How many heat lamps for 50 chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by warmfuzzies, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. warmfuzzies

    warmfuzzies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boondocks, Colorado
    I am getting 55 chicks in a couple of weeks. I have never brooded this many at one time before, and I am wondering if I need two lamps. I have two, but I have never needed to use them both for the same batch before. Our temps have been around 40 at nights and between 60 and 80 in the daytime, but I am sure it will probably freeze before they get here. They will be in a wooden enclosed chicken coop, I think it is insulated, with a couple of vents.

    I have also never had fall chicks before. How old do they need to be before I can shut the heat lamp off at night? I normally do it when they are feathered and it is warm, but I am afraid that it will have to be on most of the winter now. Our normal lows are between 10 and 30 degrees, but it can get down to -20. Any ideas?
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I have brooded chicks in the winter before and found that they really needed heat at night until they were 2 months old. They didn't have the meat on their bones needed to keep warm I found.

    I would recommend two lamps to prevent piling deaths.
  3. warmfuzzies

    warmfuzzies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boondocks, Colorado
    Thanks! I thought that I had read to use two somewhere... but I wasn't sure and couldn't find it again. [​IMG]
  4. CupOJoe42

    CupOJoe42 CT Chicken Whisperer

    Apr 11, 2011
    Save money on electricity and buy a Brinsea EcoGlow 50 chick brooder. It uses radiant heat and has adjustable legs so you can raise it and lower it as needed. No need to buy different wattage bulbs or worry about raising and lowering heat lamps or fires. I have both the EcoGlow 20 and the EcoGlow 50 and have NEVER lost a chick. They are fantastic!
    1 person likes this.
  5. katiemdenne

    katiemdenne Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 3, 2012
    Campbell River
    I'm curious what you ended up doing for your 50 chicks? I have 56 coming in early April, and I am just in the process of figuring out their living situation. I'd be interested in your whole design and any pics would be great! Thanks :)
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I've been doing 25 in a batch with the brooder as shown. It is merely a 5x8 sided utility trailer. I use a small landscape timber across it as a light bar. Safe, secure and flexible. With three fixtures, I can turn on as few or as many, in any combination of 90Watt, 150watt, or 250watt that is required.

    I'll be getting a flock of commercial pullets in a month, but we're also contemplating doing 50 White Rock cockerels for a customer who has requested them. If I brood fifty, I'll double or triple the light bars. I would not want 50 chicks piling up under one lamp. Back in the day, we'd brood 250 chicks right on the coop floor, under a hood. I've no idea whatever happened to that old hood. I'd love to have it again for larger brooding batches.

    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  7. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    The amounts of light(s) you need will varying depending upon many factors. You should setup your brooder a week or so before the chicks arrive. Turn the heat lamps on and then monitor it for 24 hours or so to see what the temperature is. This will let you know if you need to add lights or adjust the position of your lights. It you need to make changes, retest when you are done.

    In the picture above the number of lights needed could be reduced you a cover were put over most of the brooder. Even tarps would help hold in the heat. I cover most of my brooder with a sheet of plywood..
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Oh yes, there are pieces of plywood that get laid over the top. They just weren't in this photo, as it wasn't needed on that particular day. But thanks for reminding us of using "covers" to assist with holding the heat in, as needed. That's the key. As needed. Flexibility. Some days are 60F and some days are 30F. It's spring after-all.

    But the number of lamps isn't just about heat. It is also about creating enough sleeping space to discourage piling on. Having more than one lamp is also a kind of fail safe. Bulbs do burn out. Having some backup is a positive thing.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Fred, I love your brooder on wheels. [​IMG] Great use for a piece of equipment otherwise not in use.
  10. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Bee, gotta tell you. It's wonderful in that I only have to clean it once, Hook it on the tractor and sweep it out in the field. Done.
    But, having the trailer tied up for 6 weeks? Got to plan carefully, but still. Sure enough, something comes up and it's not available. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012

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