Too cold for a heat lamp?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by hyenas, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. hyenas

    hyenas Hatching

    Jan 29, 2011
    I'm getting my first chicks (6) in the mail next month. I have a brooder box set up with a heat lamp (250 W red bulb). However, my house is not heated at night. At night I would say the house gets to be around 40 degrees. Is the heat lamp going to be enough to keep them at 90? I don't want to wake up to frozen chicks.

  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    First, brooders for a century, since the invention of electricity, have brooder out in the barn. Given the smells and the unholy dust brooding chicks create, it is understandable.

    I brood out in the barn. I cover the brooder box with a "roof" of plywood pieces stretched across the top. No attempt to "seal it off" mind you, just try to cover 90% of the "roof" and it keeps the heat in just fine, in temps lower than you described. Those 250w bulbs but out an intense heat ring when suspended 14" above the wood shavings. If I am brooding out 25 or more chicks, I simply add a second light to make a second heat ring. This prevents the chicks from having to pile on.
  3. gavinandallison

    gavinandallison Songster

    Jul 25, 2010
    Matthews, NC.
    I would suggest setting up your brooder box now, getting an accurate thermometer and placing it into your box. Then set your alarm to go off during the night and go check the temp in the box. Do this various times during the night to see how low the temp gets. If you cannot sustain the 95 deg first needed then I suggest a space saver heater to keep the room warm to maintain the right temp. Can you not keep the heat on at night for a few weeks? Where are you?
  4. hyenas

    hyenas Hatching

    Jan 29, 2011
    Thank you! I was pretty sure it would work, but didn't want to risk the chicks. [​IMG] Thanks again!

    I'm in SE OK with variable temps, 75 right now, 15 on Tuesday. I heat with a wood burner, but it can't do the job at night. So more heat isn't an option really.

  5. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    Quote:Measuring the temperature under a heat lamp is problematic as the infrared rays do the heating. As the rays effect materials differently, you really can't measure with a thermometer the warmth that the chicks will feel from the heat lamp. You don't want to heat the entire room or an entire brooder box to any given temperature either. The chicks need warmer areas and cooler areas that they can use to self regulate the heat they are getting.

    I've always brooded in an open-top ring or box and adjusted the height of the lamp to what makes the chicks most comfortable. If it is too high they huddle directly underneath. If it's too low they try to escape from the heat and hang out in the edges of the brooder. When it's just right they will run around and use all areas of the brooder.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by