Keeping my chicks warm. PLEASE HELP!

Wyandotte Girl

10 Years
Oct 7, 2009
I am a first timer with raising chicks.
I cant find any information anywhere, whether there isnt any or i am just computer illiterate.
I need to know how long to keep the warming light above my chicks pen.
Also if anyone could please tell me what the best sort of light to use is and how many watts it needs to be.
I only have 2 chicks at the moment so it doesn't have to be anything huge.
There are no old style light bulbs left anywhere as they have just banned them in South Australia and have bought in energy saving halogen light bulbs that don't put off much heat.

ANY help and suggestions would be great.
temp needs to be around 90 , and you can lower it as the get feathers... and depends on how big the box is for the lighting I had a small one so i had a 40 watt and I used the new light bulbs too so thats ok
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you shoudl be able to find a brooder light and bulb at a hardware store if you dont have a normal one that will put off heat. they need to be kept really warm the first few weeks.
I foud a 100watt heating bulb and reflector shade like this
at a reptile store.
Lower the temp each week by 5 degrees , this will help them feather out. I did this for first 4 weeks. Now only have light on up by ceiling in coop till they get a little bigger. THen no light unless it gets really cold or I need to supplement light this winter.
Remember to watch the chick's to see if they act hot or cold. Hot chick get far away from the light, cold ones huddle under it. From what I have read, the ideal is to see them congregating somewhere in between just udner the light and the outside edge of the box...that means they can move in to get warming or out to get cooler as needed.

(All experts, feel free to correct if needed.)
my brooder is half covered with cardboard with the light shinning mostly in the uncovered side. my 1.5 wk old chicks were sleeping (not piling up) in two corners diagonal from each other, one covered and one not. i thought they were too warm, so i reduced the bulb from 100w to 75w.

today i almost doubled the size of the brooder because they didn't have much room to roam with 2 waterers and the feeder. the 75w bulb is currently shining mostly in one uncovered corner. now they are sleeping (still not piling) in the corner opposite the light (same side, but covered). the thermometer says it's only 80 degrees under the light, which seems to cool at this stage, but they don't seem stressed. when they are awake, they roam about the entire brooder.

am i just worrying too much or do i need to adjust something?
How do you lower the temp? Move the lamp further away each week?

I was figuring that I'd use the lamp for the first 4 weeks or so, then go to an oil based heater. The room I'm brooding in is insulated and small, so it will retain heat really well.

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