when and how to stop heat lamp/light

ausamerican33

Songster
11 Years
Aug 5, 2008
109
4
119
Wendell, NC
So my 11 week old chicks have been out in their coop and free-ranging for quite a while. I just have kind of left the heat light up, b/c we used it for heat, and then went on vacation, and are now back. So should I just go cold turkey (ahem, chicken) and just stop turning it on (it was on a timer for night time), or gradually wean them off of it? Any ideas? I didn't want the heat lamp/light to be a permanent fixture, but I also don't want to do something wrong. Thanks!
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
237
421
SW Arkansas
I think different people do it different ways. I stopped using mine at five weeks of age. Okay, so my SO held my hand one night and kept me from turning the switch on. :| He insisted they'd be fine without it and they were. They fussed a little at first, but soon adjusted.
 

MagsC

Queen Of Clueless
11 Years
Jul 27, 2008
4,616
12
231
Minnesota
I think you could just stop using it at that age, even if they may not like it at first.
As soon as mine are just a little more feathered, I am going to take the heat light away.
 

kinnip

Songster
11 Years
Feb 24, 2008
2,114
14
201
Carrollton, GA
As soon as mine start sleeping in the cooler part of the brooder, the light goes off. They get a little crabby at first, but we all have to tighten our belts these days.
 

ausamerican33

Songster
11 Years
Aug 5, 2008
109
4
119
Wendell, NC
Thank you! I think I'll wean them off of it over the next week. Cut back one hour every night (it's currently on from midnight to 7am). Does that sound like a reasonable plan?
 

kinnip

Songster
11 Years
Feb 24, 2008
2,114
14
201
Carrollton, GA
Sucker! That sounds like they've got you on some mind control drugs. Don't let their cuteness fool you, they know what the score is.
 

Shogun99

Songster
11 Years
Aug 20, 2008
171
1
121
Las Cruces, NM
I moved mine from the brooder to the outside run at 5 weeks of age. At 9 weeks, they were moved to the coop and henhouse since there weren't any older chickens there. They threw a fit at first because they wanted to be back in their old run, but that was that! I left the light on when I moved them outside initially for about 3-4 nights and then they were just fine. When I moved them to the run with the henhouse, they didnt want anything to do with the hen house until I put the lamp inside. They got the idea and yet again...3-4 days later, it was off for good. Now I will turn it on when the days get cold in the winter, but for now, there's no need.

Good luck with your chix!
 

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