How much light do they need once their heat lamp is turned off?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by concernedaboutchick, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. concernedaboutchick

    concernedaboutchick In the Brooder

    Jul 21, 2010
    I have a group of 4.5 week old chicks in a brooder in a spare room in my house; I unplugged the heat lamp yesterday since they're pretty well feathered out and should begin to adapt for the move outdoors in another few weeks but I guess I didn't realize how dark it is in that room without the heat lamp on. There's a window but it doesn't let a whole lot of sun in. So what should I do about lights? Should I just leave them as is, in the dark? Or should I turn on the lights in the room during the day and then switch them off again at night or something else? I've read about white light making them more aggressive so I'm unsure about keeping the overhead lights on during the day...turning them on when the heat lamp was still in would usually make them go crazy so I don't want to incite that for half the day. But leaving them in the dark doesn't seem like a good idea either. Any advice?
  2. sharol

    sharol Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    Warning: Newbie posting (inaccuracies may be present)

    I put a couple of full spectrum florescent bulbs in a shop light for mine. I like light, and I figured they would need it too. They had that light from the time they were a a week old (when I had to move the brooder away from the window to keep the dog from knocking it over) until I put them out in the coop/run at 4.5 weeks or so. I turned it on each morning about 7 and off at night about 8. When it was off they only had the red heat lamp for light, but it was night anyway so they could sleep. Toward the end I even put a towel across the roof of the brooder on one end to give them a darker place to sleep, and they all migrated that direction.

  3. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2010
    It has been so hot that my first chicks hardly got the heat lamp- I started them the first two weeks in the house. I put them outside in a brooder box 3 weeks ago. Tonight I put half in an open sided cage in the chicken coop to give them room as they were pretty crowded in the brooder box.

    As for light- they get whatever goes into the brooder box or pen and that is all natural light unless I am checking them in the middle of the night [​IMG]
  4. concernedaboutchick

    concernedaboutchick In the Brooder

    Jul 21, 2010
    I added a small lamp to the brooder room which I turn on during the day to give them a bit more light in there. I have a new question, though; should I turn their red heat lamp on at night? It gets pretty cold at night here, and though they're inside, there is an open window in the room with a window fan to blow/filter out all the dust from the room. I'm guessing the temperature of that room at night without the heat lamp would be between 60 and 65. Would that be too cold for them? Also, it would be pitch black in there at night with no heat lamp; would that be an issue as well?
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    If they are pretty well feathered, I would get them outside. Outside is cleaner, fresher air, better light, more space, just healthier all the way around. Start with 2-3 hours a day, if you are nervous, but get them outside, make sure they can get some shelter, like a box turned on its side, make sure there is a good bedding in the box, and then at night they can huddle up together, and be plenty warm enough. If you need to, put them in a small enclosure of the run/coop.

    Mine are 3 weeks old, have been outside with their mother since hatching. Granted mother is there, but now they are not laying underneath her, just long side her.

    You don't say what part of the country you are from, so your weather may be different, but mid to late August is plenty warm enough for mostly feathered chicks. Chickens are really healthier outside, as you mention the problem with the dust, healthier for both you and your chickens.


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