It finally happened; The heat lamp I have always feared fell into the brooder.
I am a worrier. I have always worried that the lamp would fall into the brooder and cause a fire. I have taken steps to minimize the risks such as sliding a pole through the clip and laying it across the top of the brooder. This ensures the lamp cannot fall into the brooder unless the pole does too. I either clipped or taped the pole to minimize that risk too.
The chicks were about 3 weeks old and because of the extreme cold temps, it was decided to keep them in a cold room instead of putting them out in the coop we had for them. we knew they would not survive the below zero temps but decided to turn off the light to get them acclimated to the cold.
You may be thinking that removing the heat at 3 weeks is a bit early. Maybe, but seeing a broody hen raise her chicks convinced me that they do not need as much heat as we suspect. Her chicks were all over the place and rarely stayed under her for long. Also, we had 8 chicks in the brooder that were 6 weeks old and 7 chicks 3 weeks old. They all crowded together at night so we knew they would keep each other warm.
Two days after I shut the heat lamp off I walked in the room and saw the lamp on the floor of the brooder. I was horrified! If I had not turned off the lamp, there would surely been a fire. The connector that holds the head onto the clip had simply failed. The pole I use was useless to prevent the lamp from falling to the floor.
I decided I had had enough. I immediately purchased a Sweeter Heater so when it comes time to brood chicks again I would have a safe alternative. The Sweeter Heater does not heat up like a typical heat lamp used for brooding. The heater warms up to 185 degrees, too low to start a fire. There are no exposed elements, and it gives off a uniform heat.There are two versions to choose from depending on where you purchase yours, one gets attached to a wall, the other gets hung from above. I bought the 11″ x 11″ hanging one.
I decided that the chicks were to be moved into the coop regardless of the weather. They were flying in and out of the box I was using for the brooder, roaming and pooping all over the room…it was time. I installed the heater in the coop just so it would not be too cold. The heater did not heat the coop, it gave the chicks an area to move to to get a little warmer. However, the chicks all crowded into a corner far away from the heater anyways. A week later I was able to remove the heater because the weather broke and the nights were only getting down to the high 20’s.
For safety sake, please consider purchasing a Sweeter Heater or similar heater instead of the dangerous heat lamps many people use. A few extra dollars spent on the Sweeter Heater may save hundreds, thousands, or even a life later on.
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