Thermostat on my Brooder Lamp

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Airilith, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. Airilith

    Airilith Chillin' With My Peeps

    478
    1
    121
    Sep 28, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    So I've put all the finishing touches on my brooder, as I'm expecting chicks this week. YAY!

    Today I have it running to check my temperatures over night. The brooder is in an insulated woodworking shop, that is heated during the day, but not at night. So in order to keep my temperatures stable I decided that I should use a thermostat. It's working beautifully, keeping my temperatures between 91 and 93. I figure I can fine tune the temperature when I see how the chicks are acting.

    But here's my question. The thermostat, in order to regulate the temperature, turns the brooder light on and off every few minutes. That won't bother the chicks will it? Even with the light off for a little while the temperature isn't dropping below 91. So any thoughts are greatly appreciated. [​IMG]

    Thanks!
     
  2. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

    11,140
    145
    321
    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA
    I would love to see a picture!
     
  3. Airilith

    Airilith Chillin' With My Peeps

    478
    1
    121
    Sep 28, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    I'll have to snap a few tomorrow.

    It's really not much to see. Just a rubbermaid tote with a heat lamp. [​IMG]
     
  4. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,997
    29
    181
    May 15, 2009
    Just my opinion but I would keep the light on all the time with out using a thermostat. The light going on and off might bother them but I think you might have problems with temperature fluctuations. It should be the same temperature all the time so the babies can move around to the area where they feel comfortable.

    How many chicks are you getting and what size is the tote you are using? I'm wondering if the tote will provide enough room. They have to have enough room to get closer to the heat it they feel chilled or further away if it is too hot.

    Incorrect temperature could cause pasty butt. Again, just my opinion.
     
  5. Airilith

    Airilith Chillin' With My Peeps

    478
    1
    121
    Sep 28, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    The tote is about 2x2' and I'll have 7 chicks (4 standards and 3 bantys). The reason I put the thermostat on is because the room it's in has temperature fluctuations of 10 degrees (about 70 during the day, and around 60 at night). The thermostat is currently only having a 2 degree fluctuation. I don't want to set the light at 95 degrees, and have it drop to 85 at night. But if that's not too low for day olds then I guess I can just remove the thermostat.

    And the temperature range across the tote is 91-93 under the light and 75-77 on the non-lit side. I thought that would be enough of a range to allow them to self regulate. But if it's not please let me know!

    PS - I know the tote won't hold them for all eight week. I have the coop set up all draft free, but was worried about being able to hold it at 90-95 degrees at night.
     
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    3,479
    50
    246
    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    You're putting too much thought into it. Forget about thermometers and thermostats. Just hang a heat lamp and leave it on. Don't worry about room temperatures too much. If they huddle up under the lamp it needs to be lowered. If they try to get as far from the lamp as possible it needs to be raised. If they mill around and look comfortable then it's just right. The last flock of fifteen I raised from chicks a few years ago were brooded in a brooder ring on a drafty screened porch with temps in the 50s at night and 70s during the day. As long as the chicks themselves are protected from drafts and they have the heat lamp to run under and keep warm, they will be fine.
     
  7. Airilith

    Airilith Chillin' With My Peeps

    478
    1
    121
    Sep 28, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    Quote:Happens to me quite often. [​IMG]

    So if I set it so that they are comfortable during the day, they will still be ok overnight? Even with a temperature drop? They're draft-free. It's just the temp I'm worried about.
     
  8. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    3,479
    50
    246
    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    Quote:Happens to me quite often. [​IMG]

    So if I set it so that they are comfortable during the day, they will still be ok overnight? Even with a temperature drop? They're draft-free. It's just the temp I'm worried about.

    Yes, they'll be fine. They'll stay comfortable under the heat lamp regardless of the room temperature (as long as you don't overheat the whole room). The whole idea of the heat lamp is to keep them warm without having to heat the entire room, barn, coop, etc., to a given temperature. As long as they have enough area to move away from the lamp they'll pick the spot that feels fine to them. It's like warming yourself next to a campfire. If you're cold you move closer. After a while you get too warm and you move away. The chicks figure it out.
     
  9. YankeeRider

    YankeeRider Chillin' With My Peeps

    Maybe you are overthinking it, but a thermostat on the heat lamp worked for me.

    If it's turning off and on every few minutes, the thermostat is seeing too much heat direct from the lamp.

    When I used a thermostat, it was because I'm a thrifty (cheap?) Yankee that didn't want to spend a penny more on electricity than i needed to. My chicks were brooded in the coop, and the thermostat set such that the heat lamp was off during the day when they weren't under it, but on all night when the outside-and inside coop- temps dropped. As temperatures dropped, the light would cycle on and off until it stayed on all night. My chickens don't seem to have suffered any ill psychological effects.[​IMG]

    You might find this works for you when the chicks get past a week or two in age and don't need the lamp during the heated daytime.

    Jerry
     
  10. gymbeau

    gymbeau Out Of The Brooder

    34
    0
    32
    Sep 16, 2009
    West Alabama
    I have always heard that turning a light on and off will cause it to fail.

    If you use a thermostat, do you need 2 in case of failure?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by