Newbie, too hot or cold?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Demonwolf37, May 22, 2016.

  1. Demonwolf37

    Demonwolf37 New Egg

    May 21, 2016
    I'm brand new to chicken raising, and I just brought home my first five chicks on Friday. They're a week old and very active.

    My question is this. When they were being kept at the school, they always huddled by the heat lamp, but now that they're home they always sleep farthest from it. I had thought they might be too hot, but they also huddle together while they sleep- which I thought implied that they were cold. Is it just that they like that particular corner, or are they too hot? Before I moved the heat lamp farther away, they had been panting, but they aren't anymore.

    I'm using a 250 watt bulb just over a foot over the brooder on one side, but the other side is unheated. The chicks sleep in the unheated side, but they definitely don't avoid the heated side, they just don't sleep there. They're very active, but take semi-frequent naps. How do I tell if they're too hot or cold?
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    I would say a 250 bulb would be pretty hot, depending on the size of your box. If the chicks move as far away from the light as possible to rest, they are probably too warm. Better for them to be spending their time not directly under the lamp or as far as possible, but somewhere in between. Locate your food and water in the cooler part of the brooder, so they don't have to go into the hot zone for them.

    Here is a link to a chick raising article in the Learning Center -

    And welcome to BYC [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  3. RonC

    RonC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2012
    Depending on how many and the ambient temp where they are I'd try going to 100w heat lamp bulb or raising the one you have. It's all I used indoors and all they have outdoors now at night. They will always sleep close to each other.. If they are cold they will be dogpiled on each other. Set a thermometer on the floor of the brooder under the light to check the temp
  4. mclanea

    mclanea Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2016
    San Diego
    I put a cheap outdoor thermometer in our brooder box just to keep track of the temp, especially since you're supposed to reduce the heat as the weeks go by. We also just switched from the 250W bulb to the 100W bulb and it's been fine.

    You got this. If we can do it, so can you.

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