My heat lamp went out?!


8 Years
Sep 2, 2011
Okeechobee, FL
What should I do?! My 4 week old Dom chicks have been in our coop outside in their "growup brooder" that my hubby built them for about a week now with our heat lamp on at night from about 6pm to around 10-11am. (I live in south FL so it's pretty warm here.) But tonight it's supposed to hit 35-37 & my over head heat lamp just blew! Please help. Oh & here is a pic of there brooder pen... Now we did put a piece of wood over 1/2 of the top to block from drafts & the windows to the coop are closed...

If I were in your position I would find the biggest watt regular light bulb I could find and position it low enough to provide adequate heat. If the fixture itself blew. not just the bulb I would bring them in the house for the night.
I would bring them in the house overnight until you can get a replacement bulb, they're too little for those temperatures yet.
This was my first set up. Hot water bottle with towel to stop burnt feeties. This box was kept in the warm living room during the day, bottle regularly refilled. It was then put in my boiler cupboard at night where it was warmer. After the first 3 nights I didn't need to get up in the night to refill the bottle. All chicks were happy enough.
I had the problem of frequent power failures during summer when the thunder storms rolled in. It's very nerve-wracking when you have two-week olds and the power goes out for several hours.

I solved it by filling milk jugs with hot tap water and placing them in the brooder. Watch the thermometer! Enough hot water jugs can raise the temp more than you would believe!

When my babies started panting, I knew I had overdone it, and I had to take a few bottles out. Lol!
You could make them an insulated nest area and pop them in it at night. It's called 'cold brooding' because there's no added heat. Birds at 4 weeks of age are partly feathered and should cope as long as they're confined in the nest, and only let out when the air is starting to warm up.

The trick is to make them just fit the chicks without too much spare room, while allowing ventilation. They have to be snug, but air has to be able to come through the insulation somehow.

There are some ideas on my blog but they might be a bit fiddly for one night. Just think something like a duvet, but with a structure to it so it doesn't collapse, and some narrow air holes. Cardboard boxes work if you house one inside the other and stuff the gap with wool or straw, and of course remember to punch air holes. A little effort to make a doorway that gets blocked over at night, hey presto. At four weeks your birds will have fairly high oxygen requirements so remember to be generous with the air holes (though not too generous with the size of each).

I'm sure you'll work out a way, whether it's heat/light or a nest...
That happened to me the other night. For some reason I had thought about it earlier that day and bought an extra bulb. So I had a back up. Mine were also in a brooder outside. If I were you I would bring them in until you get a bulb tomorrow. When I put mine outside a few days later in the brooder I put 2 lights (1 at each end of my brooder) because I got worried 1 may go out. Plus I have an extra bulb. Hopefully I will be prepared if it happens again. Good luck !!
Bring them into the house for the night. Put a blanket over 3/4 of the brooder to hold in the warmth. Leave 1/4 for air.
You can go buy a new heat lamp bulb tomorrow.

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