Yet another post about heat lamps versus Brinsea!

May 28, 2020
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Hello! I have 5 little chickies running around (11 days old, varying breeds + sizes). I have them brooding in a large tub and spend a lot of time in the same room (it's in my office) so they're constantly seeing me/hearing my voice. Just a few days old and I very much became the mother hen - one loves nesting in my hair, the others love perching in various places on my body. They overall seem super happy. I had ordered the Brinsea Ecoglow ages ago but it took forever to ship and kept getting delayed, so I started with the heat lamp. I had it extremely secure, zip tied to death on a camera stand and the tub is on a box so lots of options for raising, lowering, and repositioning. I pointed at the side of the bin so that area would be warmer (kept about 5 deg higher than what's "good" for them at their age) and then would monitor the temps around the tub and there was a ton of variation/lots of places for them to move off to. My Ecoglow got in yesterday and I'm torn about it. They HATED the dark last night, lots of screaming which I read was normal, but I ended up turning a small light on for them anyway to ween them off. They seem a lot more lethargic today, which I suppose could be interpreted as them being calmer because they're not overheated...but I never had the temperature that high with the positioning. They seem a lot more fearful of me today for some reason, the one who normally LOVES being picked up yelled when I touched her. :( I hate that I can't see them easily and monitor their behavior/poops as well without meddling with their heater. Am I a terrible person for wanting to use the light again? Does it seem that bad with my current set up? I know the big fear for fire risk but I'm home 24/7 and usually in the same room.

Thanks in advance, this community is awesome!
 

Parront

Crossing the Road
Jul 27, 2017
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Prescott, AZ
I always raised mine with a red lamp in the garage, not a lot of interaction like you describe. (Except for in the day time keeping little kids from handling them too much)! They are probably scared of the dark, like you said. You might have looked different to them in the dark, too. Birds are afraid of any new change. You might just go back to the heat light that they are used to and use your new heater on your next batch of chicks. I do not think it is terrible at all to use a heat lamp! It never bothered my birds once they went into the coop, night falls gradually and they are not afraid. Sudden turning on and off is not natural and startles them. Even my Parrot hates suddenly turning on the light! When I first got her, I went into the room where her cage was in the dark and turned on the light, and she said, "F---U-"! (She has not said that since). I do not turn on the light after she goes to sleep any more, either! She can say what your little chicks can only express by actions. They were probably not sleeping well with the change in lighting and the next day making up for it. ;)
 
May 28, 2020
292
347
146
I always raised mine with a red lamp in the garage, not a lot of interaction like you describe. (Except for in the day time keeping little kids from handling them too much)! They are probably scared of the dark, like you said. You might have looked different to them in the dark, too. Birds are afraid of any new change. You might just go back to the heat light that they are used to and use your new heater on your next batch of chicks. I do not think it is terrible at all to use a heat lamp! It never bothered my birds once they went into the coop, night falls gradually and they are not afraid. Sudden turning on and off is not natural and startles them. Even my Parrot hates suddenly turning on the light! When I first got her, I went into the room where her cage was in the dark and turned on the light, and she said, "F---U-"! (She has not said that since). I do not turn on the light after she goes to sleep any more, either! She can say what your little chicks can only express by actions. They were probably not sleeping well with the change in lighting and the next day making up for it. ;)

Thank you! That gives me peace of mind. Turned the red light back on. I know it's not ideal but they just seemed so much different/less comfortable. With the Brinsea they were kind of perpetually shaking despite the room temperature being around 70. I'll try the light again but keep making sure they have the cooler spots to relax.

Also laughed out loud about your parrot! How sassy. :p
 

Parront

Crossing the Road
Jul 27, 2017
5,810
24,557
827
Prescott, AZ
Thank you! That gives me peace of mind. Turned the red light back on. I know it's not ideal but they just seemed so much different/less comfortable. With the Brinsea they were kind of perpetually shaking despite the room temperature being around 70. I'll try the light again but keep making sure they have the cooler spots to relax.

Also laughed out loud about your parrot! How sassy. :p
The parrot can say what other birds can only think. She speaks English better than we speak bird! I got her from a teenage boy, so I have to discourage some of her vocabulary. ;)
Lots of people raise their chickens with a red light, I can not see that they are harmed by it. The Brinsea might have felt cold to them if they were shaking. I like the way chicks can move in and out of the warm area with a light. I got some black heaters that fit in a light reflector. They don't put out any light, just warmth. Hangs just like a light so you can see what they are doing, which I like, too.
 

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