Red vs. white light bulbs - An observation

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Bil, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. Bil

    Bil Songster

    May 8, 2008
    Cottage Grove, OR
    I've been raising chicks for 2 weeks and 2 days now, so don't take what I am saying as years of observation and testing, just one short observation. [​IMG]

    For the first 2 weeks I had my 9 chicks, I was using an infrared bulb to heat the brooder. I had no problems, and the temperature was nice, and the birds were calm and fairly relaxed.

    I had 3 chicks hatch this last week in my incubator, and I moved them to a 2nd brooder but I didn't have another infrared lamp. So I took the red lamp from the older chicks and put it with the younger ones, and put a 100 watt bulb with the older chicks (I did this because I needed about 10ยบ more heat with the younger ones).

    My observation with my older chicks is that they do not like the white bulb at all. The temp is right where I want it, so it's not a change in temp, but a change in bulb. They are constantly running around now, pecking at each other and now are VERY skiddish. I'm running to the store this afternoon and purchasing a infrared bulb to put in with them. It might just be coincidence, but I hope not.

    Just thought I would share.

    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  2. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    Medford, Oregon
    Thank you for the post. Great information for the new folks to hear.

    I had read that somewhere on this site when I was doing all my reading up on how to raise chickens last fall.

    I hope you're enjoying the process of raising the chicks as much as I am.
  3. Autumn Mama

    Autumn Mama Songster

    Mar 15, 2009
    British Columbia,
    Thanks for that personal experience shared! [​IMG]

    I've heard that the infrared reduces pecking, something to do with the fact that the chicks see everything as pink, and it makes it much easier for them to rest and sleep. I don't like to sleep with lights on that brightly, lol!

    There must be some interesting science behind it, anyone know how that actually works?

    Bil, enjoy the journey! Our chicks arrive tomorrow, soooo excited!!!
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  4. JudyH

    JudyH In the Brooder

    Feb 21, 2009
    Gulf Coast of Alabama
    I started my chicks with the white bulb (couldn't find a red one). I had a little trouble with pecking (especially from barred rock). I replaced the white bulb with a red bulb. It was immediately noticable -- the difference in the chicks was amazing! They were so much more relaxed and calm. I wouldn't ever use the white bulb again.
  5. Renee'

    Renee' Songster

    Feb 8, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    I am currently raising my first batch of chicks. They will be 8 weeks old tomorrow. Since day one, I have used an ordinary white bulb and I have not had a single pecking problem (knock on wood!). [​IMG]
  6. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    Perfect timing, thanks! I just picked up a heat lamp for a brooder (yep, going to get some more chicks soon! [​IMG] ) and I couldn't decide if I wanted a red bulb or a white one. I decided to pay the extra $2 for the red one because I thought it wouldn't be as harsh on those little eyes all day and all night. Glad I did!
  7. Bil

    Bil Songster

    May 8, 2008
    Cottage Grove, OR
    Final observation:

    Purchased a new light yesterday for the older chicks. Put the light in last night and within an hour all was quiet with these chicks for the rest of the night.

    Now this has just been my observation with my 9 chicks, but I will be using an infrared bulb for all brooding in the future. No more white bulbs for me.

  8. jeffro29

    jeffro29 Songster

    Mar 1, 2009
    southeast nc
    I started my chicks out on a white bulb, which worked good for a week or two but since they have grown up some 3 1/2 weeks that changed. I switched to a red flood light low watts and temp was good and the yougins attitudes are much better, no fighting running around and pecking on each other. I do switch the white back on during the day and they seem to like it. But at night the red comes on everyone goes to sleep, it seems to really calm them down and they sleep alot better.[​IMG]
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I think it's what they are used to. I used a 60 watt incandescent bulb for my chicks. The white light didn't seem to bother them at all. They still ate, slept and pooped. I put a digital thermometer with an alarm in the brooder to monitor the brooder temp. Now that they are older I use a red light on in their coop but have a white one come on at around 5 am each morning to extend their daylight hours.
  10. vermontgal

    vermontgal Songster

    Any thoughts on heat emitters -- that is a ceramic thing that looks like a lightbulb - but NO light, they are designed for reptiles. I have one, would like to use it, and wonder if NO light other than daylight is a problem. Gail Damerow says to raise chicks in decreasing daylight. So any chick born before the summer solstice (June 21) would need light, according to her.

    Thanks for any opinions!


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