Help!! Can I turn off the heat lamp?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sigmachigirl, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. sigmachigirl

    sigmachigirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there, we've had chickens since June of this year, but we got them at about 6-10 weeks old. One of our silkie girls went broody so we picked up two chicks yesterday and tucked them under her. They are 3 days old today. We live in the Pacific Northwest and it's supposed to get into the low 30's tonight/high 20's. Our coop isn't huge, but my girls have enough room to stretch out. It's about 4x4x4, with some ventilation holes at the top of the slanted roof. We have 7 girls, in addition to the two new babies. Do you think it's safe to turn off the heat lamp tonight? Do you think my silkie will be able to keep them warm? I typically turn the lamp on just so they can see to come in, then turn it off... Worried about the babies!! Help!!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    At 6-10 weeks I never would have turned one on. You may need to wean them at this point.
     
  3. sigmachigirl

    sigmachigirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The silkie is 7 months old, the chicks are only 4 days old. Light is on usually only for a few minutes. They're scardy cats to go into a dark coop.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  4. sigmachigirl

    sigmachigirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ended up unplugging it, and everyone seemed to do fine. :). Phew!!
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    The broody momma is all the babies need. Get rid of the lamp, it's just a big ol fire hazard and birds don't need one.

    edit--7 hens in 16 square feet? Plus 2 chicks? Unless you free range all day or have a huge run they have constant access to, you're flirting with overcrowding issues like pecking, reduced laying and cannibalism.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm sorry, I really misread your first post. Must have been sleepy, ugh. That's one good thing about forums -- if some idiot posts something stupid, someone else is very likely to catch it!

    Definitely agree with donrae. That's a pretty small coop, even if they are all Silkies or other bantams. They shouldn't need a light to go into the coop. They should go in on their own around dusk or toward the end of the day, as light begins to fade. And the coop should have enough natural light that it's not much darker than outdoors.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  7. sigmachigirl

    sigmachigirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They all free range all day in the yard, and also have a very large run that is covered. Also, 3 of those chickens are bantam breeds that weigh less than a pound and a half sopping wet. :). They go in to the coop at bed time, then my husband lets them out when he leaves for work before the sun is up.
     
  8. sigmachigirl

    sigmachigirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd also like to say, we've never had any aggression whatsoever with the girls. We have two long roosting bars, and every girl has her own space to roost without snuggling next to another bird, though several like to be right next to each other when they sleep. We do intend to look at who we have come spring and will likely give a bird away. The only reason we got two chicks was just in case we lost one over winter.
     

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