Time To Take The Heat Lamp Away?

Chica

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 27, 2010
11
0
22
The Farm
The local feed store that carries chickens says I can turn it off during the day if it's nice out, but around 6:00pm to have it on. My neighbor who has baby chicks and has raised them for years says I need to take it away completely. Here's my setup:

They are in a huge long tote with pine bedding, their food and water and a secure netting type thing on top so they don't fly out as I had one that escaped to on top of the tote. I have a heat lamp for them on 24/7 and they are in a heated garage. The furnace in the garage is rarely on anymore, and if it is, it's no higher than 50 degrees.

This Sunday they will be three weeks old. What do you all think?
 

PunkinPeep

Songster
10 Years
Mar 31, 2009
3,642
68
229
SouthEast Texas
I think you have to gauge this for yourself. At three weeks old, most breeds are pretty well feathered out. Try turning it off at night and watch them for a little while, or come back to them 30 minutes to an hour later - and see what they're doing. If they're all sleeping on top of each other, they're cold. If they're comfortably spread all out, sleeping that way, then they're fine. My chicks are right at 3 weeks also, and it will be about 47 tonight. I took their heat lamp away today. I'm probably on the liberal side when it comes to taking the heat lamp away earlier than many others people who raise chickens. I have had good results in the past. My chickens are very healthy.

Edited to add: my brooder is outside.
 
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Chica

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 27, 2010
11
0
22
The Farm
Thank you for the replies. I thought that it was a little too soon to take it completely away. I will turn it off for about 30-45 minutes and see what they're doing, but during the day. I'm not going to completley take it away yet.
 

nanawendy

Songster
10 Years
Dec 28, 2009
1,532
9
151
Bellingham Wa
Yeah you could have chick-cicles if your not careful.
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underground chickenman

Songster
10 Years
May 30, 2009
562
10
131
Orlando, Florida
Although the general rule is 95 the first week and 5 degrees cooler each week thereafter, you have to adapt it to how the chicks respond and to your climatic circumstances. As one poster pointed out, you can observe them and tell whether they are cold, hot or just right. BUT, you also have to anticipate changes, especially overnight. If they are fine at 8:00PM, but you are expecting the temp to drop to 40 over night, I would make sure 3-week old chicks have some heat.

Regarding climatic circumstances, I keep my spring chicks on the warm side for longer since about the time they will be in the coop and yard, it will be blazing hot in Florida. I have no scientific data to support this, but I have to believe that it helps to condition them to the heat a little. It's pretty tough to go abruptly from 75 in the cool of the back porch brooder to 95 in the run.

On the other hand, if I got chicks in the summer in Michigan, I might cool them down a little faster than the general rule in order to prepare them for the cold. Again, it would be quite a shock to go from the 85 degree brooder to the 30 degree coop overnight. I could be way off on this, but it makes me feel smart to come up with it. haha.

All that said, don't stray too far from the general rule too quickly.

UGCM
 

redrocketrooster

Allons-y
9 Years
Feb 8, 2010
621
6
138
Chandler, AZ
Quote:
I am doing the same as UGCM is doing. When I live in Arizona it can easily get to 120f.
In my room is on the colder side of the house with the lack of sun so it averages 60-75f.
The outside is much warmer and will continue to boil as we progress into summer.
For the chicks I imagine it being very harsh and overbearing if they are not used to heat.
 

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