New Mom (almost) needs advice!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by [email protected], Nov 9, 2009.

  1. Mikki7.sharpe@comcast.n17

    [email protected] Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 21, 2009
    Hi all!

    I am a soon to be new mom, and have been reading this forum, and many books about chicken rearing... I am due to receive 25 chicks later this week.

    Yesterday I set up the brooder, a 4x4x2 wooden box. 3 inches of pine shavings, layer of newspaper for the first few days. A 250 watt IR lamp, cardboard encircling most of the box to eliminate the sharp corners. The lamp is about 14 inches from the floor, and I am getting temperature readings at 95 to 98 directly next to the lamp, but 70 at the other end of the brooder. This seems like a huge temperature difference in such a short distance, so I put a piece of plywood over the cooler end, and will get some temperature readings later in the day. Should I cover the whole thing with hinges wood to help keep the heat in? The brooder is in an enclosed garage.

    How many hours / days will it take to warm the apparatus to give me accurate readings?

    I realized after I placed the chick order that as a first time brooder mom this was the bad time of year for it, but we were having a very warm indian summer period, and I have only lived in the Sacramento area for 1 1/2 years. OK, bad decision, but now I need to make sure I keep these little guys alive and happy. They are arriving Wednesday or Thursday.

    Is there anything else I should do? Thanks so much for any answer or feedback you can give me!
     
  2. RevaVirginia

    RevaVirginia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC. The peeps will gauge their comfort distance to the light. Suggestions....read/read/post/read/read/search(upper right area of this page)/read/post/read...but have fun doing it.
    You're in for more than you bargained for good and bad....
    [​IMG]
     
  3. dovecanyon

    dovecanyon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2009
    Niland, CA
    Please don't use newspaper for new chicks. Use something like paper towels that is not slippery.
     
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    May I suggest using paper towels instead of the newspaper? Newspaper can be slippery after they poop on it and they can damage their little legs. In the Sacramento climate you should be fine - have fun with them!
     
  5. Mikki7.sharpe@comcast.n17

    [email protected] Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 21, 2009
    Newspaper is out! I will put paper towels in this afternoon. I didn't think about the slippery part... I leave the papertowels (cleaned) for two or three days?
     
  6. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    2-3 days sounds just about right. Its mainly just so they can learn what is food and what is not. I tried mine without the paper towels to begin with but they tried to eat the pine shavings, so I covered the shavings with paper towels for a couple of days until they learned that the only food available was in the feeder.
     
  7. juliect

    juliect Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    I personally wouldn't cover the entire brooder with plywood. Chicks need warmth, but ventilation is equally important. I would trust the bulb, those things put off a LOT of heat, just asked my left ear, I burnt it on the bulb when I leaned into the brooder too far trying to catch a pasty butt.

    Good luck!!!
     
  8. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You might put the lamp over the middle of the 4' by 4' brooder, rather than at one end (if it's possible with your set up to do that). That way the chicks would have more room to find the temperature range comfortable for them.

    And I agree with the other commenter about not enclosing the brooder; it might get too hot in there, and chicks need to be able to move away from the heat when they want to. Consider that in nature, they'd be following a hen out and about the yard shortly after hatching, only moving under her feathers for warmth periodically.
     
  9. Mikki7.sharpe@comcast.n17

    [email protected] Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 21, 2009
    I can definitely move things around. Right now the lamp is about 14 inches from the bedding. How low can I hang the light? Does it matter as long as I get the 95-100 degree range without giving them access to touch it?
     
  10. missrose

    missrose Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2009
    Mesa, AZ
    I was scared that my chicks would touch the light too! They figured out that it was hot after a while. I hung the light using lots of zip ties. hope your experience with chicks is a good one [​IMG]
     

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