light for incubator


6 Years
Jun 14, 2013
My chicks were going to be hatching soon so I started putting my brooder box together last night. This morning I noticed a few eggs rocking back and forth so I knew it was going to be soon, so I turned the red heat lamp I bought from Orcheln's. When I came in later to check on it I noticed the heat in the brooder was up to 140 degrees! I turned the lamp off and replaced it with just a regular 60 watt bulb. That was still too hot, going up to 110 degrees. I ran to Lowe's and bought a lamp dimmer and I've been able to get the heat down to where it needs to be now (which is good because as of this moment I have 4 chicks hatched and others trying to pull out of their shells). While at Lowe's though I saw a flood light that said it was dimmable. It was a 23W R40 soft white fluorescent bulb (120w). I asked the salesman if it would warm up and he said yes, that it was the LED bulbs that were cool. I bought it to try, but thought I would check with everyone here. Can you use fluorescent bulbs? Should I just stick with the 60w light bulb?
I'd be wary of that high of a wattage if your set up is like mine.

The problem I ran in to is dimming a high wattage bulb to be low enough to not cook my chick's made it extremely unreliable. It'd just go dark at random. Maybe yours is higher up and won't have to be dimmed so much. Mine is a plastic storage thing with the lamp on the lid.

I use a 60 watt yellow "bug" light bulb now and it's perfect.
My set up sounds a lot like yours. I have a 50 gallon plastic tote. I took some 1/2 by 1/2 sheet wire and covered half of it. I have the light sitting on top of that.

I have the 60w on it now and with the dimmer I have it down to 100 degrees. I just wasn't certain that's what others used. We do have a 40w yellow bug light in my cabinet. I didn't think I would be able to use it, but when my 60w burns out that's what I'll replace it with. Thanks!
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By the way, how long to y'all leave the chicks in the incubator? I've been looking on older threads and can't seem to find anything.
Oh man I've read so many answers to that. Again I'm no expert but I went with ASAP after they're dry and fluffy with the hope they can live 12-24 hours if I happen to be away

I think they're at that fluffy point within an hour or few. I always miss the actual hatch so I'm guessing there

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