Should I be turning brooder light off?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BellaBelinski, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. BellaBelinski

    BellaBelinski In the Brooder

    Mar 13, 2012
    Beavercreek, OR
    Our chicks are 5 wks old and I have never turned the brooding light off (red). In addition to the red light they get natural light during the day. At night it's just the lamp on. Is this too much light all the time (for now), or should I be getting them used to being in the dark so they could sleep? I noticed that the chicks are progressively getting more and more vocal (especially one of them) and was wondering if it was because they're not getting enough dark time and they're cranky, or is it because they are just getting older and louder? I have kept it on because they need the heat. I have just raised the lamp for the last time today (75 deg.), but have never turned it off.

  2. nanaluvsgps

    nanaluvsgps Songster

    Apr 5, 2012
    I have heard from other people, that if the chickens huddle together they are cold or if they are all spead out their idea or if they are all at the opposite end to the lamp their hot. Maybe try turning off the light and come back 10 minuets later and see what they are doing. Sorry you might need to ask someone with a little more experience :)
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    At five weeks, it is time to let the weaning process begin.

    At five weeks, unless it is bitter cold, no light or heat is required. Some supplemental heat at night is fine, but I'd likely use only a 150watt bulb. All our chicks are normally weaned off heat completely at the end of week 6, so the weaning process gets them prepared for reality.

    Yes, chicks also need to get used to darkness at night. They'll learn.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Like Fred, we turn off the light during days (by week 3 they are in unheated back room) and turn on for heat at night. By week 5 ours are outside without heat. By that time in spring here the lows are in 40's with an occasional frost.
  5. BellaBelinski

    BellaBelinski In the Brooder

    Mar 13, 2012
    Beavercreek, OR
    Thank you all for your much needed advice. I turned the lamp off for the first time this morning. They have the natural light from a window (btw, they are in our upstairs bathroom, so I'm not too worried about them getting too chilled). Tonight I'll leave a dim light on for them. Thanks again everyone for your help!

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