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

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chixcoop, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. chixcoop

    chixcoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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...
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    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.
     
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  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    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)
     
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  4. Rod-T

    Rod-T Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you can switch heat lamp out for a light bulb.. put it on one side.. chicks will come and go as needed
     
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  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    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
     
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  6. chixcoop

    chixcoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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?
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    They are calmer when it's not as bright. Sounds normal to me.
     
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  8. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    [​IMG] - 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.
     

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