What brooder and what wattage for heat lamp?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kristi2chickens, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. Kristi2chickens

    Kristi2chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2015
    Hello!!! I'm wondering... Would a large tote be a big enough brooder for 4-6 chicks??? Or a cardboard one??? I saw both of these on this website. Not sure which to do... Or should I do wood??? For the heat lamp, if I keep them inside what wattage and how many??? Thanks!!!
     
  2. TaylorHobbyFarms

    TaylorHobbyFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have seen lots of people use a tote to raise baby chicks. With 4 to 6, you should be good for at least 4 weeks, though you may need to consider putting a screen over the top to keep them from flying out as they get bigger. You do not necessarily need to use a heat lamp, especially if you are raising them indoors. The main thing is to keep the brooder at 95 degrees the first week, and drop 5 degrees each week thereafter. A $2 thermometer to put in the brooder goes a long ways, but of course, always watch the chicks. If they are panting and away from the light, they are too hot. If they are huddled under the light, they are too cold. Good luck with your little ones.
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Although people use plastic totes all the time, they do tend to verrheat the chicks, and they have limited ventilation, plus minimal space. At 4 weeks they should have at least 2 sq ft each, plus more space for feeder and water. Cardboard boxes make great brooders; they breathe, they are expandable with some duct tape and another box, and they don't require cleaning when you're through with them.

    I agree about temp; you won't really know til you get them in there and see how warm it is with the air flow for your setup, your indoor temp, etc. A 250W bulb is almost always too hot indoors; I'[d suggest having a variety of incandescent bulbs. By 4 weeks if will indoors you probabl won't need any.

    You could also brood right in your coop, if it's ready and you can safely rig a heat lamp. Or your garage or whatever, just depending what you have there. Check this outL

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/735392/redneck-fungshui-brooding-17-degree-temperatures
     
  4. dandan111

    dandan111 Out Of The Brooder

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    We used a cardboard box in the house the first week /6chicks. Just one lamp on them was plenty. I wouldn't spend to much $ if your going to buy a coop. Set them up in the house for a little bit then move them to the coop with their light. I just have a cheap white light from rural king. Red puts out more heat and they say more soothing. White works just fine tho.
     
  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I don't use any heat lamp, red or white, and I'm so happy with how my chicks are doing. I'll never ever brood chicks in the house under lights again! Since you haven't started your brooder or made your final decision on what to do for them, might I suggest that you go to this thread here on BYC and see what I'm doing. Lots of others are doing it now too, with results as good as mine.

    Whatever you decide to do, relax and enjoy the experience. I over-stressed myself so bad last year worrying about every little thing that I seriously considered giving up! So glad I didn't!

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/956958/mama-heating-pad-in-the-brooder-picture-heavy-update
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I didn't mention that i will also never brood in the house again. They put out a tremendous amount of dust, dander and presumably dried poop that gets everywhere.
     
  7. Julia62

    Julia62 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 3 chicks in our spare bathroom tub (4 days old now). They are doing great. I do have a 250 watt heat lamp on one end (stays about 92 there) and there is a window high above them that I keep open about 2 inches. I do have a thermometer in there and my husband (aka Tim the Tool Man) has a laser heat thermometer so we can check all areas of the tub! They are lively and doing great. We have older hens outside so we can't put them out there.

    All of that said, this is my first time with babies. Our other 3 we got at 10 weeks old and they went straight to the coop/run. I am curious to see how introductions go later on....
     
  8. Kristi2chickens

    Kristi2chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you all so much for the info.!!! I will definetly take your guy's advice!!!:D
     
  9. Kristi2chickens

    Kristi2chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay, thank you so much!!!:D
     
  10. Kristi2chickens

    Kristi2chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2015
    Thank you!!! I think I might make a kiddie pool brooder. When I get chicks(which I eventually will)I will build the coop. I am making a pallet coop. I will not have electricity so I cannot keep them in a coop. They will have to stay inside.:)
     

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