April 16, 2014

Caring for Newly Hatched Chicks – Brooders and Heat Lamps

Young chicks can be kept anywhere as long as it is safe from predators, draught free, but well ventilated and very warm. As a rule of thumb chicks will need to be kept at a temperature of 95 F or 35 C for the first week, the second week down to 90 F or 32 C, dropping by 5 F a week until they are ready and adjusted to go outside and survive in those conditions .

You can use anything for the pen, or brooder or brooding area as it is called,  as long as you allow at least 2 square feet per chick, this may sound a lot but remember the chicks will grow rapidly. A large cardboard box is good if you only have a few chicks. Also be aware of the amount of mess they will make, especially as they grow. You will also need a net of some sort on top as chicks are surprisingly good flyers after only a few weeks. We suggest that the sides of your brooder pen should be at least 2 feet high ( 60 cm).

Heat Source 

The best way to ensure that the chicks stay warm enough is to use a special brooder lamp. Alternatively a 250 watt infrared heat lamp, suspended off the ground can be placed in the middle of their living area. Anything less than a 250 watt lamp will not be enough at first. The height of the lamp can be adjusted to vary the temperature as necessary.

A red lamp should be used as a white light will be too harsh and make it difficult for them to sleep. Watch your chicks behaviour if they crowd together under the lamp, chances are they are cold and you may need to lower the lamp or add another one. Vice versa if they are all staying as far away from the lamp as possible, they are probably too hot and the lamp should be raised.

 

chick care 

 

 

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