1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Using a forced fan Heater and a CFL bulb in the brooder box

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Lute, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. Lute

    Lute Songster

    Feb 25, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    This was not my idea, let me just get this out of the way.

    My boyfriend wants to use a small heater he'd picked up at Walmart to keep the brooder box warm (it has a temp setting for 70, 75, 80, and 85 degrees) and replace the 100 watt lightbulb I had been using with a CFL for light only. Is this a good idea or a bad idea? Will the mercury in the bulb hurt my little ones? They're only 2 weeks old (2 weeks yesterday) and seem to like the temperature around 77 degrees (which is almost the temperature as the rest of the house).

    Thanks in advance.


    (I accidentally posted in the Hatching Eggs section instead of this one! Oops!)
    ETA: I got their ages wrong, this week is just flying by!
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012

  2. jtallant

    jtallant Chirping

    Feb 21, 2012
    I would wonder if the fan heater would keep the box too warm all over with no where for the chicks to go if they get hot. Mine are 2 weeks and they really like moving in and out of the heat spot when they need to. I also wonder if hot air movement would end up being drying, but I don't know. Maybe try a thermometer in different areas and see if there is a good difference in temp. I use the red heat bulb because the bright white of regular bulbs just seemed to drive them crazy. I found using the heat bulb in the end is much easier, although next time I am going to invest in a Brinsea radiant heat brooder after reading about them on BYC. My DH who is in the fire service hates the heat bulbs because of the possible fire risk and the Brinsea he really likes. If it wasn't for BYC, I would have never even heard of it!
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I wouldn't use a heater for the above reasons. Dry forced air and heating throughout the brooder. It sounds like your bulb is doing the job just fine. If you want to rid yourself of the white light then buy a color coated bulb. That way you can use the cfl for daylight hours and the red colored bulb 24/7 wont disturb their sleep.

    From what your saying the weather in NM is so warm as to not warrant suplimental heat in a few more days anyway.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  4. Lute

    Lute Songster

    Feb 25, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    Except for tonight! The Weather Channel is insisting on informing me that it's going to snow today! I refuse to believe it!

    Suffice to say, though, that I'll be bringing my 6 week old pullets indoors tonight and possibly tomorrow night until it gets back up to over 30 degrees for the nighttime lows.

    Thanks for your opinion, guys. I'll tell my boyfriend when I get home. Just over another hour before I get off work, go home, feed the pullets, the Pekins and the babies and dog before I get to pass out myself. [​IMG]It's been a long night.
  5. PtldChick

    PtldChick Songster

    Jun 15, 2011
    Portland, OR
    The heater is going to use way more energy than the 100W bulb...that's reason alone to nix his idea. With a bulb, there are warm and cool spots and the chicks can move whereever they want based on need. Most heaters use 900-1500 watts.

    Think what it's like on a hot summer day with a hot wind always blowing, your skin gets so dry and everything else does, too...It would be like living in a constant Santa Ana wind...you have it right!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by