Nighttime in the brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by smkchick, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. smkchick

    smkchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 3, 2011
    Lawnguyland
    I turned the light off on the "brooder" last night and tonight to give the babies (3 weeks old) a taste of night. It's plenty warm enough in there and I think they need to have a break from the constant light. They did great. Didn't even huddle together. Any thoughts on that? Is it a good idea to get them conditioned to sleeping in the dark? Made sense to me but that doesn't mean much!
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  2. lswatson111304

    lswatson111304 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2009
    Milano, TX
    I was wondering about them being in the dark. I have my brooder outside on my porch and just a small light in there with them. I turn it off during the day but if I get home late and its dark I feel bad! LOL
     
  3. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Colorado
    smkchick - what kind of light bulb are you using for heat? If it is red then it doesn't disturb their sleep patterns at all but they still have light to get up and move around if they want. I am pretty careful about not letting the birds get cold though - I have lost a few to the cold (buried under the others and smothered) and rather keep the light on until I am sure they will not need it. Obviously your weather is not too bad at the moment - just don't get too confident, put the light on if it is going to cool down too much at night. Does them no harm to have no light as long as it is warm enough for their feathering and body size. Good luck!
     
  4. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Colorado
    According to the info I have from a number of different sources - at three weeks they need a temperature of about 85 F. If it is much lower they may grow a lot more slowly and you also run the risk of illness or getting smothered... I am certainly not an expert, but they are not very big at all at three weeks, be careful.
     
  5. FuzzyButtsFarm

    FuzzyButtsFarm Rest in Peace 1950-2013

    I use a black light in my brooders cause I got tired of the all night brooder parties that would wake me up. It gives them a rest at night and doesn't mess up their light cycle. They have done great with it. They get natural day light all day and cuddle up and sleep all night.
     
  6. smkchick

    smkchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 3, 2011
    Lawnguyland
    There are only three of them and they don't huddle. I figured if they were all huddled up, they were too cold. But they sleep side by side, not on top of one another. It felt a little cool in the room, so I turned on the heat in there.

    I should add that the "brooder" consists of a box off my bedroom. (don't you feel sorry for them?) I've been using a 100 watt regular incandescent bulb in a work lamp 2 feet above the box (so they can't reach it). Last night they were in the corner away from the light, so I figured they were too warm. Just to see what happened, I turned off the light and they settled right down and went to sleep.

    A little more giggling from the girls tonight, but when I checked on them, two were side by side, barely touching, and the third was a little distance from them. With the heat on in the room, it will be close to 80 by morning, for sure.

    If that will affect their growth, I'll put them back under the light 24/7. They aren't acting cold and seem to be doing just great. Am I being an overprotective mommy? (My daughter didn't sleep in my room this long!)

    Just tryin' to do the best for the girls...
     
  7. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    My chicks didn't need/want that much heat at 3 weeks. The temps at night have dropped down to the low seventies in the coop and they've been doing fine with that. They're also outside during the day in 60s/low 70s weather. They come in once in a while to warm themselves under the heatlamp but then out they go again.

    They are now 4 weeks old and I am going to pull up the heatlamp more this evening. From everything I've read is that if you expose them gradually to cooler temps they will feather out more quickly and be prepared for the colder winter temps earlier. So that's my strategy, but having said that, I do keep an eye on them to make sure they're not on top of each other either. Which hasn't happened, even when it was colder in the coop at night.

    It might depend on the breed but my batch seems to be pretty hardy. They've feathered out pretty standard, now covered for about 75% with feathers at 4 weeks, active, healthy and curious.
     
  8. smkchick

    smkchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 3, 2011
    Lawnguyland
    From everything I've read, the best way to judge their comfort is through their behavior. I turned off the light because they were moving away from it. And since they're not huddling together, I guess they're not cold. I turned the heat on in the room last night because it seemed cold, but they looked like they were doing a little panting this morning, so I shut it off early. I think I'll drop the wattage on the bulb and see how they do.

    I'd like to get them used to the colder weather because I'd like them to be out in the coop as soon as it's healthy for them.

    Love my girls!
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  9. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 2, 2011
    New Hampshire
    Quote:I agree, I have an ecoglow brooder- my chicks are 3 weeks- they are in a room that drops to low 60's for the past 2 weeks as I leave the window open and provide a block for drafts, they are fine and play all day occasionally going under the heat. They stay under the heat all night and I really think it's because the lights are out and they know where to go. In the morning they chirp chirp and when I turn on the lights out they come running to eat and poop and play [​IMG]
     

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