How high for 250 watt IR bulb?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by TimM, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. TimM

    TimM Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi all. I have a little (3' by 4') coop in which I keep three hens. Now that they got old and I gave them to a neighbor, I just ordered 15 (minimum order) chicks that I'm going to try to brood. (I'll give away the excess as they grow.) I've read a lot about the process, and I'm equipped. I have a 250 watt heat lamp with metal reflector that I'll hang from the ceiling. But I can't find a suggested initial height from the floor. Any thoughts? Thanks!

    Tim
     
  2. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where are you located? And will they be brooded inside or outside?

    If you in the summer season then I personally think a 250 is too high, when I broodered inside (in April) I was able to use a normal bulb, when I took them outside (after 2.5-3wks old) I used a 125. I did try a 250 light a few times and my chicks would freak out.

    You can get a thermometer for your brooder but I wouldn't waste the money. I think it's pretty easy to tell if your chicks are at the right temp. If the chicks are huddled under the light then they are too cold, if the chicks are trying to get away from the light then they are too hot. If they are keeping their mouths open and panting then they are too hot.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I don't know where you are located, but the 250 may be too much this summer. Keep a 100, a 75, a 60, and a 40 watt around to change. When I use a 250 watt, I hang it 18 inches off the floor and shavings. I put a thermometer in the hot spot (yes it gets pooped on and has to be cleaned off.) I then raise it to keep the temp where I want it. Make sure they have a cool area, since they don't need nearly the heat everyone thinks. 90 degrees for the first week is the highest, and I prefer 85, then lower it about 5 degrees each week, but that is probably still too warm Just watch the chicks, and they will let you know. They aren't making 100 and 75 watt any more, but I have some put back.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Agree with the advice given above. Being summer, with ambient temps in the 70's, by night and day average, it simply takes very little supplementation to create a plenty warm environment.

    Also agree that a thermometer has some value to testing during setup, before the chicks arrive, but once the chicks are in the brooder, they and they alone are the most accurate thermometer EVER. Watch their body language as it tells you everything.

    Larger brooders are always better than smaller brooders as they leave space for chicks to self regulate to and from the warm spot of the bulb, plus allowing room for their rapid growth, feeder, waterer, etc.

    Why waste electricity and run up your power bill by using 2x or 3x more wattage than needed?
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I've been using these. Lowes, Home Depot, etc. 100 watts is more useful, during more times of the year. The red color is helpful to mask the chicks and has a calming effect. I like them. They are still available in stores.
     
  6. marktoo

    marktoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yeah, many sites recommend a 250 w & first timers don't know any better. I started the chicks in the house, house temp is kept at 65 F in winter. I think that lamp started at 26" & went up from there. Get a 100 w bulb.
     
  7. TimM

    TimM Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for all the advice! I did a 'dry run' today with the 250 watt bulb, and my little coop was up to 90 degrees in a couple hours. Yikes! But many sources say that red is much better than white because the chicks don't see the red. but the white gets them all worked up. Sigh. I have a couple days yet before the chicks arrive, so I'll try to tweak it.

    Tim
     
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You'll figure it out. It isn't rocket science. LOL You'll do just fine.
     
  9. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Almost everything dealing with chicks is personal choice and there is a ton of conflicting information out there. I've always read that red light is best, but I always used white light and had zero issues. I hadn't planned on getting chicks so I did no research before, I didn't know about the whole red light thing but even afterwards I choose to not buy another light because they were doing just fine.
     

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