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Do I need a heat lamp for my 3 week old chicks?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have 7 chicks that are 3 weeks old. The 4 bantams are fully feathered except for the head, neck and breast. The 3 BO's are almost fully feathered on the back, but neck and breast still have fuz. If I keep them inside where it is 70 f, do I still need to keep my heat lamp on? They seem to have enough feathers to be warm...

In my house there are: 4 barred rocks, 4 welsummer bantams, 3 buff orpingtons, 6 rabbits (mini lops), 1 standard poodle, 1 leopard gecko. 
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In my house there are: 4 barred rocks, 4 welsummer bantams, 3 buff orpingtons, 6 rabbits (mini lops), 1 standard poodle, 1 leopard gecko. 
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post #2 of 8

There is no one right/wrong answer to this situation - the best answer I can suggest is to try it and see what the chicks tell you.  I, personally, don't even monitor the temperature in my brooder(s) or follow the whole "drop by 5 degrees per week" rule of thumb, I simply let the chicks tell me what they need.  In doing so, I can say that my chicks are generally feather out more quickly, seem more hardy and are off the light all together well before the "schedule" would have them be.

Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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post #3 of 8

I would also suggest that if you do try them without the light start early enough in the day that you can be certain any fussing at nightfall is due to the darkness rather than the temperature....if they have been comfortable all day at the same temperature and suddenly get fussy as it gets dark you know it's not temperature related (especially since they keep each other warmer at night so are less likely to be feeling cold in a situation where the temperature is steady vs. being outside where the temperature would drop at night)

Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by chixcoop View Post

I have 7 chicks that are 3 weeks old. The 4 bantams are fully feathered except for the head, neck and breast. The 3 BO's are almost fully feathered on the back, but neck and breast still have fuz. If I keep them inside where it is 70 f, do I still need to keep my heat lamp on? They seem to have enough feathers to be warm...
you can switch heat lamp out for a light bulb.. put it on one side.. chicks will come and go as needed
post #5 of 8
Excellent advice from OGM, especially doing it earlier in the day. Try it. I think you will find it is not an issue.

I also do not believe in the 90 to 95 and drop it 5 degrees a week thing. For those with no experience it’s a place to start so it has value but it’s extremely safe. The chicks are a lot tougher than that.

Part of getting experience is paying attention. It sounds like you are paying attention. It’s a good question.

For those that have to have numbers you might look at this. 70 degrees at 3 weeks isn’t very far out from the recommendations and I assure you, chicks are lousy at math.

0 – 7 = 90 to 95
8 – 14 = 85 to 90
15 to 21 = 80 to 85
22 to 28 = 75 to 80 ….. 3 weeks old

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Okay, they have not had the heat lamp all day, and they seem to be doing fine. They seem more lethargic, like they don't run away from me (they usually run like crazy). They are not making any noise, but they are all sitting a corner clumped together. I'd assume they are doing fine, because they are not making a noise, even as it got dark. Does this sound normal?

In my house there are: 4 barred rocks, 4 welsummer bantams, 3 buff orpingtons, 6 rabbits (mini lops), 1 standard poodle, 1 leopard gecko. 
Reply
In my house there are: 4 barred rocks, 4 welsummer bantams, 3 buff orpingtons, 6 rabbits (mini lops), 1 standard poodle, 1 leopard gecko. 
Reply
post #7 of 8
They are calmer when it's not as bright. Sounds normal to me.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post

Excellent advice from OGM, especially doing it earlier in the day. Try it. I think you will find it is not an issue.

I also do not believe in the 90 to 95 and drop it 5 degrees a week thing. For those with no experience it’s a place to start so it has value but it’s extremely safe. The chicks are a lot tougher than that.

Part of getting experience is paying attention. It sounds like you are paying attention. It’s a good question.

For those that have to have numbers you might look at this. 70 degrees at 3 weeks isn’t very far out from the recommendations and I assure you, chicks are lousy at math.

0 – 7 = 90 to 95
8 – 14 = 85 to 90
15 to 21 = 80 to 85
22 to 28 = 75 to 80 ….. 3 weeks old

:gig - so true.....they are almost as bad at math as they are at reading all the books with all the rules about what chickens need/don't need.

Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
Reply
Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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