Temperatures in brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by rides2far, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. rides2far

    rides2far Songster

    Dec 9, 2014
    Bakersfield California
    I'm expecting my 20 chicks next week, so I've been checking the temps in my plastic tote brooder. The 250 watt was way too hot. 120 degrees. I don't want fried chicken! Back to the store & finally found a 90 watt red light. Temp was a steady 100 degrees in the middle, 80 degrees on the sides. Is 80 degrees too cool on sides? I can put a heat lamp on the end if needed. Thanks in advance!
  2. ChickenWing

    ChickenWing Songster

    Feb 5, 2008
    If they have enough room, they will adjust themselves to where they feel is most comfortable. Having it cool on one end, and warm on the other is good, they will find the sweet spot. But, you have to make sure the brooder is large enough so they are able to move and not held in the wrong spot by too many chicks blocking them.

    How big is your tote? Its gonna have to be pretty big for 20 chicks.
  3. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Songster

    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    It sounds like your brooder is too small. You should be able to have 95* at one end and 70* at the other end where you keep food and water. Chicks double in size every week so they need room! Temp in brooder should be lowered 5* each week until 70* and fully feathered. A heat lamp clamped securely to a 2x4 that you can keep raising is easiest. [​IMG]
  4. rides2far

    rides2far Songster

    Dec 9, 2014
    Bakersfield California
    I have 2 totes, 50 gallons each. I can place the heat lamps more to the sides to create a lower temp at one end. [​IMG]
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    You could maybe get a dimmer to use to decrease the heat as required. Another method to decrease heat is to raise the heat source.

    My 3’ x 6’ brooder is in the coop. I currently have 19 in it right now. I don’t use a thermometer anymore but let the chicks tell me how they are doing. I keep one end toasty but let the other end cool off as it will. Some mornings I’ve seen ice in that far end but the chicks don’t go down there that much when it is that cold. They are under two weeks old right now but they will play down there more when they are older. It’s not always that cold down there either.

    As long as you have one spot warm enough and they can get to a cooler spot if they need to, they are really good at self-regulating. If 80 degrees is too cold for them, they simply won’t go there. If they do go there, 80 degrees is not too cold for them.
  6. rides2far

    rides2far Songster

    Dec 9, 2014
    Bakersfield California
    Thanks Ridge Runner. I plan on putting my chicks in my coop which is 8X10. I'll block off part of it & use heat lamps on one side. I'm in Calif in the Central Valley, so it's not too cold. In a few weeks it could be pretty warm here, even at night. I was more concerned about the 80 degrees on the sides. I can position my heat lamp more to one side to let one end be 70 degrees, as suggested by one poster.
  7. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Songster

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    Several weeks ago when it was 25* I had 40 five day old chicks outside in a covered 3x5 wire cage with a 60w house bulb about 6" off the floor for heat. I have no idea what the temp was inside the cage but it wasn't very warm.
    Unlike the RidgeRunner, I was kinda worried because I have never brooded such a large number of chicks in such in cold weather under a single small bulb. They were packed like sardines under the light, I'd rather have them in a loose little circle, but they weren't piling on top of each other or cheeping in distress.
    They thrived and seemed to sprout feathers almost overnight to help keep warm. I'm not saying you should do it my way, just that I don't concern myself with what "They Say" about having a carefully controlled brooder enviroment being necessary for raising chicks.

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