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Red infrared bulb vs white bulb heat lamp

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by gevannos, May 17, 2011.

  1. gevannos

    gevannos Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm getting set up for my chicks to come next Friday and I got 2 heat lamps and bulbs from Tractor Supply. The clerk told me the red is much better for the chicks than the white. Is she right or just selling me what they had?

    (40 meat chicks, 4 x 6 brooder in the greenhouse so I got two lamps and bulbs just in case)

    Thanks
    Eric
     
  2. Rocky Road

    Rocky Road Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2011
    The red bulbs are usually 250w and the white are 100w. The red ones will get a lot hotter. It doesnt' matter which one you use but the red one you can't hang to low because it will be really hot. I just used a white one for the little chicks and when I moved them outside in their coop at 5-6 weeks I had the red one hanging in a corner since there is too much area to heat.

    Hope that helps!
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    She was right.

    The white light leads to restlessness and rather unruly behaviors, such as feather pecking. The red light is calming and makes them docile.
     
  4. Rocky Road

    Rocky Road Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fred's Hens :

    She was right.

    The white light leads to restlessness and rather unruly behaviors, such as feather pecking. The red light is calming and makes them docile.

    Mine were always under the white light and they were never restlessness or pecked at each other.

    Since your brooder is so big the red light will heat a bigger area though.​
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    With a large brood, it is better to have multiple lamps, creating two or even three circles of warmth. There is also a fail safe backup, if you should lose one bulb, at least another or two are still operating. Something to consider.
     
  6. GiddyMoon

    GiddyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Because our air temps were already warm, I used an amber 60 watt bug light and everyone did fine.
     
  7. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    The red DOES help reduce the risk of pecking at blood feathers. That doesn't mean that your chickens will peck each other if you use white light, only that it is more likely to happen. Chicks are attracted to red and a broken blood feather not only bleeds profusely, it gives a naturally cannibalistic bird a taste of blood. This is why I chose a red light.

    To further convince me, when I took the chicks out into the sun to play, the first thing several of them did was to peck at the rusty red splotches on a white chick's back. It was inquiry, not trying to hurt the chick but it was something that I'd never seen them do in the brooder box.
     
  8. Tovah

    Tovah Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2011
    Oakland, California
    This is really helpful information for a Newbee... We will be getting our brooder together next week. Thanks for posting all these tips on the bulbs. @gevannos, Kudos for going for it big time with 40 chicks. We are only getting 5.
     
  9. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    We use the red bulbs. Seems to be hotter and it just makes more sense to give them a darker light to sleep with. Red is, as has been said, also suppose to cut down on the incidents of cannibalism and excessive picking. As for needing a cooler bulb, either you raise the light fixture farther away, or if you aren't able to do that, you can buy smaller red bulbs at pet stores, the kind they use for reptiles. Only thing is you'll pay twice what you paid for the 250W at the feed store. But at least there are options.

    V!
     
  10. GiddyMoon

    GiddyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Why pay for 250 watts of electricity when you don't need it? Pulling the light away only allows all that wasted heat to go into space. If you give them things to pick at, they generally won't pick at each other. Spread their food around, give them a roost, put something in bright and shiny to peck at - a disposable aluminum bread pan works great for this.. While I agree red bulbs can help and it is a safety measure; you will find many people do not use red bulbs.
     

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