What wattage bulb do you put over chicks?

daniel-delarosa

Songster
9 Years
Dec 14, 2010
128
3
101
Seminole, Oklahoma
I bought some two week old RIR's yesterday. I have them in a hanging cage in the barn. What watt bulb should I put over them? I have a 13 watt fluorescent on them right now, but Im not sure if it is warm enough. I have a 85 watt yellow flood light but Im afraid that might be too warm. It gets below freezing over night, but not in the barn.
 

Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
2 week old chicks will need to be kept at 78-80 degrees, rather consistently, to be healthy. Once they are at 5-6 weeks of age and feathered out, no more heating is needed. I suspect you'll need 150 watts of red lamp heat directed on them to keep them warm with 35-40 degree nights still possible in January-February.
 

Syharrison

In the Brooder
8 Years
Dec 7, 2011
67
0
36
i always use a 60w red bulb, in a week or so i'll drop it to 40w but they will move around the brooder if they get too hot anyway, never caused me any losses and it helps them become accustomed to colder temperatures. after 4 weeks i take everything away but light i just use an energy efficient bulb.
 

Avonlea22

Jessamine Cottage
8 Years
Aug 27, 2011
223
4
91
I used a 250 watt red bulb. A fluorescent bulb will not put out enough heat for them.
 

ralleia

Songster
8 Years
Mar 22, 2011
477
32
151
Omaha, NE
A fluorescent--EEEEEEK!

You use fluorescents for LIGHT--not for heat!

There is a reason that incandescents are called miniature heaters that happen to put out light. Your chicks need WARMTH, not light. Use an incandescent!

Inside a conditioned house (60s Fahrenheit), I never used anything over a 75 watts incandescent.

If your barn gets cool (40s, 50s) you'll want something on the order of 150W, but you'll want to make sure that your fixture has a ceramic base and can support that kind of load safely.

Otherwise, use more than two 75 to 100 watt incandescents.
 

Egghead_Jr

Crowing
Oct 16, 2010
7,193
3,018
436
NEK, VT
Using a thermometer starting at 95F and working down 5 degrees a week it's whatever wattage or height from chicks it takes to maintain those temps.

Here we use a 100w over half of a plastic tote for first two to three weeks then move them out to unheated shed (nights getting down to 40's) using same 100w in a dog kennel cage.
 

teach1rusl

Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
10,017
166
356
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
My Coop
You're reading about such differences in bulb wattages used because it depends on whether they're being brooded in the house (most keep thier homes around 70 degrees, so a lower wattage can be used) or in a shed/coop/barn, or what season they're being brooded...brooding in July vs brooding in Jan is a world apart temp-wise for most folks.
If they're in an unheated barn and your area gets fairly cold, you'll want a higher wattage heat bulb. But that also depends on how tight or open your brooder is (you don't want to cook them). If temps in your area are getting down to freezing, and they're kept in a barn, a regular bulb won't cut it, much less a floresc. You need a heat bulb - I'd say at least a 75 or 100 W heat bulb. You can get the red kind at pet shops in the reptile department. Make sure your lamp housing is rated for the bulb you choose. Remember, only the area beneath the lamp,not the entire brooder, needs to be nice and warm. If they're hovering under the lamp a lot, they need more heat. If they're under there a bit, then out a bit, they're good.
 

kittycooks

Chirping
9 Years
Jun 5, 2010
221
16
92
Minneapolis west suburbs
You're reading about such differences in bulb wattages used because it depends on whether they're being brooded in the house (most keep thier homes around 70 degrees, so a lower wattage can be used) or in a shed/coop/barn, or what season they're being brooded...brooding in July vs brooding in Jan is a world apart temp-wise for most folks.
If they're in an unheated barn and your area gets fairly cold, you'll want a higher wattage heat bulb. But that also depends on how tight or open your brooder is (you don't want to cook them). If temps in your area are getting down to freezing, and they're kept in a barn, a regular bulb won't cut it, much less a floresc. You need a heat bulb - I'd say at least a 75 or 100 W heat bulb. You can get the red kind at pet shops in the reptile department. Make sure your lamp housing is rated for the bulb you choose. Remember, only the area beneath the lamp,not the entire brooder, needs to be nice and warm. If they're hovering under the lamp a lot, they need more heat. If they're under there a bit, then out a bit, they're good.
x2. Chicks are very good about regulating their own heat by moving towards or away from the heat source. I use 100 watt red or black night incandecent heat bulbs from the reptile department. They cost about $10.00. White light bulbs disrupt the chicks sleep cycles so you want the colored bulbs. You can regulate the heat by lowering or raising the brooder cone and ventilation is vital.
 

frizzylizzy2003

Chirping
5 Years
Nov 30, 2014
103
4
68
hi guys im about to rear some chicks in about 4 or 5 days (14 may) and we r going to do it inside and we have NO idea WHAT wattage to use 50, 100 or 150. so we are very worried...
lol we are soooooo new to this... so any help is appreciated thanks

- frizzylizzy03
 

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