Will they die without a heat lamp?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by waddles99, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. waddles99

    waddles99 Songster

    Jun 22, 2013
    My heat lamp went out today for my chickens. Local agway and tractor supply is closed for new years, so i have no way of getting a bulb. I thought i had more in my barn but it turns out I was didn't. Now I know always keep stocked up with bulbs. The chickens are 5 weeks old, fully feathered. The barn is in the 40's. Will they be fine for the night? We are in NJ.
  2. keesmom

    keesmom Crowing

    Jul 28, 2008
    Do you have any 100 watt bulbs? Stick one of those in instead if you are worried. If they are fully feathered they should be fine.
  3. The answer is really simple:

  4. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    100 watt incandescent bulbs are probably even better than the 250 watt heat lamps, which are often way more heat than chicks need. If you're concerned with the bright glare, drape a red or green cloth over the brooder to shade it. Careful the cloth is not touching the bulb, of course.

    A couple of milk cartons of hot water can also be substituted for an electric bulb in the event of a power failure. I've resorted to that measure on a couple of occasions, and it kept the brooder plenty warm.
  5. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Songster

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama

    I concur.
    Fully feathered chicks should survive 40* temps imside a barn. If the sudden loss of heat leaves them piling & cheeping just put a regular light bulb in it and lower it to 6-8" from the floor.
  6. pdirt

    pdirt Songster

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    There are LOTS of opinions about using heat lamps. It's almost like politics! What I've come to understand is if your coop is well ventilated and the temps don't hang out in the -20Fs, your birds will be fine. +40F is balmy for chickens. Unless you have non cold tolerant breeds like Seramas.

    Now if your temps were down in the single digits or lower, I might think putting in a temporary 100w might be a good idea, because they were acclimated to the heat lamp. But 40F I think is just too warm to warrant for a heat lamp, acclimated or not.

    And if its 40F in the barn, trust me, it's warmer than that in the coop. Chickens give off a lot of heat. Plus they have down jackets.

    The other reason I'm against heat lamps is due to fire reasons. I have read just way way too many sad sad stories of people having lost their flock, coop, barn, horses and even their homes because of a fire caused by a heat lamp. Some of these folks took all the regular precautions and still had a fire. The risk is just too great. Yes, lots of people use them without issue all the time, but since its so very risky and they don't need it until -20 -30F, why take such a huge risk?
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
  7. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    I also live in NJ.

    We have yet to ever have recorded ambient temperatures that would "require" additional heat for fully feathered, healthy, cold hearty chickens.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    At 5 weeks old and fully feathered....depending on how much heat you've been giving them, they'll probably be fine.

    You could provide a huddle box, a covered box just big enough for the number of birds or a few more with an opening just big enough for 2 to go thru at at time will help them preserve their own heat to stay warm enough to sleep at night.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  9. waddles99

    waddles99 Songster

    Jun 22, 2013
    Thanks for the insight guys. They all made it through the night, happy and healthy. I was able to get to the store and get them a bulb. Thanks again!
  10. RonP

    RonP Crowing

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