Ok, stupid question coming...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chicken quartet, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. chicken quartet

    chicken quartet In the Brooder

    Jun 12, 2008
    Corona, CA
    I just placed my first order of chicks from Ideal! They are not being shipped until July 16th so I have some time to get ready. My question is... what kind of light bulb do you use for the heat lamp? Does it have to be a special kind or can you use any old bulb? I bought the lamp today with the ceramic cover but it didn't come with a bulb. This is probably a really stupid question! I just have no idea! LOL These are my first day old baby chicks, I want to make sure they live!

    I'm getting:
    2 barred rock
    2 SLW
    1 GLW
    2 ameraucannas
    1 RIR
    1 buckeye

  2. purr

    purr Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    use a red light bulb you can buy at the feed store its 250 watt. the red lamp is better supposedly it inhibits them pecking. Don't ask me how but that's what someone on here said.
    Anyway hopefully this will boost your post and someone with more knowledge than I will weigh in.
  3. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    Yes the red 250 watt...I LOVE mine and so do my chicks...no pecking problems at all and they sleep sound too without it shining in their eyes all night long.
  4. A 250 watt infared bulb is generally recommended. The infared spectrum helps prevent them from picking each other and they sleep better since it needs to be on24/7 in the early weeks. You can get one at Home Depot or Lowes, it's the same infared bulb used in bathroom ceiling fixtures.

    You should also get a thermometer because cchicks need to be kept at 95 degrees after they hatch, decreasing 5 degrees per week until you can move them to their coop in 4-5 weeks. I used a $5 garden thermometer from Home Depot.

    Check out this BYC brooder thread .... you get s a ton of good ideas.



  5. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    I got my first round of day olds back in May. Here's what I discovered. Perhaps it will help. [​IMG]

    When I used the 250w red heat lamp in a test run, I spiked the temp to over 150 degrees in the brooder. Thankfully there were no actual chickens and I hadn't put the shavings in yet. It was toasty!
    Petsmart or Petco will have a reptile heat lamp that has a dimmer dial built into it. Get the 150w red lamp that goes in it. It's very nice to be able to just dial down the heat rather than figure out how to raise and lower the light.
    I ended up clamping the 250w lamp to the outside of the brooder (an old metal wire dog kennel). I aimed it diagonally across the brooder. I hung the 150w adjustable dimmer light on the inside of the brooder hanging straight down. It started out hanging pretty low and ended up as high to the top as it could get. The diagonal fixture kept the whole area at about 80-85ish and the straight down fixture added a warmer area in just part of the brooder.

    I used the thermometer for about a week and then gave up because it was making me crazy. The chicks avoided the areas of the brooder that were temperature "appropriate" and stayed in the cooler areas. I was constantly fiddling with the dimmer and checking the thermometer. Invariably someone was sitting on/pooping on/throwing chips on the thermometer. [​IMG] What ended up working was just watching the chicks and paying attention to the overall house temperatures. Mine came in May so the house temps varied considerably from day to day. There was always an area in the brooder that was a smidge warmer, but I found that they seldom hung out directly under either lamp. They did huddle together at bedtime, but I finally figured out that they just liked sleeping in a big pile. The silly chickens still do. They cram together on the roost as close as they can get, even though it is 90 something out there and there are other roosts to sit on.

    I eventually ditched the 250w light and just used the 150w one dimmed down about half. They moved out to the coop at around 4ish weeks and they've been going strong ever since.

    It's very easy to be neurotic about the babies. The best advice I ever got on here was to breathe and just enjoy. They are actually pretty tough little critters when you get right down to it.

    Have fun! Take tons of pictures every day. They change dramatically fast. That part really shocked me. Mine are two months old and they look like grownup chickens. It's pretty amazing. (If you click on my website and scroll to the bottom you can see pics starting at the box they came in running through to today, including pics of the heat lamps and brooder. I kept a running photo journal until the camera broke! Thankfully it is up and running again!)

    HAve fun! I have Ameraucanas/EEs, GLW and SLW as well. They're cool!
  6. purr

    purr Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    citygirl is probably right since its summer the 250 bulb might be a little much.
    and I didn't use a thermometer at all I just gauged the temp by how the chicks were acting if they all huddle under the light they are chilly if they are spread out to the edges as far away from the light as they can get , they are too warm.
    But if you use a thermometer they should be at 95degrees the first week and then deduct 5 degrees each week.

    Enjoy your new babies
  7. chicken quartet

    chicken quartet In the Brooder

    Jun 12, 2008
    Corona, CA
    Thank you guys so much for all the info! I went to Petco today (I actually work there) and bought a reptile light. It didn't come with a bulb so I wasn't sure. The lamp I bought is rated at 150 watt. I'm glad some of you said you used those! I didn't even think I would need a higher rated one. It's really hot out here so I think I can get by with the one I got. I think I'm going to get a thermometer too just so I can make sure the temp is right. I'm so excited to get my new chickies!

    City girl~ I love your website! I have 1 GLW that I love!! She is such a friendly chick. We got her from my niece's classroom after they hatched chicks. She will run up to you when you walk outside! We only have 3 chickens right now and I'm anxious to add to the flock. I'm counting down the days until my chicks ship! LOL
  8. Suess hens

    Suess hens Songster

    May 4, 2008
    Altadena, CA
    Quote:That's me. I actually keep my ears out, they make tons of noise if they are unhappy in anyway. Although they do make very happy chiruppy noises too. It is so hot outside anyway, during the day I use a broadspectrum reptile light. This is suppose to provide UV rays for the reptiles, and does not let off much heat...with our temps in the 100's some days and my brooder on the sun porch, I shut the light light off around 10, and back on around 7. With the last bunch using the reptile light they grew crazy fast it seemed. And no thermometer here, my hand and their reactions.
  9. mainchick

    mainchick Songster

    Jun 1, 2008
    Southern CA
    I live out here in So Cal too and I have always used a 60 watt "bug light" from walmart or target. it's super cheap and the dim light discourages picking. I have never lost a chick in the brooder box. i have lost a few in shipping and in hatching out. I have raised about 60 chicks (give or take) it's what we learned in 4H and what I teach my 4h ers now. it's never super cold out here so I think it works just fine.
  10. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Songster

    I agree with all the other posts.... here in so. california it is HOT! [​IMG] My five chicks are a month old. I put them in a large box with a 100 watt red light. They were fine for two weeks, then I pretty much shut it off. Their feathers were coming in, the house was warm, and they didn't make a racket when there was no light.
    My little blue cochin seemed to always sleep under the light, but she snuggled in with the others at night. They were fine.
    So much for watching the temps and reducing it by five degrees every week! [​IMG]


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