New to chicks and Brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JJHeavyChicken, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. JJHeavyChicken

    JJHeavyChicken New Egg

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    Hello All, over the last couple months I have spent countless hours browsing the forum here, gleaning information. I ordered my chicks today and have been told I should expect them Thursday. This brings me to my question, I am going to be brooding in my coop, I built the coop counting on this, it is insulated and draft free. Over the last couple of days I have been running the heat lamp trying to get it right. The coop floor is 6x6 , my question is how critical is the temperature directly under the light? There is plenty of room in the coop for them to get as far from or as close to the light as they would like. It just seems that if I put the light at one height it is 110f under the light, I move it up ever so slightly and it is 85 under the light, my thought is to err on the side of too hot, because I live in Pennsylvania and there is still cold weather to come, and they can just not sit directly under the light (are they this smart?) am I right in this thinking? These are my first chickens and I want to make sure I get it right. Thanks in advance!!!
     
  2. snow5164

    snow5164 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome , you'll find many ideas and opinions here...

    Heat lamp ? I bought one and returned it, it's not safe , start reading about the heating pad cave, it's safe and they love it, no fire risk!!!

    I feel it's important that they don't have access to the whole 6x6 foot area til they know where food , water and heat /home is.

    Some use a waiting pool, or a plastic bin , block off a corner , anything so you don't find one frozen in a corner , they can get stuck and lost[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]!!

    Prepare before they arrive ... they'll need you to be their mama[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I would suggest that you get a dimmer switch that can be attached to your heat lamp cord. This would allow you to fine tune the output under the lamp. An other consideration is this: Is the lamp pointing straight down? If it's at even a bit of an angle, you are going to find increased heat corresponding to the part of the lamp that is ever so slightly closer to the floor. How high is the lamp from the floor?

    And, just to give you something else to consider: have you thought about brooding with a heating pad? Those of us who have done so are so sold on this method that we would never consider going back to a heat lamp, unless we were brooding LOTS and LOTS of chicks. It is much safer. It takes the guess work out of using a heat lamp, gives the chicks a much more natural brooding experience instead of being under the bright "interrogation lamp" 24/7. The chicks feather out faster, have better social skills (imo) and sing themselves to sleep at night. Something I've never heard a heat lamp chick do. The chicks all go to bed at the same time, being acclimated to natural day/night cycles, instead of the awake and partying all night scenario seen with heat lamp chicks. There are always a few chicks in such a brooder that crash and try to sleep, only to be run over by a herd of wild party animals.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/956958/mama-heating-pad-in-the-brooder-picture-heavy-update
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  4. JJHeavyChicken

    JJHeavyChicken New Egg

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    I have read about the heating plate things, problem is, they produce zero radiant heat and require ambient temperature to be above 50 degrees, without the heat lamp temp inside the coop will be the same as outside. (Anywhere from teens to 60) , with the lamp on it is about 68 to 70 inside the coop, with it much warmer in the "hot spot" .
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I'm not talking about heat plate. Talking about heating pad. These work well down to freezing temps. If you're happy with heat lamp, then that is what you should use. merely offering you an other option.
     
  6. JJHeavyChicken

    JJHeavyChicken New Egg

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    I didn't mean to come off as confrontational, I apologize if I did. Truth is, it's what's in the budget, I'm sure I can easily section off part of the coop to make their area smaller.
     
  7. snow5164

    snow5164 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And you know what ?for a hundred years farmers used and still use them but us city/country folks decided there are better ideas now..... so try the heat lamp , personally I was to scared of a fire , I put out the money 2 1/2 years ago and my heating pad is still perfect, I don't do press and seal ( I don't do plastic)I put it in a few old pillow cases,

    In almost three years I would have bought 3 )$10 bulbs at least ... just saying [​IMG] and my hydro bill is also happy!!

    Enjoy setting up your way... love the coop[​IMG]
     
  8. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Hi from western PA. Nutty winter we are having, hub. I feel you. Use the lamp but make sure it has a wire guardian it so chicks don't bump it and break the bulb. Also that it cannot fall. I agree with the higher temp. The brooder is big enough the chicks can move in and out of the warmth as needed. 90 degrees is really a you need to start out. Can you get that with a 100 Watt incandescent bulb. One which is.not Teflon coated. Reason i ask is that 250 reds and incandescents work differently. The reds are a heat bulb and designed to heat *objects*in Thier realm of influence. That is why chicks sometimes get overheated with them. The incandescents just give offbeat as a side effect of being on. The chicks can. Share that heat as they will. That said i understand your problem with PA winters so do your best and use what you need for the weather extremes we have been seeing. Best, Karen
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    What I do....Section off a part of the coop....Wrap cardboard around the brooder to hold the heat inside..Hang the heat lamp and put a thermometer at Chick hight to get the temp right...Also remember the temps drop during the night....I usually brood my Chicks inside the house the first week and then move them out to the Coop brooder after that.....

    Best of luck with those Chicks.....Its easy if you don't over think it.....?.....;)


    Cheers!
     

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