Lighting for baby chicks....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jen61975, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. jen61975

    jen61975 New Egg

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    Mar 15, 2011
    HI all!! I'm new to this site and love it already [​IMG]

    I've read the book Story's guide to "Raising Chickens" and comprehend all of it but one thing and that is how much lighting to use when I brood my chicks when they arrive next Monday. Is the 250 watt red heat lamp I plan to use enough (for the lighting) or should I supply another (white) light source?? In the book it states..."Those hatched from Aug-March need controlled lighting to delay maturity..". My (26) chicks will have been hatched on March 19th. I've read that they need light constantly the 1st 48 hrs so they can find their food and water so will the red light suffice? What do they mean by "delaying maturity"?? Also, we will be brooding ours in the garage where the natural light is very limited. It seems chicks raised naturally by their mother would incur darkness in the real world so should my heat source come from something other than a light? Any of my questions you answer would be much appreciated!

    THANKS ALL!!
    Jen
     
  2. amynbrent

    amynbrent Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm new too, I have 13 chicks that we are keeping in our garage, we've had them a week today. We have the 250 red heat lamp and that is all we have and it's working just fine. If they are too hot they move away from the light if they are cold they go under the light. They also all huddle together. I actually expected to lose more than the one we did...he squeezed out of the cage and couldnt get back in and got too cold. Other than that they are all thriving. I took them out today to let them run around the garage and they ran back to their cage. Some even flapped their little wings. This is a new experience for all of us and so far seems pretty easy!
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I brood mine in the barn, two windows but it is a little gloomy. I just use the red light for warmth and light and my birds do fine. Be sure the chicks can get out from under the heat, they need to be able to move from warm to cool. I usually put the food and water at the other end of the brooder from the light, encouraging them to move around. If it's really dark in the garage you might want to leave the light on, I wouldn't set up a seperate light for the chicks. I don't think the electricity used will matter that much, the overhead vs a plug-in light.

    I've heard that about delaying maturity and really don't understand it. My summer born chicks (june, july) have matured fine and usually start laying for me in the late fall. I think it's mostly a high-production thing, not so much what those of us who have backyard flocks worry about.
     
  4. startingover

    startingover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never supplied another light besides the heat lamp when I used one. I now use a sweeter heater and turn out the light at night. If you think about it - when a mom broods the chicks - they sleep at night under her and don't go eat and drink. I think the chicks need their sleep. So lights on in the day and lights off at night.

    I do have to work with the chicks a little to get them settled down and near the heater when I turn the light off. They are a week old now and getting the routine - Before I even come in to turn out the light they are getting settled in for the night just like adult birds would.
     
  5. bietsch624

    bietsch624 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have our six little chickies in a Rubbermaid tub with a 60 watt light. This is the third little brood we've raised this way and they all seem fat and happy.
     
  6. jen61975

    jen61975 New Egg

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    Wow thanks guys and gals for all the informative feedback!! Cant wait to share my own stories on here [​IMG] your replys give me more confidance now.

    Jen
     
  7. jen61975

    jen61975 New Egg

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    @startingover, ive researched that sweeter heater and i think i would definitely invest in one of those if we plan to brood lots of batches of chicks, sounds like a great $$saver (electricity)!!
     
  8. QCFChicks

    QCFChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    im new also and have 9 chicks that are close to a month old. just reading this conversation and got to wondering how long they need to be under a heat lamp? It still gets pretty cold at night at my house so turning the light out (in my opinion) isnt an option. Just looking for a general rule of thumb. thanks
     
  9. jen61975

    jen61975 New Egg

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    @QCF I've read that you lower the temp (starting at 95) by 5 degrees till you reach about 70 degrees in the daytime. If the temp falls below 60 at night it's good to warm the area to at least 60 degrees for the first 3 months of chicks lives. This might be a little much but it's just what I read and I think it's a general rule. We're in Michigan so I'm sure we'll be brooding our little guys for at least 2 months. Hope that helps [​IMG]

    Jen
    [​IMG]
     
  10. startingover

    startingover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:There were several reasons why we decided to go with the sweeter heater. First the safety of it. It doesn't get hot enough to catch anything on fire. Last time I used a heat lamp the bulb actually came out from the part you screw in. Literally it slipped out. How easily that could have started a fire. Our barn that we are finishing was a 100 year old barn that we painstakingly took down piece by piece and moved home and are rebuilding. I want to eliminate every possibilty of fire I can.

    Second reason was electricity. That's 150 less watts we're using now. When I am incubating hundreds of babies (always start with a batch or 2 of chickens and then hatch hundreds of guineas until October) that's a long time for 250 watts per light to run! Oh my!

    Third was that we wanted darkness at night. More natural.

    I do love the sweeter heater!
     

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