Weekish old chicks and heat lamp

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Jens Hen House, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. Jens Hen House

    Jens Hen House Out Of The Brooder

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    Two questions really:

    1) I'm not really sure how old my chicks are best guess is a 1-1 1/2 weeks old. We've have them since Monday, one of them has nice wing feathers and tail feathers, the "youngest" is still getting her wing feathers. So how do you really age them?

    2). How long do they need to stay under the heat? I know they should be kept about 90-95*. We keep them in our garage and the garage is 85-90*. Is that warm enough to keep them with out a lamp? We lost power for 6 hrs the other day and they seemed fine with out one. They huddle together with or with out it on while they sleep. With the light on the brooder is between 90-95 and with out it was holding between 85-90.
     
  2. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Actually day 1 through the first week is 90-95 degrees, then the next week the temp Is supposed to be dropped by 5 degrees making 85 ish. Week 3 drop by another 5 making 80-85,week 4 75. It's continued until room temperature is reached and they no longer need they light. They say first week of life 95,second90, 3rd 85, 4 80 but it can very a bit lower. Too hot they can get pasty butt and other isues. They also need a COOL area in the brooder to get away from the heat.
     
  3. Jens Hen House

    Jens Hen House Out Of The Brooder

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    So would coving halfish, like with a towel, up so the light isn't shining on it work for having a cool area to go?
     
  4. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    No you will want to move the lamp in a way that it only heats 1/2 the brooder and the other 1/2 gets natural light but is cool.this way they can regulate their body temperature. Otherwise they are slowly cooking. I hope this helps and wish the best for you and your chicks! I'd be afraid the heat would still pass through the towel also I'd worry about the towel igniting into flame from the heat lamp. So it's best to move the lamp in way that only reaches half the area. Food and water being kept on the cool side :)
     
  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    If your garage is holding 85°-90° there is no need for heat lamps anymore, maybe just a cardboard box hide out so they can get some insulation if they feel the need to pile into something at night when it might get a little cooler...
     
  6. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If your garage is 85-90, they should be fine without a light. Does it stay that warm at night?
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Try to understand the theory behind providing heat for baby chicks. Lacking down, they lose body heat, which is generated like us humans, through ingesting calories. Until chicks replace down with feathers, they will lose body heat faster than they can replace it by eating, according to how cool the ambient temps happen to be. So we provide a heat source so the chicks can regulate their body heat.

    With ambient temperature as high as yours, your chicks are not losing body heat faster than they can replace it by eating, so their heat needs are going to be minimal as long as the ambient temps remain high.

    Even with cooler ambient temps, chicks need to be able to wean themselves off heat beginning in their second week. So the heat source needs to be reduced as they develop feathers to help them achieve this. So we raise a heat lamp each week a bit more or lower the setting on the heating pad or heat plate.

    By the time chicks reach the end of their fourth week, they have pretty much completed feathering out and weaning themselves off heat. However, many people fail to understand the purpose of providing heat to chicks and they continue to provide heat because they are afraid the chicks will be cold. This defeats the whole process of the chicks weaning themselves off heat and the result is chicks who are heat dependent and have problems acclimating to cooler outdoor temps when it comes time to move into their coop and run.

    So, you've done well for your chicks by observing that they don't seem to need heat because your climate is very warm already. Now that you fully understand the theory behind providing heat for chicks, you can assist your chicks in weaning off heat instead of throwing up roadblocks by providing heat they no longer need.
     
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  8. Jens Hen House

    Jens Hen House Out Of The Brooder

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    It has been staying in the 80's at night so I turn the heat lamp on at night and off during the day when I checked the temp and it was over 100 I turned it off and was worried they were way too hot. Thankfully they are all still good. Tomorrow marks the one week we have had them and I'm still not sure how old they are. I don't think they are much older than a week, maybe week and a half. We have one who is still so little and fluffy, she only has a few wing feathers.
     
  9. Jens Hen House

    Jens Hen House Out Of The Brooder

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    Would them being to warm keep them from eating as much as they should for normal growth??
     
  10. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Being too warm cause all sorts of problems. It's astute of you to come to this conclusion, and you're probably right. Being overly warm definitely affects rate of feather development, so it might affect overall development, too.

    One might look at chicks growing up in a tropical climate and try to draw parallels, but brooder-raised chicks are captives and at the mercy of a confined space, not being able to mitigate the excessive heat by seeking shade or damp soil to hunker down in to escape heat as a free-range tropical chick might, as they do in Hawaii.

    This is why I err on the side of providing too little heat as opposed to too much. It's also why I've become a big advocate of outdoor brooding under the heating pad system. It's much easier for the chicks to self regulate heat needs, and there are practically no dangers of over-heating with the heating pad system.
     

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