heat lamp 7-9 week chicks


11 Years
May 4, 2008
Houlton Maine
My Coop
My Coop
It is getting really cold out and my baby chicks are down to 1 heat lamp and they are in a pen in the garage with all the other chickens(19 in all). The pens are all "open"-just chicken wire from ceiling to floor. We do have some bags stapled up to stop any drafts. I have 28 in the pen 14-7 week olds and 14-9 week olds. The pen is getting smaller by the day so not sure what I'm going to do there. The pen is 4'x4&1/2'. I have another pen the same size but my 2 roos are in there. It is cold enough that when the ice freezes at night it stays frozen all day now, even the topsoil is pretty frozen. I think it's been staying in the 30s. When I go in the garage it is a lot warmer in there than out side. I don't know if it is partly because of the number of chickens or because of just the heat lamp. I read somewhere someone had said if you have the heat lamp on for too long they won't get their winter feathers. That was mainly for adults so not sure how that applies for baby chicks. So I was wondering how much longer should I leave the heat lamp up? They currently do not stay under it.Because they are bigger our "draft guard" doesn't seem as big anymore should I put up some higher bags to stop drafts? We leave the hen pen door open all day and I noticed the other day that because the lack of leaves on the trees that we were once draft free, but now without all the wind breaks the curtains on our nest boxes move quite a bit with a breeze. Is this going to be a problem?

Thank in advance
Just me? But I'd shut it off now. You said the garage is staying somewhat warm because it is a building and the chickens give off heat too.

At 7 weeks, most fowl are feathered and ready for acclimation to the climate they are going to live in. This is still Autumn, with real winter yet to come. These days are cool or even cold, but not bitter, bitter cold. That will come later. Yes, it is my experience that the chicks will feather out thicker and faster without relying on the supplemental heat.

I would feed a very high quality, higher protein feed, such as Starter (non medicated) to give them the nutrition needed for heat generation and feather growth. I'd skip the lower protein Grower. 7 and 9 week old chicks are no longer fragile. They are also large enough and strong enough to avoid the smothering risk associated with very young chicks piling up for warmth.

They'll be fine.
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I put mine out at 5 1/2 weeks when our nights were getting into the lower 40s. They are now 9 weeks and we had lows in the 20s this past week. I went out once to check on them, and they were resting just fine--I only have 4. I still give them a little heat first thing in the morning to wake them when it's still dark out but no heat at night. Even with lows in the 20s their coop was almost 40 so they do give off some heat. I still worry that they're cold!! LOL

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