Quick brooder question...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by misspoppins, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. misspoppins

    misspoppins Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2008
    Alabama
    I didn't see an answer to this question in the learning center so...

    I was just wondering, are you supposed to leave the heat lamp in your brooder on the babies for the first six weeks, all the time? Or can you turn it off when they start to get a little bigger?

    Thanks for the help! [​IMG]
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    You need to have the light to keep the temp. at the appropriate levels depending on the age of the chicks. That is, 90-95 degrees the first week, decreasing by 5 degrees per week until you're down to about 70 and the chicks are mostly feathered out.
    What's more important than the numbers is that you watch your chicks. Chicks that are too cold will huddle together under the heat lamp. Too warm and they will go to the furthest edges of the brooder away from the light. You can adjust the temp. by raising or lowering the light as needed. Ideally you want to see the chicks running around, in and out of the light.
    My chicks were never comfortable at the 90-95 range, preferring 85 to 90 from day one instead.
    If you can find a red bulb for your lamp, all the better.
     
  3. misspoppins

    misspoppins Out Of The Brooder

    90
    0
    39
    Nov 20, 2008
    Alabama
    Thanks! That's really helpful!
     
  4. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    Chicks are drawn more to the light itself than the warmth, so unless your entire brooder can be maintained at the same temp you might want to consider having at least one white bulb that will draw the babies when they get chilly.

    When I was brooding my last batch in an 8'x8' coop, I used two red bulbs and one white -- just to make sure they'd know where to go if they moved too far away.

    If your brooder is small enough, and you can get the lamp close enough, you can even use a regular light bulb rather than a heat bulb.
     

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