Question for those who do not use a thermometer in the brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by purplepeep, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. purplepeep

    purplepeep Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 9, 2009
    Northern Ontario
    I have not been using a thermometer in the brooder with the chicks, I have just been watching their behaviour, and adjusting the temp. accordingly. I have a 250W clear heat lamp wired onto a dimmer switch, so that the temp. can be adjusted without moving the lamp around. What I would like to know is how others who do not use a thermometer in the brooder go about lowering the temp. each week? Do you just watch the chicks, and they'll let you know when they are ready for less heat? The book I have says to start at 32C and go down 2-3C each week until you reach 20C, at around 6 weeks of age. Any thoughts?
  2. new-roo

    new-roo Scrambled

    Oct 19, 2007
    Just watch how they are reacting, if they are completely away from light, I put in a lower watt bulb, till the chicks start hanging out under the light again.
  3. kycowgirlchick

    kycowgirlchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    We dont have a thermometer in our brooders. I have found it difficult to get it just right. We fixed the light toward the end so that if they are hot they can get away from it. But these cold nights we have lost some due to crowding under the light. So during the night we have been partially covering the screen doors to keep the heat in. I am considering wiring them to a thermostat some how.
  4. augustmomx2

    augustmomx2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2008
    Central Indiana
    I always just watch my chick's behavior when it comes to the heat. I moved my chicks out to the coop when they were 2.5wks old. I just watch their behavior. They have enough room to cuddle and keep warm or enough room to roam to get away from the heat lamp. All my chicks have been thriving and are doing fine. (they are now 4.5wks).

    My mom & dad used to raise chickens & my mom just rolls her eyes when I start talking about temps and decreasing every week. She says they are hardy animals and will be fine so long as they have a heat lamp & eachother. She has been right so far [​IMG]
  5. lil'chickies

    lil'chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2009
    West Texas
    Just watch them, like everyone else is saying. Mine have enough room to get away from it during the day when our temps get up. Then they can get under it at night. Just watch how they act. The crazy weather doesn't help at all. Hot then cold. Think the cold is over, then another cold front comes in. I'm waiting till they are fully feathered to go without a light.
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Mine are 7 weeks, in an airish coop. I still have the heat lamp on at night because I'm a softie. Lows are mostly around 50 tho we had a 30 night a couple of days ago, odd for us. Some still gather under it -- others sleep on the opposite wall, in the breeze, 6' or more from the heat.

    I feel the important thing is enough space, so the ones who want the heat can find it, and the rest can get away from it. Mine are basically the same age, I'm sure within the same week, but even as week olds they varied a lot in how warm they wanted to be. My brooder was about 6' long for 51 chicks, with the heat at one end, so they had a cool space. They slept all over the place in there. Some always slept around a corner where they were shaded from the heat lamp. I worry as much about cooking them as chilling them. I don't think chicks had this much heat 50 years ago; maybe a few more died, but the ones who survived were hardy....
  7. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    yep watch them and then when I feel like they need less heat I take away the 250 or 150 watt and replace with a 75 watt. I have never used a thermometer with my brooders. never had them get to cold or over heat either.
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    [​IMG] I did not use a thermometer with my original chicks. I used a plain white 60 watt bulb in their lamp. I just watched their behavior.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  9. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    Same here. They have a lot of room to move from the light if too hot. I do however, raise the (red) light up every weekend.

    [​IMG] form Kansas.
  10. Crickett

    Crickett Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Heart of Dixie
    I just use a plain white 60 watt bulb. During the day they wander all over the place, at night-time though they like to curl up under it. They seem to be doing alright, but I'll probably keep checking, just to make sure.

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