what wattage bulb do you think I need?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by gale65, May 20, 2011.

  1. gale65

    gale65 Songster

    We'll be brooding our chicks outside in their coop. The coop will be divided off, but not to the ceiling. So some heat may escape into the non-populated part of the coop. It is about 4 x 6 and about 4' tall inside. I want to get a red bulb so should I get a 250w? Or would a smaller wattage be enough? The other concern is that the heatlamp itself says to limit to 150w or something similar (definitely way less than 250). Is there another type of lamp? I looked at TSC but they were out of the regular chicken heatlamps with the metal cage on them and the smallest watt red lamp was 250 so I didn't buy either one. I may have to order one online if we can't find one locally (we're going to check another store tomorrow). We are getting our chicks next Friday so I need to get to ordering if that's what I have to do.
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I don't know the answer. Perhaps by giving you a *bump* someone will see this thread and be along shortly to help you.
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You definitely want a ceramic socket.
    Also, don't exceed the wattage specified on the lamp (check temps under the light after you get set up).

    I always use 100 watt bulbs, up to three in the winter, but usually two. I brood in a smaller area than you, though.

    I am worried that the lamp you have is not a ceramic socket. If not, it can melt.
  4. gale65

    gale65 Songster

    no worries-I don't have a lamp yet. I didn't buy the one I saw today since it said to use below a certain wattage (and it was plastic although I didn't think of that at the time as far as melting). I will go tomorrow and find one with a ceramic socket. Hopefully either home depot or the other farm store will have them.

    so a 250 watt wouldn't be too hot? I am guessing not since the coop is a good size but wanted to make sure.
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:Well I don't know for sure, but I would guess that with it not being wintertime (I brooded a lot over the winter) anymore that could get too hot in there with a 250.

    Home Depot has ceramic sockets for $12 in my area, and my feed store has them for $20. That includes the cage (two little metal bars that cross in front of the bulb). If you get them from HD make sure they are in the box at checkout as several of mine didn't have it in the box.

    What I do is use 100 watt bulbs (although red bulbs are better, I like less wattage) and use up to three to achieve the desired temperature. So if your bulb is too hot, you can switch to a lesser wattage but just check your temps under the light.

    I assume you know the chick temp. recommendations- 90-95 under the light for the first week of life and decrease by 5 degrees per week until fully feathered around 6 weeks of age (with feathers on head). They need to be able to get away from the heat.

    You can get your lamp and put a 100 watt bulb in it to test the temp underneath. If it is almost right, just a little cold, you can assume that 250 will be really too hot. Then the next available wattage down might be good. [​IMG]

    Also, make sure you secure your heat lamp at least two ways NOT including the clamp. Think flying chickens. Hold your hands over the wood surfaces all around too, to make sure the ceiling etc. are not getting too hot.

    Never allow the heat lamps to get wet while operating.
    Last edited: May 21, 2011
  6. gale65

    gale65 Songster

    thanks for all the advice. Great idea to get it with a 100 w and check first. I will just get the lamp and worry about the bulb after that.

    believe it or not I've raised chickens before. It was almost 20 yrs ago and I had no internet, no magazines, no books, nothing. Just the people at the feed store to tell me what to do (I actually worked at the feed store). Oh I did read some of the hatchery catalogs we'd get from time to time too but mostly just a lot of conflicting info from different people, including my boss and some of the customers. But I can't remember now how I did everything. I remember putting up heat lamps but don't remember worrying about the wattage or the temperature or anything but the chicks were in an old block milkhouse so there was plenty of room for them to get away from the heat, and the building itself stayed pretty cool inside.

    Maybe when I get the chicks it'll all come back to me. [​IMG]
  7. Roslyn

    Roslyn In the Brooder

    May 14, 2011
    Cle Elum, WA
    I have a 250 watt.
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

  9. Flyingbavarian

    Flyingbavarian In the Brooder

    Jul 19, 2008
    Central Oklahoma
    Last edited: May 21, 2011
  10. gale65

    gale65 Songster

    ok I found a ceramic light with the guard and got a 250W red bulb at Smith's farm store. Not sure if that's a chain store or just here. So now we just need to put the metal roof on the chicken coop (the shingles on it were all busted from wind) and put the divider in and we're ready. Oh and buy some starter feed. Oh also I want to put a few gallon jugs of water in there to get them the right temperature.

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