Type of Lighting


In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 11, 2008
I am hoping to have chicks in 2 weeks and would like start getting everything ready. I have decided to use a Sterlite tote as my brooder with a mess wire top. What type bulb should I use.....I have seen some postings where they use heat lamps and some that use regular light bulbs??? I have reptiles so I am used to the heat bulbs....do I use the same? What wattage should I start with if using a heat bulb or regular bulb?

Thank you for your help!
I use a red heat lamp, or red light bulb, depending on size of brooder, number chicks and the amount of heat needed.

Red light is said to discourage pecking.

Basically you need the lamp to provide 90-95 degrees the first week, dropping 5 degrees every week until they are fully feathered and ready for the outside world around 6-8 wks, depending on how warm it is where you are.

I usually use the 250 wt red heat bulb for the first few weeks, and then drop to a 100 or 75 wt bulb for the last few weeks.

Also, just make sure there is a spot away from the light where they can go to get cooler if they need to. I usually aim the light over one end of the brooder. Enjoy your babies!!
Hi Codeman and welcome!

People use lots of different things for heat. The most important thing is that the brooder (under the light or near it) be 90-95 degrees for the chicks' forst week. Then lower the temp (by raising the lamp) by 5 degrees every week. I find it easiest to put a thermometer in the brooder at chick level and monitor the temp that way. The chicks behavior also give you clues: if they huddle under the lamp they are too cold, if they pile against the far side they are too warm, if the range around throughout the brooder they are just right.

Red light bulbs, rather than white, reduce the chances that the chicks will peck and hurt each other.

Have fun!

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