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When to turn off the brooder light at night

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AZ RT89A, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. Julia62

    Julia62 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chicks are now slightly more than 4 weeks old. Their brooder is our guest bath tub. There is a window in the room and it is always open for fresh air and I do have the light on during the day. I also have a heat lamp and now it is quite high so the temp on them is about 70. I have been turning it off during the day this last week as they are mostly feathered now. I still turn it on at night but we are going to have a nice weekend so I might try not turning it on for the first time. They are also going outside for a few hours each day this weekend too. They seem to grow leaps and bounds after a few hours of real sunshine!

    Dandiemandi, I was born in Fort Bragg, CA...53 years ago! My family used to own what is now the Casa Del Noyo (I think that's what they call it).
     
  2. dandymandie

    dandymandie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh how awesome! I absolutely love living here! It's such a beautiful place! I think that is the Lodge overlooking the harbor? What a sight!

    I agree with you, my chicks definitely started growing like crazy after I took them outside to play in the sun!
     
  3. Julia62

    Julia62 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, that's the place. My grandmother was Elma Schlote and she ran it as a boarding house and had 6 kids. My husband took me there to propose 11 years ago, it was quite special and I still like going to see the place. Of course it was a lot different then.

    I turned all lights off tonight for the first time. I keep going up to the door and hear nothing. So I guess they are really sleeping tonight. They had 2 full hours outside today and loved it.
     
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    x2 My chicks have never seen a heat lamp - and when it gets dark they go to sleep. All night. And they wake up with the sun ready to start a new day. They are brooded outdoors from the start.
     
  5. dandymandie

    dandymandie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2015
    Fort Bragg, Ca

    Ooooh! That's so romantic! <3 How neat to learn the history there! I bet there are some really great stories to go with that too.

    I've also left the heat lamp off today, they went outside for most of the day before the fog rolled in. They seem to be doing well and aren't showing signs of being cold!

    Blooie, what is the climate like in your area? Are they brooded with other chickens or just themselves? I'm curious, I'd like to give them more space, but they are very small so I'm a little hesitant to right now.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I'm in northern Wyoming. When the babies went to live outside our temps were in the teens and twenties. Their pen is in the outside run to they can see the Bigs and the Bigs can see them, but until I started letting them mingle at about 3 weeks old they weren't physically together. The first and second batches of Littles are now fully integrated with the Bigs and the newest group of babies are now in the Little's former pen. This newest group are just over a week old. I use a heating pad and a cave of straw. That's it. There is an entire thread on this method. Type "Mama Heating Pad in the Brooder" in the search box. Lots of pictures, videos, and great input from others trying this system. If nothing else seeing how tiny these little chicks were and then seeing how strong they are all growing should give you a grin!
     
  7. dandymandie

    dandymandie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2015
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    Wow this is great!! I only took a quick look but this looks like something I may be trying with more experience raising chicks. I had a thought the other night that maybe that constant light may be stressing the chicks or causing them to grow slower and it's unnatural. They seem so much more active in natural sunlight, and sleep silently at night with it off now. I'm very glad you shared you're thread.all of us having heat lamp questions can totally benefit from your information! You're photos are extremely helpful as well. (And super cute chicks!)
     
  8. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When my brooder was in the house I kept the bathroom light on. This was only the first week. Then out to the garage thy went. Never heard them fuss. I turned the lights off and they just had the ecoglow. I think it's better to keep it dark at night. But that's preference. Either way It should be fine
     
  9. comptonkids

    comptonkids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 5, 2015
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    I'm not even sure I really need the lamp, it's fairly warm in the house
    however, my newest ones do still huddle together under the lamp

    My brooder is 4x4 so there is plenty of space

    We keep the light on 24/7 right now (well, the heat lamp) but turn out the lights when we it gets dark outside

    I recently put our 2 ducklings in an old dog crate outside

    they have no lamp and they've been doing just fine the last 2 nights
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    That 90 to 95 the first week and drop it 5 degrees a week is a general guideline that can really help people just starting out since they have no experience to draw on, but the chicks are a lot tougher than many people give them credit. After a while you’ll learn to read your chicks and let them tell you what they need.

    My 3’ x 6’ brooder is in the coop. They go there straight from the incubator or post office even when the overnight lows are in single digits. I only heat one end and let the rest cool off. The heated end says toasty but I’ve seen ice on the far end some mornings. Mine are raised with the flock from the start although in a separate brooder. The youngest I’ve integrated is five weeks but I’ve never lost a chick doing that so I’m being plenty cautious. I think having sufficient room has a lot to do with successful integration at a fairly young age too.

    I find it better to keep one area warm enough so they can go warm up if they need to but let the rest of the brooder cool off. That way they can find their own comfort zone and I don’t have to worry about keeping the entire brooder a perfect temperature. They will adjust so they don’t overheat or get too cool. A perfect temperature doesn’t exist anyway. Just like some people like it warm and others cool, each chick is an individual with its own preferences. Most of the time the chicks will go from the warm to the cool and back anyway, not just staying in one temperature. They normally sleep in a group, more for the company than for warmth. That’s often pretty close to the heat source.

    A few years back in a ridiculous for us heat wave I turned the daytime heat off at 2 days and the overnight heat off at 5 days. The chicks told me they did not need it and they didn’t. In winter when it is regularly getting below freezing I have waited as long as five weeks to turn the overnight heat off. I probably could have turned it off a few days earlier but the chicks were not telling me they were uncomfortable with it on so I saw no real benefit to rush things. Some of this is about my comfort level too, not just theirs.

    A broody hen does not heat the universe for her chicks, she provides a place for them to warm up when they need it. There are threads on here where a broody raised her chicks when the daytime temperatures hardly ever got above freezing. Blooie’s system matches that very well. I achieve the effect by wrapping the brooder and using a heat lamp, two actually as a backup when the weather is brutally cold. A warm place to go and cooler places to play works quite well for me.
     
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