Coops and heat lamps

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Sarahej, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Sarahej

    Sarahej Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 14, 2012
    I bet this wiill be a silly question for the old schoolers, but once I move my chicks outside to the coop, will they need a heat lamp? Will they need one in winter? Also, two of my chicks seem obsessed with trying to peck at some of the this normal? Lastly, we placed a towel over the shavings for easy bed changes, is this a concern? Thanks!
  2. amberflea

    amberflea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2010
    Central WI
    They will need heat unless fully feathered, usually 6 weeks old or so...

    Baby chicks should not be put on shavings until they know what food is, otherwise they will eat them and die of digestive issues.
  3. MamaOf5Cuties

    MamaOf5Cuties Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 9, 2012
    Thibodaux, La
    About how old before the chicks can have the shavings? I have 1-2 week olds right now, and they do know what food is. However I find they're also extremely crazy about the shavings :-/
  4. RonC

    RonC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2012
    Mine were on shavings when I got them. They lived on a towel for the next week or so then back on the shavings. They peck at everything to explore and see if it's food or not.
    1 person likes this.
  5. gardendufus

    gardendufus Chillin' With My Peeps

    They should be fine on shavings. Mine have been since I got them. Even at 6 weeks old they still are obsessed with picking it up and tasting/mouthing it but I don't think they actually eat much of it.
  6. amberflea

    amberflea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2010
    Central WI
    I wouldn't put them on shavings until they are at least a week old... yes, some do come in shavings, and some do turn out fine. But I have read horror story after horror story of impacted intestines and crops from eating shavings... WHY take the chance...
  7. moetrout

    moetrout Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    Four years with chickens here and I have always raised my chicks on wood chips with no issues. I use a heat lamp 24/7 for about the first week and then in week 2 start shutting it off during the day. I first shut it off for short periods of time to let them acclimate and then eventually I shut it off during the entire day and only have it on at night. Whether or not they need one at night depends on how old they are when you put them out and the current weather at the time. If they go outside in week 5 or 6 and are fully feathered and temps in the 60's not heat lamp. If it is cooler then I use a heat lamp, mostly at night though. The best way to tell what they need is to watch them. If you are constantly seeing them piled up together then they are cold and need additional heat. If thye are as far away from the heat as they can get then they don't need it.

    I don't heat my coup in the winter and I am in Michigan. My coup is also not insulated. Full grown large fowl chickens don't need supplemental heat in the winter.
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Been raising chicks on shavings and even on hay for many, many years....never had one eat them or have any issues with being on them. I think the "horror stories" may be exceptions and I'd be curious if these people actually opened these chicks up to discover the exact cause of their dying. Few people will cut open a little chick..even a dead one.
  9. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    I put my chicks right on shavings, never had one have any problems from eating them. They are in my barn right now in a huge pile of shavings and the food is disappearing, so they know which is food and which is not. :p

    Oh and I don't use heat past 5 weeks or so, when fully feathered. If it's VERY cold (like zero), I might heat my barn up a bit, but I don't use a heat lamp (I use an ecoglow anyways for weeks 1-4).
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012

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