Temp and Heat Lamp @ 4-6weeks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BonnieFierce, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. BonnieFierce

    BonnieFierce Chirping

    Mar 21, 2018
    Hi All,
    I have kept my heat lamp on 100% since we got the chicks. I have raised it up a bit since they were brand new. We have a large brooder so they can escape from the heat easily. I think their brooder ranges from about 85-74 with the heat lamp staying on... Now that most will be turning 6 weeks, I want to make sure I condition them for outside. I turned the heat lamp off for a few hours the other day and they huddled together like it was too cold (and my house was set at 70). I dont know if it was just coincidence or if they truly were that cold... but now I am afraid to turn off the light on days when I wont be home to watch them... I am worried that it might shock them to turn it off for long periods but most of them have their feathers already.... Am I just paranoid or did I really mess up not turning the light off more times during the earlier weeks? I feel like I enabled them with the heat! please help.
    My Oldest girls will be 6 weeks on saturday (4.7.18) and the youngest will be 4 weeks tomorrow.
  2. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Your chicks have become heat lamp addicts. I know. It's sad. And at such a young age.

    You will be better able to cope with their addiction if you understand their true needs. At three weeks of age, chicks do not need heat during the day any longer when the temps are between 55 and 70F or more. Why? Because the little twerps have feathered out enough to where it's as if they're each wearing a light jacket against any chill.

    They only need heat at night until around five or six weeks, and when they have feathers showing on their heads, you can be sure they are completely outfitted in a ski ensemble and can withstand temps down to freezing standing on their little feathered heads.

    So now your job is to help them kick their addiction. Knowing they don't really need a heat lamp during the day, you don't need to feel guilty when they object and try to manipulate you by huddling and looking pathetic.

    You can help take their minds off having to go cold turkey during the day by taking them outside for brief field trips when the day is mild and no chill wind is blowing. This will help speed up the acclimation process.
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    YES! This!!
    BonnieFierce likes this.
  4. BonnieFierce

    BonnieFierce Chirping

    Mar 21, 2018

    Thank you so much for the response! I chuckled a bit while reading it! They are already acting a bit spoiled!! (just like the rest of my animals!) this does make me feel better, and I will be turning the heat light off for longer periods of time. :) I am planning to get them outside but trying to figure out what to put them in while out there. And I only have one chick who is adores me and she jumps on my shoulder! But the rest of them are still terrified of being handled (I give them treats just like i did the other one, but they are still so skittish). I am a little weary of too much stress on them but the skittish ones are the oldest ones who really need time outside!
    azygous likes this.
  5. sierraboots

    sierraboots Chirping

    Mar 28, 2018
    I stay at home with my kiddos so I kept the heat lamp on 24/7 for the first 5 weeks.. then I switched to a regular household bulb.. whatever I had on hand- I think it was 60w. Took them outside for a few hours for 3 days in a row then moved them to the coop. The first night it was low 30s/upper 20s. second night it was low teens with 20mph winds. We’ve had no problems and they seem to be really loving it out there. I should also note I’m brand new to keeping chickens but that’s what worked for mine :)

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