turning heat lamp off at night?


10 Years
Aug 31, 2009
my hubs is not thrilled with the lamp being on 24/7. i know you are supposed to lower the temp 5 degrees per week but what about just turning the light off for hours at a time? the chicks are two weeks and three days old. their wings are totally feathered out and they have tail feathers and also, their necks are feathering out now too. The room they are in stays quite warm if the door is closed and still comfy for a human with it open. the chicks are all eating and drinking and healthy as far as i can tell. do you think we could get away with turning the light off every so often?
yes for sure..........

I am already turning the light off for a couple hours at a time and mine will be two weeks tomorrow

We take pretend naps several times a day...... If you have your babies IN THE HOUSE then definantly turn that light off.... Theyare almost 3 weeks old and that is when the light gets off except for freezing nights when outside.

I have my 2 weekers OUTSIDE in a brooder. I am keeping the light one all night long because of the 33 degrees..... but when I had them in the house they slept without it on.

Good luck...... and trust your gut.
You will kill them. Baby chicks have no way of regulating their own body temoerature, that's why they nestle under mom for so long. They stay warm with her body temp. You have to simulate mom brooding them, else they will die.
You could always go with a regular bulb (red is best) like 60 or 100 watt and see if that works. That won't pull near as much electricity as a heat lamp. Then just observe and see how they act. Sounds like they are in the house? I think overall, depending on what wattage your heatlamp is...its best to wean them a bit slower. Tell hubby to chill!
At two weeks old the temp for the chicks should be a steady 90* F. and yes use the 5* lowering/week of age rule. It won't be till the chicks are 4to5 weeks old for them to have enough feathers for them to store body heat with so if they get to cool your are putting them at risk to develop health problems let along growth rate issues.

Yeah, try the smaller watt light bulbs, inside the house I use 60 watt for a large box, right now I have a 25 wt. chandelier bulb over 4 chicks in a small box and it keeps them just at the right temp. I only use those big 'ol heat bulbs out in the shed in cold winter time if I have a big brood, too big to be inside for the first week or so.

hmmm...some differing opinions here. I have been using the 60 w bulb from day one. so i can't go any lower there. found out hubs turned the light off for several hours while i had my daughter on play date today.....still...i get so nervous. i think i will ignore him for another week. they are three weeks on manday so i will try to hold him off until then. i do not want to hurt them or affect their health long term by any means so i will just hang tight for now i think.
From the day we go the chicks I have NEVER left the light on when we are not here. I have not lost 1 chick ever (knock on wood). I do not take chances with my home by leaving the lights on. We use a reptile light to heat the plastic tubs with, its only 75 watts and is a soft purple color.
I always used to keep a light on them until the ambient temp matched up with the temp the chicks "should" be at going by the 5 degrees less every week rule. Then my last hatch the brooding just wouldn't go right. I couldn't get the brooder over 85 degrees to start which is strange because it was the same brooder I always use with the same wattage bulb, but it just wouldn't get up to temp. I put the chicks in at 48 hours old for better or worse and they did fine, they didn't huddle or complain at all. I kept the temp at 85 for the first 2 weeks and then woke up one day to find the bulb had blown sometime while I was asleep and the chicks were still happily going about their business. We keep the house at 62 degrees during the winter. I didn't have another bulb to put in right away so they spent the day without. I bought a new bulb and it was in for about 24 hours before it blew (found out the cats were attacking the heck out of the shadows on the side of the brooder and it was jarring the fixture that held the bulb which blew the bulb). The chicks still didn't seem to care so I decided to not put another bulb in. They feathered out much quicker than previous batches and they grew just fine. They are happy, healthy, and normal sized 15 week olds now. Before this bunch I would have been strongly against the idea of turning off the light on 2 week old chicks but these guys gave me a whole new perspective. Note, however, that I still think if your chicks are huddling together or peeping loudly when the light is off, they are probably too cold and need the light back on, but if they are still going about their business just the same as ever then it's likely they will be fine without.
I definitely let the chicks tell me if they are warm/cold, and to be honest I've never paid much attentiong to the 5 degree/week rule of thumb. Noisy/complaining chicks = cold chicks. Happy/quiet chicks = warm chicks. If they are sleeping in a pile they're cold (and you should add a light). In my experience chickens (and chicks) are much tougher than we may think. I like the idea of acclimating them to no light as soon as possible, but that's just me
I moved mine away from the heatlamp at 6 weeks and the poor things were all huddled together for warmth! It was 68 degrees in the house. I gave it back to them. I'm sure they would have lived without it, but I know I wouldn't want to be so cold that I have to snuggle up to everybody else for warmth!

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