Is fiberglass screen over my brooder flammable? And some other newbie questions :)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LoooAnnn, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. LoooAnnn

    LoooAnnn Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 2, 2013
    Hi All! We just welcomed three sweet chicks to our family - Cinderella (Rhode Island Red), Applesauce (Gold Comet) and Cecilia (Barred Rock) - each of my children were allowed to choose and name one :) We are all smitten with them :) They will be family pets for sure, but we are also so excited about fresh healthy eggs. This has been a dream of mine for a LONG time. My dad grew up on a farm so it must be in my blood, even though I live, and always have, lived in an urban area I have longed to live on a farm and homestead. So we do as much of that here as we can...

    My first question has to do with their heat lamp. I have them in a 60 gallon storage tub and I built a frame with fiberglass window screening to cover it, because I have small children and a cat and they indoors in our mud room for the time being. After I built the top I realized I hadn't looked to see if it was a safe material to use with the heat lamp basically sitting on top of it :( The sides are pretty high so to get optimal temperatures the light needs to hang pretty low. Anyone know the answer?

    [FONT=lucida grande, tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif]And about the temperature, because our 3 girls have a fair amount of space I have read that they will find their correct temperature where they are getting the heat they need, which they seem to be doing....so I have our lamp directly above my thermometer, which reads higher than we want as it is at one of the long ends making it the hottest part of the brooder. They obviously aren't sleeping directly under the lamp and their behavior seems normal, active and happy. They are kind of noisy at times, usually when they are eating and running around? They do huddle and sleep together - is that a definite sign they are cold? (what I have read). I feel like their temp is fine and it's a comfort thing, as they would naturally be touching their sibling and snuggled under a warm mama hen right now if they were left to nature.[/FONT]

    [FONT=lucida grande, tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif]Regarding their thermometer, the only thing I could seem to find was an "outdoor" digital thermometer that sticks to your window. I tested it inside and it seems to read the temperature correctly, anyone know if this is indeed true?[/FONT]

    [FONT=lucida grande, tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif]Thank you!!!!![/FONT]
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I don't know about the fiberglass, sorry. I use expanded metal to keep the barn cats out of the brooder, but I brood in the barn (thus barn cats, not inside cats lol).

    Sounds like your temps are good. If they're sleeping directly under the lamp and huddled together, they're too cool. Ranging around the edge of the heat is the optimal area. They should be noisy and active most of the time! I don't use a thermometer, I go by the behavior of the chicks. As they get older, I do raise the heat up to provide less supplemental heat for them. I don't go by so many degrees a week, I just do it when I think of it. I think too much supplemental heat for too long keeps them from feathering out like they should.

    Have fun with your chicks! I remember having littles and letting them name animals...we had a litter of kittens named Hotdog, Corndog and Fudge!
     
  3. LoooAnnn

    LoooAnnn Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 2, 2013
    Thanks Donrae, that is what my instincts were telling me to do (that is how I raised my own kids)...I went without a thermometer at all for the first few days but kept reading how it was imperative, so I got one out of fear. And those are GREAT names!! Someday I hope to be brooding my chicks in a barn :) But honestly I think I'd be a wreck....I can hardly imagine moving them to the garage let alone a coop in the back yard. I am like a nervous first time mom I swear - when they aren't chirping I am in there checking on them and then if they start chirping I'm back in there to make sure everything is OK. At least they are getting use to us and plenty of handling and love, especially from my kiddos. Thanks again for the feedback, it all makes me feel much more confident.
     

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