How Hot Does it Really Need to Be?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JenniferC, May 8, 2008.

  1. JenniferC

    JenniferC Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    My heat lamp burned out last night and though I do have someone bringing me a new one today- I can't help but notice that all my chicks seem to be doing OK with just a 60 watt very close to the ground and a hot water bottle.

    They are in my basement, which is unheated, but certainly warmer than outside. I just wonder how hot is really necessary?

    What has been other peoples' experiences?
  2. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    I started one of my hatches with 90 degrees for their first week instead of the recommended 95 degrees and the chicks were totally fine.

    I'm glad you started this thread because I wasn't sure if I'd ever admit this one or not. [​IMG]

  3. JenniferC

    JenniferC Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    I haven't checked the temp ever- just watched behavior. But my oldest are four weeks and never had a problem. So I may have had them too cold all along.

    I'm also one of those bad mommies that lets my toddler ride a tricycle without a helmet sometimes.:eek:
    Last edited: May 8, 2008
  4. Kerry

    Kerry Chirping

    Apr 4, 2008
    Pahoa, Big Isle, Hawaii
    Here in Hawaii w/72° avg ambient temp I started out with a 100 watt bulb (the lowest I had on hand) hung about 5" off the newspaper-covered cage floor. There's also a 3/4" air space between the cage bottom and the newspaper covered card table.

    The four Barred Rocks sat/slept on the periphery which indicated it was plenty warm. I bought a 40 watt bulb but even now they never get directly under the bulb and throughout the day they sleep away from the heat.

    They are getting feisty and jumpy and playful and peep at me seemingly to get my attention while I'm on the computer. I talk to them as I walk past the table throughout the day and when I'm feeding them and cleaning their cage so they don't seem to be jittery or frightened.

    Although I have the 24" long multi-holed plastic feeder I also place some feed in a low saucer which they seem to prefer. They also seem to like the feed scattered on a paper towel so they can pretend they are scratching for bugs. I clean the water and feed saucers 2x each day.

    I just finished making a 8' x 10' PVC Chicken Tractor. I'm thinking I can place their cage inside it a couple hours each day (under the partial roof) to get them acclimated.

  5. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    I'm glad someone said something about this also as I will have to be out of town for the day when our new chicks are at 2 weeks old. I will have a heat lamp for them but plan on putting it on a timer to cut off once it gets warm outside the barn or maybe I will turn it off before I leave home at 5:30 that morning. There will be people here at the house but not anyone who could deal with the chicks down at the barn. I will be gone for about 12 hours and plan to leave lots and lots of extra food and plenty of water bottles for them. I just worried they would get chilled during the morning before the sun comes up and warms the barn. However, that will be the end of May so I think 70 degrees outside should not hurt them too much.
    Now maybe I should worry about them getting too hot during the day. I can't leave the door open to the tack room because of cats and can't turn on a fan that early in the morning.
    Gosh, it is hard when you live so far from everyone.
  6. JenniferC

    JenniferC Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    Quote:Depending on how many you have, you could use my hot water bottle trick. A hot water bottle covered in a blanket will provide heat for a couple extra hours while the sun is rising. Maybe try it the day before you have to be gone and see how cold they seem.
  7. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    I never checked the temp either, and have never lost a chick. You can watch how they act and move the bulb accordingly. [​IMG]
  8. JenniferC

    JenniferC Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    OK, So I just actually took the temp at floor level right under the 60 watt bulb I have on them and it's 101 degrees! I little to the side it's still 90. I guess the bigger lights are necessary to cast heat over a wider area, but I'm surprised how much heat is given off by the 60 watt.
  9. kodiakchicken

    kodiakchicken Songster

    Apr 18, 2008
    Kodiak, Alaska
    I was worried about the heat issue too. However, I took the advice to watch the chicks. I have mine in a rubbermaid tote, which means no drafts, and they are in the house. I keep the house at 68 although it feels colder than that. I've used one of the round, reflective shop lights with a 40 watt bulb and haven't had a problem. I had a thermometer in there when they were two days old and it read 85 so I was trying to get it warmer. As soon as I put the head lamp in, even though it only said about 90, the chicks were trying to get away from it. Haven't had any sickness or anything. I think drafts are the biggest issue and from what I've read, getting too hot is worse that being a little cool.
  10. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

    I was worried when my chicks came and the heat would not go above 80 degrees but they where all fine I've not lost any and there now 7 weeks 3 days.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: