LIGHTING........what is the purposse of red and/or blue bulbs???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LittleMamaBigPapa, May 8, 2009.

  1. LittleMamaBigPapa

    LittleMamaBigPapa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am currently just using a 125 watt white heat bulb. Do I need to be using a colored bulb? I have had my BOs for 1 week as of today. The temp at the bottom of the brooder (just below the light) is 96.5. Is this a good temp??? They seem to be just fine. I just dont know when I should decrease temp and by how much.

    Thank you!!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

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    the reason for a colored bulb is it decreases the risk of them pecking each other- i am new to this,and that is what was told me- i just love my BO gals!
     
  3. antlers

    antlers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Post above is correct on the color usage. On temps, recommended is start at 9-95 and decrease 5 degrees a week. That said, watch your birds. If they spend a lot of time right under the light they likely are too cool. Hardly ever go under it? Likely too warm. They should use the whol box equally. They will tell you wnat they want if you can observe and read the signs.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Quote:This is, in the main, correct.

    The red infrared heat lamps are soothing compared to the harsh glaring light of incasdescent lamps. This makes for a calm and relaxing brooder. Use of red lamps also helps decrease the eating of litter among chicks.

    These lamps have a focused output, too, with a wide range of adjustment. I use a dimmer cord with mine and then I can lower or raise the output as desired.

    But the the third thing about the red lamps is the most sublime of all. Chicks have a nasty habit of pecking each other, as mentioned. It is part of their "survival of the fittest," jockeying for position - what we call the *pecking order.*

    This incessant pecking and badgering of one another can turn ugly when, as occasionally happens, a bit of blood is drawn.

    Chickens are naturally hunters and foragers, and are attracted to the color red. When a bit of blood is let during the chick squabbling, it is all the more obvious under harsh white light.
    Once this is noticed by the group, the injured chick can be beat down badly by the "gang" - to the point of death, in extreme cases.
    But the soft, red light makes the spot of blood disappear so no undue attention is drawn to it.

    There should be only one small white light directly over the food and water, so they can find it easily. I use a small 7W night-lite type bulb. Chicks may have a hard time finding the water and feed in the first 10 days, and this helps guide them to it.

    ==============================================

    Within a few weeks of hatching, I wean them off the red light. I get them on a normal diurnal schedule, eventually combining regular house lights with the red heat lamp until they are feathered and can go outside.

    It seems a lot of trouble I suppose. But we are rearing them artificially here and so pains must be taken. Chicks, for all their appeal, are rather "dim bulbs" themselves and need some help in the beginning.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  5. LittleMamaBigPapa

    LittleMamaBigPapa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you everyone. My 3 girls play "tag" when I let them run around on the carpet, but seem to be pretty friendly in the box. They all sleep together too (in or near the little boxes in the photo). I have had them a week today. If they all seem ok together at this point, do I need the red light or can I just keep doing what I am doing? I was going to get a 100 watt lamp though because my light is the highest it can go on my stand. Until then I just have it positioned at the very end of the box over the food.
     
  6. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use red lamps to begin with but yours should be just fine. Like said before I adjust my lamp by watching the chicks. If they are huddled under it in a ball I drop it lower and if they are far away from it I raise it. Enjoy them!
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Davaroo is correct, of course. But, many use white light; probably no need to waste a bulb if they are not pecking. I'd go ahead and drop the wattage.

    If you're in a WalMart or similar, and buying bulbs anyway, they have red light bulbs, not heat bulbs, at different wattages. They are fine. Then you'll have them for the next batch, in case they are a pecking bunch!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2009
  8. LittleMamaBigPapa

    LittleMamaBigPapa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great info!! thanks. I will decrease the watts and look for a red bulb for a future group of chicks. [​IMG]
    thank you BYC peeps!
     
  9. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Quote:Remember you are after the infrared heat lamps, not just red. The infrared lamps are supremely useful and not at all expensive. That is a main goal: utility with results. I also use my infrared bulbs for a bit of heat in the winter.
    (Simply adding red colored bulbs merely turns your brooder into a chicken frat house. Might as well add a disco ball while you're at it.)

    Add a dimmer cord and you can vary the heat output, so you dont need to raise and lower the light. Very handy and even more utility. These things, bulbs and dimming cords, can be had at WalMart.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2009
  10. LittleMamaBigPapa

    LittleMamaBigPapa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you David (Davaroo),
    I wondered about that previous suggestion to get a red bulb (but not a heat bulb). It makes more sense to have a red heat (infared) bulb to meet both needs.

    As so many have acknowledged: BYC is so adictive and amazing!! The valuable info from all you veteran Chick people is very much appreciated.
     

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