Heat lamp on at night?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by epeloquin, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. epeloquin

    epeloquin Songster

    Mar 11, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    This might be silly and I think I know the answer but - should I leave the heat lamp on all night long for my chicks? Will they sleep as they should if it is not dark?

  2. SIMPleChick

    SIMPleChick Songster

    Mar 10, 2011
    It needs to stay on day and night until they are fully feathered, or until week after week you decrease the temp by 5 degrees to about 70. I think that's what everyone says. But yes, at night too.
  3. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:Yes.... [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    I leave mine on 24/7 till they're feathered. To decrease the temp they get I will either raise the lamp or change the bulb to a lower wattage. But generally like said before, leave the light on till they are feathered. The only ones I haven't given a light to where the ones with the broody.
  5. MoriahQuilts

    MoriahQuilts Songster

    Mar 29, 2011
    They need the heat all the time, first week 95 degrees, and 5 degrees lower every week. I hung a thermometer under the lamp and made sure it was warm there, and the chicks could move away from it to another part of the brooder if they were too warm. I started with a white light because CAL Ranch was out of red, but found they were awake alot, so we found a red bulb and had the red one on only at night and a white one on during the day. They seemed to sleep better and be more calm after that. Moved them out to the henhouse on Sunday (they are 8 weeks old) and we had 20 degree weather last night!!, so the red heat lamp came in handy again.

    Hope that helps!
  6. rebeccabaird

    rebeccabaird In the Brooder

    Apr 26, 2011
    Southern California
    I left mine on until they were completely feathered.
  7. jenlynn4

    jenlynn4 Songster

    Jan 12, 2007
    Mine run 24/7 and so does my electric meter! [​IMG]

  8. omlet the chicken

    omlet the chicken In the Brooder

    Jun 10, 2017
    do they need the lamp at night even in the house?
  9. two j farm

    two j farm Chirping

    May 25, 2016
    My Coop
    I would leave it on day and night in the house. I have 2 week old chicks out side in a brooder I turn the light off during the day but its in the 90s here but back on at night. If they get to hot they will move from the light.
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Short answer yes.

    Short answer yes.

    Long answer to both of you: Chicks need heat, and it needs to be available to them on an as needed basis. That means: it needs to be adequate to warm them up, but the rest of their environment needs to be cool, at ambient temperatures. Chicks that are in down are not able to self regulate their temperature. Too warm, and they get sick. Too cold, and they get hypothermic. Far more chicks are killed from too much heat than are killed from being too cold. There needs to be a spot in the brooder that is just big enough, and just warm enough for them to cuddle in that heat to warm up. It's absolutely imperative that the rest of the brooder be cool. And the brooder needs to be big enough that they have plenty of room to self regulate. At least 1 s.f. of open space/chick in the first 2 weeks, and then increase to 2 s.f./chick after that.

    While the standard heat lamp protocol is to start at 90 - 95* the first week, and decrease 5* every following week, many of us have found that chicks do much better with less heat. After the first 2 - 3 days, you'll find that they do not need any where near as much heat as the protocol recommends. Your goal at this point is to decrease the heat to what ever level meets their needs. If you let the chicks guide you, you'll find that the 5* rule = too much heat. Starting at week 2, you can turn their heat off for increasingly longer periods of time. By week 3, they should be able to go all day w/o heat if the temp is >/= 70*. By week 4 in the summer, and week 5 in night time temps that can go down to freezing, they should be completely weaned from heat if they have a dry and draft free coop.

    Many of us never use heat lamps, and have found that heating pad brooding is much safer, more natural, and allows the chicks to self regulate without the worries of the brooder becoming overheated as it will with a heat lamp. There are also other options that some are having success with: Wool hen and huddle box. You can do a topic search to read about these wonderful options. For myself, I will never use a heat lamp again, unless I find myself brooding more than 50 chicks at a time. I brooded 48 chicks with heating pads in a coop this spring with night time temps down into the 30's. They self weaned by 4 weeks of age.
    Pensmaster likes this.

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