough room to run and hop...I have a rabbit waterer in one corner and there is plenty of room for them to huddle up for warmth or spread out and explore...I would post pitures if my batteries were charged...

    I have plenty of other options that I could use for the brooder, I bought this one because it seemed easier to clean and less overwhelming.
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    At 2 ft. x 2 ft. that brooder does seem a bit small for 11 chicks. I predict that within a week, two max. they'll be crowded. So put your thinking cap on for some new brooder ideas. [​IMG]
    As for the brooder temps. the chicks will probably be much more comfortable with the 92 vs. the 100+. Don't want little chicken nuggets now do we? Remember that you're going to be decreasing the temp by 5 degrees each week. So being able to raise the brooder lamp or going with a lower wattage bulb should work.
    The best "thermometer" is your chicks. Too hot chicks will be panting and/or spreading their itty bitty wings. They'll also try to get as far as possible from the heat source as they can. Too cold chicks will be huddled underneath it and can have pile-ups that can result in death for the ones on the bottom of the piles. Comfortable chicks are the ones that are running around, in and out of the heat source area. That's what to shoot for.
    Good luck with your new babies.
  5. TubbyChicken

    TubbyChicken Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    I think we've fixed the problem with the lamp...There wasn't a great spot to clip it, so dh built something overhead and hung the lamp from a chain...that way we can lower it or pull it up until we find the right setting.

    I hadn't anticipated that I would use the smaller brooder for too long. I was thinking that within the next 2 weeks we'd make something much bigger. If the size is too small now though, that it may affect their well being I could certainly move them into something bigger!

    I've been watching them (more like obsessively staring) and they seem to be pretty active, although they're all slowly acting super sleepy...they aren't huddling together, but they aren't panting or seeming frantic either.

    Thank you for the advice!
  6. mjdtexan

    mjdtexan Songster

    Sep 30, 2008
    Glad to hear you got it fixed. h
  7. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    what was wrong having it at 92 degrees? ,, ya know there isnt any REAL temp its suppose to be,, cept a rough estimate,, somewhere between 85 and 100 ,, and the chicks will be the same as if they were in 95,, or 98 all the time. and if their in a wire cage, ya should have cardboard around the bottom so the drafts dont hit them.
  8. farmergal

    farmergal Songster

    Jul 21, 2008
    Nor Cal
    I don't think 2ft by 2ft is too small for the time being. I started off 30 chicks in a 90 quart wal-mart bin, but of course moved them to bigger space by the end of the first week. They're SO tiny when you first get them -- 3 chicks can fit in 1 human hand, so 2 x 2 is a pretty big world to run around in. Just make sure you have the other, bigger brooder ready to go because the little buggers seem to double in size every week!

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