At what age do they NOT need supplemental heat?


11 Years
Oct 11, 2008
Hardwick, NW New Jersey
When I get my 6-8 week old light sussex.......will they be feathered out enough to NOT need
a heat lamp in the coop? Is it their 'age' or degree of 'feather-out-ness' that will determine whether or not
they need supplemental heat? What night time temp. range should be okay for them at that age? 40 degrees?
30 degrees? or will they still need a heat lamp over an area in the coop to bring the temp (under lamp) up
to what temp? How do I tell?


12 Years
Oct 18, 2007
The proper answer is start at 90-95 and drop a 5-6 degrees a week till they are fully feathered, 6-8 weeks. Let the chicks decide what the right temp is for them, if they are not huddled under the heat, or all away from the heat they are fine. If you put yours out without heat, and they dont peep like crazey then they are fine.


11 Years
Jun 15, 2008
They need to adjust to the heat though. If you take a bunch of 8 week olds that have been in a heated building or under heat and throw them in a 30-40F coop they may die. If they've been in 60F for the past few days they may be fine. If they are already adjusted to 40F they shouldn't have a problem. I try not to drop them more than 10F from what they are use to and let them adjust for 5 days or more before dropping it again. If they haven't been in an unheated coop I would definitely put a heat lamp out there and just watch them. When they are no longer sitting under it then you can take it out. I put my 10 week olds out in the fall and did it that way. They stayed under the heat constantly for a couple days and by the end of the week they were roosting at night and not using the heat at all so I took it out.


10 Years
Mar 8, 2009
Dillingham, Alaska
on warm/hot days in the summer i allow my little week old chicks to "play outside" with me for short periods of time under close supervision. they don't run away, and when i get up to move to a sunnier spot they franticly follow me.

i wouldn't put them out in to coop at this time, we kept our chicks inside under a lamp until they were fully feathered, aside from occasional outside-time with me on warms days.


In the Brooder
10 Years
Feb 23, 2009
Coeur d'Alene Idaho
Now...nobody call CPS (chick protective services)...I really do love the little peepers...but from the time they are a week old, when I clean the brooder - I leave the door open, and we practice "free-ranging" they usually only step out of the door and then scoot back in, but within a week, they are practicing their flying at room temperature. (Which isn't all that warm...we have wood heat - the warmest it gets is 70) When they get cold or tired they go back in...when everyone is back in, we close the door and have naptime at the approved temperature.
Gets them used to temperature fluctuations...and they know just what to do when they have had enough cool air and activity...I think all of their fluttering around is keeping them warm though...It's also teaching them about "indoor behavior" roosting and sleeping - and "outdoor behavior" running, flying and rooster duels...They actually beg to come out when I walk past the brooder...
My babies also get perches to roost on from 1 week amazes me how quickly they decide to roost!
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12 Years
Nov 19, 2007
I would put them under a heat lamp (just at night) if it goes below 40. I had small chicks hatch late and they had a very tough winter and have grown very slowly. I'll never do that again. But at 6-8 weeks they should handle it a lot better, and like I said, down to 40 at night is probably ok.

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