Do I turn my heat lamp off at night?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Jhorra, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Jhorra

    Jhorra Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 29, 2013
    I just bought four baby chickens, I'm guessing no more than a week old. Right now I have them in a fairly large plastic tub with a heat lamp pointed in one corner. I'm concerned that the light makes it hard for them to sleep, but I also don't want them to get to cold. We keep the house around 75 right now, so not sure. They don't sleep right underneath the light, but not all the way at the other side of the tub either.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Do not turn it off. They need the heat. The light will not bother them.
     
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  3. Jhorra

    Jhorra Out Of The Brooder

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    Awesome, thanks.
     
  4. tashtash

    tashtash Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How long should they be under a light for?
     
  5. Jhorra

    Jhorra Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 29, 2013
    I read 60 days, or until their feathers come in.
     
  6. satay

    satay oz-e-chick

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    . I live where it is extremely hot (like you) so mine are only under heat for a week and then I put the outside during the day and under heat at night for the next week and then outside full time. Colder climates would need longer times under heat lamp.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Use a thermometer. I brood mine at hatch at 95F/35C (floor level under the light). Moving the light up each week to drop the temp 5-7 degrees F (3-4C) each time. On the third week I turn the light off for periods of time and week four no light but kept inside. After four weeks they are well feathered and can take our 35F/ 2C lows on spring nights without heat.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I don’t do the same thing each and every time. It depends on the conditions.

    My brooder is permanently built in the coop. I put the chicks in there as soon as they come out of the incubator. Its 3’ x 6’ and I only heat one end. The rest can really cool off. It has a good draft guard but also has real good ventilation. When a broody raises chicks, she does not heat up the entire world. She just provides a warm place for them to go when they need to warm up. I use that same principle. That way I don’t have to worry about keeping the entire brooder one certain temperature. They will find their comfort zone as long as one spot is warm enough and the rest is cooler.

    Last summer when we were having the triple digit temperatures, I turned the daytime heat off at 2 days. They were crowding the edges of that big brooder and telling me they were too hot. I turned the overnight heat off at 5 days. That’s days, not weeks. I don’t remember what the overnight lows were but they were telling me they did not need it.

    Last fall, I kept the daytime and nighttime heat on for a full five weeks. The overnight lows were hitting the mid- 40’s Fahrenheit. There were about 20 of them so there were enough to keep each other warm. At 5 weeks I moved them to my unheated grow-put coop. It has good ventilation but it also is really good at stopping drafts so they did not have a cold wind blowing on them. When they were 5-1/2 weeks old the overnight temperature dropped to the mid 20’s Fahrenheit. They were fine.

    There are a few things involved. I had good ventilation and good draft protection in both my brooder and grow-out coop. There were about 20 of them, so they could keep each other warm if they needed to. And I think a real big one. In my brooder there is a warm spot and the rest cools down a bunch. They play all over that brooder and get acclimated to the cooler temperatures. I think they feather out faster and better because they are exposed to the cooler temperatures.

    If you are raising them in the house, your conditions will be different than mine. Yours will not get acclimated to cooler temperatures like mine do. You may need to keep them in the brooder or at least provide heat a little longer than I do. I don’t know what temperatures yours will be facing when they are ready to go outside. I don’t know how well ventilated or how much draft protection your coop offers. I get good ventilation and good draft protection by having the ventilation over their heads.

    There is no magic number that tells you when to stop the heat for all of us. It varies for me depending on the time of year and what weather I’m having.

    Hope you got something out of this that can help you. Good luck!
     
  9. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Since your room temp is 75, I'd take them off the lamp at 2-3 weeks old. That's about the age they should be at 75.

    Always go by their behaviour though. If they peep loudly or huddle together, they are too cold. If they pant, and stay far away from lamp, they are too hot.

    Like Ridgerunner said, not every situation is the same. I myself remove heat lamps at 3 weeks. I find by that age they don't seek it out like they used to. This is for the chicks raised in the basement. Room temp ranges greatly from 60-75 (sometimes 80 if we stack too much wood in it, then we are all whining and stripping lol). We heat our house with wood, so it's never the same.
     

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