When I had babies without a mother hen, I've always used a brooder with a heat lamp and followed the standard heating guidelines (95 deg in week 1, 90 deg in week 2, 85 deg in week 3 and so on till they can tolerate room temps). But when I have broodies to take care of the chicks, I have the family in the house and they do just fine from hatching day with no heat whatsoever. It is about 72 degrees in my house right now, though at night it goes down to about 65 degrees. On hatching day, the babies do seem to spend alot of time underneath their broody mother, sleeping. But on day 2 onward, I have watched them most or all of the day outside of Momma's feathered blanket. They play, eat, scratch, poop, interact with each other and with Momma -- all of it in room temperature, with no sign of being too cold. Right now, I have three babies that are 10 and 9 days old, and it is 72 degrees in their play room. They are in a large dog wire cage, so there is nothing that is there to help keep them warmer than the ambient room temp. And they just playing, lively. They are NOT cold. This has got me thinking: do the motherless babies REALLY need as much heat as the guidelines suggest?