When DON'T they need a heat lamp?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sixlittlechicks09, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. sixlittlechicks09

    sixlittlechicks09 Songster

    Jul 8, 2010
    Hi everyone!!
    I've got three chicks, about a "monthish" old, maybe a little more (5 or 6 weeks). I've got them in the brooder downstairs now, but bbaarrrhhh they stink. Real bad. I've been putting them outside a little during the day, in a big old dog crate, but my question is, when do they not need a heat lamp? Or what's a good rule of thumb?

  2. texasgal

    texasgal Brood with an Attitude

    Apr 18, 2009
    Once they are feathered. I usually reduce the amount of heat every week until they are 4 weeks old. Then it depends on how cool it is at night where you are ..

    but, generally, once they are feathered, they are pretty hardy (as far as temps go_)
  3. rhodered10

    rhodered10 In the Brooder

    Aug 12, 2010
    For a month old chick the brooder temp should be about 80 degrees the general rule is that u should decrese the temp of your brooder by 5 degrees every week until u get to the point were the temp outside or in your house is the apropriate temp for them and then you should only need the heat lamp at night or when it gets colder.
  4. midd2005

    midd2005 Chirping

    May 22, 2010
    actually, for 4 week old chicks the temp should now be between 70-75 in the brooder. i'm afraid i don't know where you are, but for most people this time of year, that is probably pretty close to the house temperature, so you might only need the heat lamp at night, depending on how low temps go.

    my 2.5 week old chicks are at 80 degrees right now with the heat lamp on only at night. as soon as the coop is built, they will be outside during the day.

    since it sounds like you're not sure how old they are, it might be best to error on the side of caution. how do their feathers look though? if you drop the temps down and they are all huddled together, then they are too cold.
  5. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2010
    Our chicks are 3 weeks old and I think I have only turned on the heat lamp 4 times. It is HOT here- right now we have a heat index of 100+ so I am more worried that they will get too hot. When they first got here we too had them in the basement- for the sake of my marriage I had to take them outside when they were 2 weeks old (ok I thought they were getting stinky as well). They are doing fine and I am thinking of taking them out of the brooder box as they are growing so fast.

    The next batch I should be getting in another week or two and I will have to figure out the temps for them. What I have read is 95 for the first week and every week after decrease by 10 degrees until they are at 75 degrees and then they don't need a lamp.

    (take my advice with a grain of salt as this is my first year with the chickens)
  6. fwschrom

    fwschrom Chirping

    Jun 20, 2010
    Hayden Idaho
    Mine were hatched 14 July, they have been off heat lamps for a couple of weeks. I still leave a 13 watt bulb on them at night but they never sleep under it anymore. Mine are pretty much feathered out, and were avoiding the heat lamps as they were getting too hot.
  7. Given the weather this year...my incubator hatched chicks are going out into a broody pen in the coop at a week old.
    They are in a tub in the house the first week...but again, due to the temps I only turn on the heat lamp if they complain....after they are dry that is.
    I have found that my hatched chicks are quiet...but will peep loudly if something is wrong. They will raise a ruckus if they are cold.

  8. HBuehler

    HBuehler Songster

    Jun 30, 2009
    Lebanon TN
    Here they really don't need one at all.In my outside brooders I have one of those nice new 40 watt flood lights in the brooder it lets off no heat but keeps the tiny ones from doing the chickie pile and killing the bottom chicks then as they outgrow that idea and get smarter or start flying up to the roosts we turn that off as well.
    It's so hot here we can't put our new hatch out until they are at least a week old to give them a chance to start without all the heat stress-110 nearly every day in the coops.
  9. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I let the chicks tell me. They know their comfort level the best. Most folks put the heat lamp on one end of the brooder so there is one end warmer than the other. Then the chicks can move in & out of the light as they feel the need. If they're all huddled right under the light then the whole box is too cold, if they're bunched on the other side it's too hot. But if they're busy going about their birdy business & spending time in all areas, it should be all right.

    Here in South Florida I only use a desk light with a 60 watt bulb. And often only at night.

    I put mine out in the grass after about a week, just during the daytime, and of course in a well-protected bottomless cage. Right now I have 50 and they sure can stink it up in a hurry!
  10. sixlittlechicks09

    sixlittlechicks09 Songster

    Jul 8, 2010
    Wow! Thanks for all the knowledge everyone!!! My last batch of chicks were in for 6 weeks, and just drove us NUTS. I've been putting these three out in the coop or in the grass during the day, in a big dog crate, and last night I got home from work late and TANKED on the couch, totally forgetting them out in the coop! I rushed out this morning, but they were fine, it got down to about 55 degrees outside last night, but in a smallish coop with 20 other chickens, I guess it stayed warm enough? I'm going to leave them out again tonight, but with an extension cord and a light, I just worry to much I suppose! Oh, and for the location questions, I live in North Eastern PA, it was really hot here a few weeks ago, but it's starting to transition into fall... Thanks again everyone!!!

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