Tips for brooding in the coop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bluedoor, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. bluedoor

    bluedoor Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2013
    Just curious to hear others' experiences... looking to pick up a few chicks soon to start my first backyard "flock!" My hope is that I can brood them in my 4x2 coop with electricity and a heat lamp. Has anyone else done this? Tips/tricks? Should I put a baby monitor out there or is that too weird? :)
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I brood in the coop all the time.

    Just check your temps in there as the sun rises and sets! I usually hang two or three lamps in there, and turn them on and off as needed for maintaining temps (with 60-100 watt bulbs in each). When they come to me as day olds I start with a 150 watt in one and a 100 in the other for overnight in case the first one fails.

    They DO need a hotspot that is slightly warmer than they require I have found, to warm themselves up and they fan out in a circle around the lamp's center if you are doing it right.

    I always check temps under the lamps for accuracy. Always hang your lamps at least two ways not including the clamp (think flying chickens) and make sure the lamps are far enough away from flammable materials.

    So right now I have two 100 watt bulbs on (down low so they can really get warm if needed but far enough away from bedding to be safe)- but they are not brand new chicks anymore.

    I turn off one during the day (we have been like 80 degrees) but leave one so that if they feel chilled they can warm up. Then in the afternoon/evening we run out there and turn on the other one. As the chicks get older I will substitute the 60 watt bulbs in each lamp.

    The benefit of using two lamps is that if one bulb burns out they won't die. But the hotspot isn't as hot so I am careful.

    It is so nice to not have the dust of chicks in the house.
     
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  3. bluedoor

    bluedoor Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2013

    Thanks for taking the time to write all of this out, it's very helpful!

    I can hang two lights for that extra insurance, and I am going to get a couple of remote sensor thermostats so I can keep track of the temp under the lights and in the general area. I know I'll be worried about them but the coop isn't that far from the house so I can keep running out to check on them.
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Yes I would love to have a remote sensor. We had one years ago but it broke and we never replaced it (on our deck).

    You are welcome!

    Just to clarify that I mentioned 150 watts for summer and my coop...if it is winter and a large coop I'd go with a 250 watt.

    Also, never buy a brooder lamp unless it has a ceramic socket. The plastic ones can melt.
     

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