One of the most critical issues for new chicks is warmth. Without a consistent heat lamp at the right temperature they will quickly chill and die.
This page covers what the optimum temperatures are at critical times in your chicks' lives, what the options are for heating and which is best in different circumstances.
will need to keep a careful eye on the temperature in the brooder; hatchlings move into it having spent at least a few hours drying out in a nice, hot incubator at around 99ºF / 37.5ºC. To move from that to no heat is not an option - chicks can become chilled and die very, very quickly. They need help to stay warm until they are properly feathered.
There are generally agreed specific instructions for heat levels which should start at
week 1 by keeping the temperature at 95ºF / 35ºC.
Here's what ideal brooder temperatures look like :
Bear in mind, though, that brooder warmth will also be affected by the temperature of the room it's in and the number of hatchlings - because more chicks will keep each other warm. So if, for example, you're brooding in the middle of a hot summer, you may not need a heat lamp in your brooder at all.
You need also to be aware that they must be kept draught free : a brooder which has some warm spots but other places where wind is whistling through is going to cause problems.Don't take any chances - use a couple of thermometers to measure the brooder temperature, particularly in the early weeks of incubation.
Why not just one? So that you can make sure the heat is distributed evenly - you're looking for the same reading in different places.
Thermometers and temperature grids are good, but the best indicators of whether they're warm enough are your hatchlings themselves. Watch their behaviour, listen to the noises they make.
Are they spread out around the walls of your brooder, keeping well away from the heat lamp? Are they showing any indication of panting? They may well be too hot. Chicks who are too hot can develop problems including dehydration and pasty butt.
Are they huddled together close to the heat source and peeping loudly? They're likely to be too cold. Chicks chill easily and can quickly die. Increase the heat in your brooder until they are more comfortable.
Chicks who are comfortably warm without being either hot or cold will go about their business eating, drinking and exploring, spread out around the brooder, peeping cheerfully but not distressed.
For safety reasons I made a decision to use only a radiant heat source. For me, that is Brinsea's heat lamps - I have both the small and the large versions.
small one I use in the first stage brooder and all the chicks I've ever brooded have always loved it. The EcoGlow 50, which can keep up to 50 newly hatched chicks warm, I use when my little flock transfers to a larger brooder box. It is equally effective and it's very easy to adjust the height as the babies grow.
A radiant heat lamp provides a source of comfort as well as warmth. The heat warms the chicks' bodies as they touch it and they have a safe place under which to shelter and sleep when life gets too stressful for them.
My chicks love their Brinsea EcoGlow 20 radiant heat lamp.
There's no need to worry about the temperature under the EcoGlows : it's regulated for you. The chicks are warmed to exactly the right degree; all you have to remember is to raise the height as they grow.
With the small Brinsea heat lamp I raise it to a
different level each week. Once they're too big to get underneath it I
either raise it using bricks, or switch to the larger EcoGlow 50.
For more information about these and an honest review of both, go to this page - it will open in a separate window so you can return here when you've finished.
This depends on a few things :
These articles will give you an understanding of the needs of hatchlings in their first days and weeks out of the incubator.
Just click on the pics to visit those pages.
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