Where to raise chicks, help!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by iam4hymn, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. iam4hymn

    iam4hymn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2015
    I ordered baby chicks and had planned on raising them outside with a heat lamp. Though it does not get super cold at night yet, it does go down into the upper 50's. When I have experimented with the heat lamp I cannot get a consistant temperature due to the differences in temp during the day. So as of right now I am planning on moving them into the house (which does not thrill me) for a more consistant temperature. The garage is a possible option, but there is not a consistant temperature there either between day and night. Where do you all raise your baby peeps? Does anyone have some good advice?
  2. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2015
    SE Texas
    I am actually right now raising my baby chicks in an old chicken coop outside. You're right, there isn't a constant temp when brooding outside. However, unlike incubation, which requires precise temperatures, brooding chicks doesn't need to be as precise. The chicks will tell you if they're too cold--they'll all be huddled/piled under the light, or too hot--they'll be panting, and as far away from the light as they can. Around 95 degrees for their first week is just a general rule.
    When I brood outside, I use 2 lamps--one with a bigger, hotter bulb for the cooler nighttime temps, and one with a cooler, smaller wattage bulb for the day. You can also raise and lower your lamp as necessary. Hope this helps!
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Never ever in the house, here. I can't imagine breathing in all that dander they shed [​IMG]

    Unheated barn, here. It is insulated but the temp does vary. I used a heat lamp in a galvanized livestock tank for years and years, but this year became a convert to the heating pad brooder. Less fire hazard, way easier for the chicks to regulate their own temp, way less for me to think about.



    And my supervisor, making sure everything was set up correctly.....


    do a search for "mama heating pad" and you'll hit the thread Blooie started on this way of brooding. Lots of folks have adjusted it to work for their particular set up.
  4. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    So many folks brooding chicks misunderstand their heat needs. Baby chicks are not cakes and cookies baking in an oven! Try to think of the chicks as little campers on a camp-out and whatever heat you provide them, they are only going to use it intermittently to warm up under when they cool down and begin to feel chilled. After warming up, chicks are not going to remain under the heat like so many Big Macs keeping hot until they're served.

    I also highly recommend the MHP system of brooding chicks. Blooie's thread "Mama Heating Pad for the Brooder" is hardly ever off the first page of this forum, therefor very easy to find.

    I raised two batches of chicks under this system this year and I will NEVER go back to the archaic heat lamp system and brooding indoors. Shudder!
    2 people like this.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Best. Analogy. Ever.

    That's how we wind up with fried chick nuggets every spring. Well intentioned folks want to "keep the babies warm". I wish everyone brooding chicks could watch a broody hen raise chicks first.
  6. song of joy

    song of joy Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    I love this analogy!!

    I think the misunderstanding results from the "conventional wisdom" on how to brood chicks . . . 90 degrees first week . . . 85 degrees second week, etc. In small brooders, the whole brooder ends up being that temperature, with no possible escape to cooler, healthier temperatures for the chicks.

    I followed the conventional wisdom for a couple of years, but realized how much it may be a detriment to chicks when I let my broody hens raise them. The chicks were so much more healthy and active with mama hen than they were in the "perfect", temperature-controlled brooder. They were out running around, following her everywhere, in temperatures ranging from 40 to 80 degrees, periodically tucking under the hen for a warm-up.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015

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