Week old chicks avoiding the heat lamp.

Pearce Pastures

8 Years
Dec 27, 2011
Wanatah, Indiana
Hi all! Maybe you could help settle a mild debate I am having with my mother.

We have 1 week old chicks in a brooder box in her unfinished basement. The box is about 3x3x5 and is equipped with a thermometer, water, grit, feed, everything they need. I placed the heat light (250w) on one end of the box and adjusted it so that the thermometer reads 90 degrees (recommended in my multiple chicken books). The food, grit and water are smack in the middle of the box.

The chicks, however, are huddling in the corner furthest away from the light! Thinking, okey dokey, maybe it is too warm for their taste, I raised the light so it is now 85 degrees at that end of the box, but they are still staying in the opposite corner.

So-do I
A) leave them be because they are growing, eating, drinking and what not
B) lower the temp more
C) Move the lamp to the middle of the box so they are getting warmed no matter which end they run to
D) put a lower wattage bulb in there
E) something else

Thanks in advance!

(Edited to correct age....silly me)
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I would say they are too warm. How old are they? 11 weeks. Calculate like this 100 degrees on day one, drop 5 degrees every week they are alive. So for 11 week old chicks, they need to be 45 degrees or higher. With my hens at 11 weeks they are in the chicken house and have no extra heat source.

Definately a lower wattage bulb.
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That makes more sense, so 90 degrees would be right. But still if they are staying away, they are too warm. I don't care what the termometer says. If they are huddling under the light, they are too cool and if they are farthest away, they are too warm. In my brooders in the basement which stays around 55-60 degrees this time of year, I use either a 60 watt or a 100 watt bulb depending on how close I want it hanging.

My big brooder in the barn, I have 2 heat lamps with 100 watt bulbs in them. Only have two incase one burns out.
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