Keeping chicks sufficiently warm- please help

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kreisherk, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. kreisherk

    kreisherk Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 12, 2013
    I am getting my first little brood of 6 chicks tomorrow morning. I set up a 105qt rubbermaid brooder with a light receptacle and dimmer switch at one end. I could not find 100 or 150 watt infrared bulbs and could only find 75 watt infrared that is used for reptiles or the 250 watt, which i think is too hot for the brooder I have. I've read that that 60 or 75 watt should be enough. But in a test run tonight I could only raise the temperature of the inside of the brooder to 80 degrees. Will the chicks body temp raise the temp higher or do I need to put in a stronger watt bulb? I know questions of this nature have been addressed but hadn't found an answer for my specific problem. TIA for any help.
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    If the chicks are new, they need at least 95 degrees the first week, 90 the second, 85 the third and so on....

    I'm in AZ and I still have a lamp for my 8 week old chicks.... but it will be unplugged on the 15th...
  3. mandelyn

    mandelyn Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    I don't use a red bulb, only white/clear. Depending on the brooder in use and the age of the chicks, I use regular incandescent bulbs, or the 150w brooder bulb. For my 95qt rubbermaid tote brooder, I used the 75w bulb. You only need to worry about the temp where the bulb hits, everything else can be cooler. I set the thermometer right under the light, since that's where the chicks will sit when they want to get toasty.

    The room temperature plays a role as well. Out in a garage or shed and you'll need the 250w this time of year.

    Any bulb over 75w has to have a ceramic base for safety, the plastic base can/will melt! All my brooders have wire tops, so I can cover the wire with a towel to retain heat or let it out. The older they get, the less covering there is. By 4 weeks there isn't a cover anymore.

    My 6 outgrew the tote at the start of the 3rd week. Be sure to have a larger space ready to avoid bickering and feather picking. I have a 3x3 dog welping box I've altered for chicks, it's the in between brooder before they go outside. (come on Spring!)

    Somewhere I heard to use the red bulbs so that they can sleep. They sleep just fine with the white bulbs, so I never switched. The only red bulb I saw was the 250w (never used one that hot).

    You want 95-99 that first week, then 5 degrees less each week after that as they grow feathers. I switch bulbs out as needed or change how much heat/air escapes.
  4. kreisherk

    kreisherk Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 12, 2013
    Thanks again for everyone's insight and help. I think I know what direction to go in now. You guys are the best! [​IMG]

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