How to regulate temp for Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Dilly, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. Dilly

    Dilly Cooped Up

    Apr 15, 2008

    Okay, If I pick up some chicks find a nice place for the box, Get a heat lamp. How in the world do I regulate the temperature? I read where each week you drop the temp, come on how can you regulate a darn heat lamp?

    What does it take 6 or 7 weeks prior to being able to put them in the coop?

    ALso, What if I waited till summer, in California here when it stays eighty to one hundred degrees, will I still need to start them indoors? I guess so as it does cool off at night. Anyone have any CALIFORNIA Chick raising advice?

  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Regulate heat lamp by moving light closer or further away, OR get a dimmer switch and put it in series with your heat lamp.

    If day and night temps are warm enough, and you can meet their heat requirements and non draft requirements in the summer or winter, they can go outside. All mine are outside in outdoor brooders with heat lamps and it snowed over the weekend.
  3. Dilly

    Dilly Cooped Up

    Apr 15, 2008
    That will sure make hunny happy. I was thinking of using a plastic tub and place it inside the spare bathroom. We have a huge roman tub that we do not use, If I attach the lamp will this be sufficient, I am concerned that the plastic may get too hot or melt? lol
  4. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    You regulate the heat lamp by raising or lowering the lamp. As far as putting them in the coop. You want to be sure it can stay at a safe temp for their age.
    This is the advice I recieved on here. It has worked great! Thanks again to whoever you are!
    95Degrees 1 week
    90 2 weeks
    85 3
    80 4 and so on and so on..............
  5. Sparrow

    Sparrow Songster

    Apr 11, 2008
    I used to be really concerned about the plastic tubs melting, too, but I am using a 125 watt infrared heat lamp over a big Rubbermaid tub for my indoor brooder for my young ones(the 5-week olds just have a 60 watt incandescent bulb for light, not heat) and it hasn't been a problem. I just always make sure that the bulb and the metal lamp part are not touching the plastic sides, and that the light is not aimed directly at the tub wall. The sides near the light have gotten warm before, but nowhere near melting.

    My chicks were started in my spare bathroom, too, and now they have been moved into my bedroom. o.o I have 13 chickies between 2-5 weeks old and they are actually a joy to have inside my house. [​IMG] As long as you keep their tank clean and VERY dry bedding, make sure the room is well ventilated, and make sure they are at the right temperature, they aren't really all that smelly, messy, or loud.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2008
  6. Dilly

    Dilly Cooped Up

    Apr 15, 2008
    My initial concern was the tub being inside the bathrub, and getting too cold. But I guess the heat lamp will keep it warm. ALso you are supposed to use only paper towels right and theb you switch to shavings? instead of paper towels can I use a bath towel for warmth that first week or two?
  7. reallemons1

    reallemons1 Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    Gloucester, VA
    Your chicks will tell you if the temp is right. If they pile all on top of each other they are cold, if they sprawl all over and pant they are too hot. Be careful where the light is placed because melting the container is not good! (been there, done that HA HA) I use bath towels for flooring for a few days cause they eat stuff they shouldn't.
  8. ChelC

    ChelC In the Brooder

    Apr 11, 2008
    I used tubs and they did start melting. Scary, but we moved the light and it was okay. They're in the coop now with a couple heat lamps.
  9. Penske

    Penske Songster

    Dec 28, 2007

    How do you compensate for the overnight lows to keep the temp somewhat consistent?

    Our coop now at 10pm is at 61 deg, under the light is 91 (they have lots of room to come and go) and outside is 45, which is the forcasted low for the night. There are 13 chicks.
    Brooder is 19 sq ft. Chick warmer at opposite end that stays about 77. They do not sleep under it though-only the red 250 w infared.

    I am guessing that everything should stay constant-the coop temp will probably drop a bit more so I am overcompensating with the light at 91. They are 15 days old, so just starting at the 85 deg range. They are really feathering out nicely-cape feathers coming in now...tails are a little over an inch long. Some are starting to sleep with head tucked in wings! Too cute!!

    The whole heating thing makes me loose sleep and is a royal pain in the patootie! Oh, and the waterer spilling!!!


  10. sledzeppelin

    sledzeppelin In the Brooder

    Sep 21, 2007
    Embarrass, MN
    Let me share my recent sad experience so others won't make the same mistake. I have a big rubbermaid inside a dog crate (to keep out naughty kittens). I have the heat lamp (250 watt) suspended from the ceiling and a flat outdoor wall thermometer on the floor to see what the temp is at ground level. I had to use trial and error for the light height, but now I have it set just right. Moving it up and down just an inch or two changes the temp a few degrees.

    I have a long metal tray feeder in there. One morning I came down to find the feeder empty and a chick lying in it that looked dead. I stupidly had it near the lamp and I guess she fell asleep on it and overheated from the metal reflecting the heat back up at her. I thought she was dead for sure but after lots of nursing she's still very much alive, though acting quite strange so I'm afraid she might have gotten some brain damage.

    So, make sure you don't put a metal food dish right under or right near where your lamp is.

    I haven't had any melting problems with the rubbermaid. I started out with shavings from day one since that's what the farm supply store I got the chicks from used and recommended. I read on here to start with paper towels which seems like a good idea.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2008

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