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Types of bulb to use in my heat lamp

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Wfpendragon, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. Wfpendragon

    Wfpendragon Chirping

    Mar 13, 2016
    Hello everyone!

    I have a question about heat lamp bulbs. Right now I am using a 250 watt infrared heat bulb, and while they were inside the plastic tote, it seemed to work fine, no one was overheating etc. but now that I've switched them to a different brooder the heat seems to be a little too much. I am using a farm innovators baby chick corral and the lamp is now hanging from a small PVC arm set at the highest notch (the arm is adjustable) and the temp still is about 100 degrees at the hottest part of the brooder. My chicks, now a total of twelve, seem to be staying at the edge and avoiding the direct heat (even the three day olds I just purchased), and I was wondering if I could use a regular lightbulb (like a 100 watt halogen) instead of the heat bulb. Thanks!

  2. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Songster


    I'll chime in here while we wait for the pros to answer your questions. I have read where people use regular bulbs. I'd say give it a go and check your temps. They are definitely too warm if they are avoiding the warm areas of the brooder. How old are your chicks? You mentioned 3 day olds but didn't say how old the rest of them are. I've got 2 different ages right now... 2.5 weeks and 5 days old. I have mine separated though. :)

    I started my babies out with a clear heat bulb and they did really well. Upon getting a second batch of chicks, 2 1/2 weeks later, and talking to someone at our co op, I bought an infra red bulb too. I'm using the red one in our bigger brooder with the older chicks and it's keeping it way too warm in there. They way we have ours set up, it's difficult to raise it to lessen the heat. Since putting the red one on the bigger brooder those chicks are not nearly as active as they once were. I'm worried it's too much heat, but I don't feel like I can let them go with NO heat. My boyfriend has a floodlight bulb we are going to try using. Otherwise I'm going to just return the red bulbs and buy another clear one.

    Also, even though they guy at the co op said the red was much better, they, nor TSC, were using a red bulb on their chicks in the store... they were using clear ones... :idunno
  3. knightgang

    knightgang In the Brooder

    Mar 17, 2016
    Southeast, GA
    My experience was the 100 watt bulb did not really work, not saying it won't but it didn't work for me. I used two 125 watt heat lamp bulbs in my brooder. My brooder is half plywood and half chicken wire. During winter months I used old blankets dropped on it in various ways to contain the heat while still allowing a vertical vent for excess heat to escape.

    On warmer days, I could also turn off one lamp and one leave one on to help regulate heat as well.

    Like I said, this is what worked for me. I have another batch coming in a couple of weeks and the weather is much warmer now, we will see how much I have to vary this.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

  4. A 100W equivalent halogen is only about 75 real Watts, so it's a big step down when you are using it for heat not light... I would look for a real 100W bulb, or find say a 150W equivalent halogen that will be about 100 real Watts...

    Regular bulbs can still be purchased, you just have to look for them, and they will now be labeled for 'rough use' or something similar... My local dollar store sells several regular bulbs... If you can't find any at traditional places try a pet store for reptile heat lamps...

    That or simply move you existing 250 Watt light further away...
  5. dheltzel

    dheltzel Crowing

    Nov 30, 2013
    Pottstown, PA
    I recommend a much smaller bulb (maybe a 60 watt) and lower the light to where the chicks are comfortable, ie sleeping at the perimeter of the bulb, neither huddling under it or trying to stay away.

    I prefer white to red unless there is evidence of them picking each other to the point of bleeding. Luckily, that is rare and likely indicated over crowding.
  6. Wfpendragon

    Wfpendragon Chirping

    Mar 13, 2016
    My chicks are two different ages, one batch is one and a half weeks, and the others are 3 day olds. My barred rocks were panting a bit earlier too which also confirmed that they were too hot. I'll try a smaller bulb and see how the temps go. i have a thermometer in brooder to monitor temps and it is close to 100 degrees. :eek:
  7. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Why not consider dumping the heat lamp all together, and changing to a safer, more comfortable heating system - the heating pad?

    No worries about what wattage bulb to use or how high or low it needs to be adjusted. You simply rig up a wire frame, easily made from field fencing or an old wire appliance rack, and fasten the heating pad to it, and turn it on to the highest setting since your chicks are in their first week.

    You can use a heating pad brooding system anywhere, in a conventional brooder indoors or outdoors in coop or run. Each week, you may be turning the setting down a notch as the chicks feather out, and there is never any danger of them overheating, since if you have the pad on a setting that's too warm, the chicks simply recline on top of it.

    As long as you're being exposed to novel ways to brood, consider brooding right in your coop. It will be good for your chicks and save you a lot of housework after the little darlings have deposited chick dust and dander on every horizontal surface in the room you have them in.

    If you're curious as to how you can brood outdoors, I wrote about all the advantages to the chicks. Click on the second link below this post.

  8. The problem with your two age different chicks is that the 3 day old ones are going to want about 90° while your week and half should be in the 80°s, is there enough room in the brooder for them to get that type of temperature spreads out comfortably and not bunched up in a distant corner?
  9. Wfpendragon

    Wfpendragon Chirping

    Mar 13, 2016
    Yes the brooder has plenty of room for both ages. :) I actually notice that things seem opposite with them; the older ones want more heat while the younger ones seem to want it cooler :eek: I'll post a picture of my new brooder soon.
  10. Wfpendragon

    Wfpendragon Chirping

    Mar 13, 2016

    This is my brooder, I just put the 100 watt bulb in and it seems to be staying at 90-92 degrees in the hottest part of the brooder. The rest of it is cooler so the bigger ones can escape the heat (if they wish to.) :)

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