If you’re new to raising chicks, you may be wondering: How long do chicks need a heat lamp. The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the age of the chicks, the outdoor temperature, and the breed of the chicks. In this blog, we will discuss how long chicks need a heat lamp and how to determine when it’s time to remove it.
You may also want to read about the best bedding for baby chicks.
How Long Do Chicks Need A Heat Lamp?
Chicks need a heat lamp to keep them warm, especially during their first few weeks of life. The temperature inside the brooder should be between 90 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit for the first week of their life, and then decrease by 5 degrees per week until the chicks are fully feathered and can regulate their own body temperature.
The amount of time that chicks need a heat lamp can vary depending on their age and the outdoor temperature. As a general rule of thumb, chicks need a heat lamp for at least four weeks, but it can be as long as six to eight weeks in colder climates or for certain breeds that develop feathers more slowly.
It’s essential to monitor the temperature inside the brooder and adjust the heat lamp as needed. If the chicks are huddled together under the lamp, they are too cold, and you may need to lower the heat lamp or add another one. If the chicks are staying away from the heat lamp and panting, they are too hot, and you may need to raise the lamp or reduce the wattage of the bulb.
Once the chicks are fully feathered, they can regulate their own body temperature, and the heat lamp can be removed. Feathered chicks can tolerate temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so if the outdoor temperature is above this, you can start to wean them off the heat lamp.