Backup Heat Source for Chicks??

Black Feather

12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ok, I'm a bit of a victim of my own success right now. I've hatched so many chicks so fast that I have to move some out into the brooder section of my coop. This is an insulated, but not heated room set aside specifically for raising chicks. There are two brooder boxes in the room and two weaning pens. Usually by the time I do this the weather is getting warmer, say late May/June. If a heat lamp in one of the pens went out the chicks would not freeze to death.

I'm trying to figure out what to do as a backup heat source in case a lamp goes out and I'm at work. It still very cold out and I'm sure the chicks would freeze to death. Put two 100 watt lamps in each brooder box, instead of one 250 watt bulb so if one goes out there is a second still working?

Does anyone else have this sort of issue?

Urban Coyote


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Jan 30, 2007
I always use two heat lamps when I move the chicks to the garage brooder incase one burns out, one on each end of the brooder box. You would just need to test the 100 watts for warmth right under the heat lamp to make sure they are giving out the correct temp for their age. My thoughts....


11 Years
Aug 18, 2008
Olympia WA
When my chicks were younger I put a "snuggle-safe" in the brooder and reheated it in the microwave when I had to leave or at night. It is a microwaveable disk that hold heats for several hours (still warm in the morning!). I have not had a light or power go out (this time!), but it made me feel a lot better knowing they had a backup heat source until I got home. I covered it with a puppy pad and they really liked to hang out on it.


It's All About Chicken Math
12 Years
Apr 29, 2007
I have an outdoor brooder in my barn. It is mostly plywood with hardware cloth on the ends for airflow. I have 3 lights in it. 2 are 100 watt regular soft white bulbs , one is a heat lamp. It has been in the 40's here last few nights and one 100W has been enough. On nights that it has been in the 20's or lower I use all 3. Also I cover up the wire when under 50 at night to keep the heat in.


Rhymes with 'henn'
11 Years
Jun 14, 2008
South Puget Sound
My new babies love to hang out in my shirt.


Artful Wings
13 Years
Mar 1, 2009
Muskogee OK
I have my brooder in the spare bathroom, the banties are in the tub, with shavings, the standards are in a section with shavings on a sheet- and have the heat lamp and a small space heater that helps keep the temp right, it cycles on if it gets too cold- i have it on a high shelf away from the babies- just in case - and i go in fairly often to check on them


11 Years
Nov 30, 2008
I have two plastic sheets with wires imbedded that plug in, and are made to provide bottom heat under seed trays. There is no thermostat, but they provide constant low heat, and this is all my babies want in their little coop overnight. I moved their tractor into the spare room, which is a cool room. I have 5 Welsummer pullets who let me know after 2 weeks that they wanted their temps a good bit lower than the "books" say.

I was so proud of them! I put them into the coop of the tractor for the first time last night , after spending thier first two weeks in a Rubbermaid container. I did suspend a heater over one part of the tractor run, as it is large and open wire, unlike their plastic one.

Tonight I went to put them up again, and they had already put themselves to bed! So smart!
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Black Feather

12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Hmmm.....sounds like a double lamp situation would be the best for me to start out with. It should work though. I can convert one of the lamps into just a light supply later on when the babies get bigger, the weather gets warmer and they don't need both.

I'd like to explore different heat sources for the babies in the future though. I heard that there is some electric tape that people have been using on the floor of brooders. Anybody here use that and how did they set it up?


Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Dec 26, 2006
Both Coasts
Put two 100 watt lamps in each brooder box, instead of one 250 watt bulb so if one goes out there is a second still working?

Two lamps is a good idea. It will, at least, maintain a minimum heat.​

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