We ordered a bunch of stuff to get ready for the fluff balls that should be here in about 8-9 days. We got some of the red light heat bulbs, and they seem to be working as you'd expect. We also ordered some of the black ceramic lightless heat bulbs that 100W vs the 250W of the red heat bulbs. Hope was both for lower energy consumption, and also reduced fire hazard. However the black ceramic bulbs had some ... issues. One was chipped when we pulled it out of the box. The other one, when we ran a test with the heat lamp clamped to a cabinet door, and thermometers in a drawer that gave about a 16-18" height for the heat lamp, even in our 69F house it only got those up to a temp of about 82-85 after maybe 10 minutes. I switched to the red light bulb and within moments the temps were climbing past 90F, and at last check were over 120F after less than 10 minutes.
Any of you folks had good luck with the ceramic heat bulbs? If so which do you like and recommend?
I have only used the traditional red incandescent heat lamps. I like them because they work as advertised, making plenty of heat. They're really only needed for a couple weeks as the baby chicks develop a stable body temperature and once they start to feather out the heat lamp is usually no longer necessary. They can still huddle together if they get chilly. I think there may be a few exceptions on the length of time a heat lamp is needed. I brood my chicks in my garage, where the ambient temperature at this time of year is about 55 degrees. My neighbor broods his chicks on his front porch, and with temperatures that can still drop below freezing, he'll keep the heat lamp on longer and he uses the same red incandescent type.
"Study books and observe nature; if they do not agree, throw away the books." ~ William A. Albrecht
I use one of the ceramic bulbs in my brooder. I've been very happy with it. There are a couple of key distinctions:
1. The temperature comes up much more slowly than a red bulb (which is almost instantaneous). After you turn them on, you'll need to wait about 5 minutes before they are fully hot.
2. They don't use nearly as much energy as other bulbs, which is nice when you've got to leave them running 24-7 for the first 7 weeks of the baby chicken's life.
3. They aren't as dangerous as other heat bulbs. Dry straw bedding and a heat source = fire hazard. These ceramic bulbs are not as dangerous. But you've got to make sure you've got the right kind of lamp to screw them into -- one with a ceramic socket.
4. When the chicks are small, you can lower it right down close to them without fear of burning them. As they grow and need less heat, you can slowly lift it high and higher, to allow for taller birds and for less heat needed.
I love the ceramic bulb I use. I wouldn't go back to the old ones (that are gathering dust in the garage). Like anything else, you get what you pay for. I've bought cheap ones and have regretted it. Spend the money to get something of decent quality.
"The rule of no realm is mine. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, these are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail in my task if anything that passes through this night can still grow fairer or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I too am a steward. Did you not know?" Gandolf
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