The Warm Glow: How Red Heat Lamps for Chickens are Beneficial

As a backyard chicken enthusiast or a poultry farm owner, ensuring the well-being of your chickens is a top priority. One crucial aspect of poultry care, especially in colder climates or during the brooding phase of chicks, is maintaining the right temperature. This is where red heat lamps come into play, acting as a beacon of warmth and comfort for your feathered friends. In this comprehensive guide, let’s dive into the world of red heat lamps for chickens, exploring their benefits, usage, and safety tips.

You may also want to read about the best heater for your chicken coop.

Understanding the Need for Heat in Poultry Care

Before delving into the specifics of red heat lamps, it’s important to understand why chickens need additional heat sources. Chickens, particularly newly hatched chicks, are sensitive to temperature changes and can easily become chilled. This can lead to health issues or, in severe cases, mortality. Maintaining an appropriate temperature is not just about comfort; it’s about survival.

Red Heat Lamps For Chickens are Great.

The Red Heat Lamps for Chickens Advantage

1. Optimal Wavelength for Comfort

Red heat lamps emit infrared light, which is more than just a source of heat. The wavelength of red light is particularly beneficial for chickens. It penetrates their feathers, warming them from the inside out. This is more efficient than simply heating the air around them, as it directly impacts their body temperature.

2. Reducing Pecking and Cannibalism

One unique advantage of red light is its ability to reduce aggressive behaviors like pecking and cannibalism. The red spectrum seems to have a calming effect on chickens and helps mask blood and wounds, which can otherwise attract unwanted attention from other birds.

3. Encouraging Healthy Sleep Patterns

Chickens, like many animals, need a regular cycle of day and night to maintain healthy sleep patterns. Red light is less disruptive than white light, allowing chickens to rest better at night while still benefiting from the warmth.

Choosing the Right Red Heat Lamp

When selecting a red heat lamp for your chickens, consider the following:

  • Wattage: This depends on the size of your brooder or coop. Generally, 250-watt bulbs are sufficient for small to medium spaces.
  • Safety Features: Look for lamps with protective guards and shatter-resistant bulbs.
  • Adjustable Height: Being able to adjust the height of the lamp is crucial for regulating temperature.

Setting Up Your Red Heat Lamp


Securely install the heat lamp at a height that provides the right temperature. This is typically 18-24 inches above the floor of the brooder for chicks. However, always check the specific requirements for your lamp and adjust based on the ambient temperature and the chickens’ behavior.

Temperature Monitoring

Use a reliable thermometer to monitor the temperature within the brooder or coop. For the first week, the temperature should be around 95°F for chicks, decreasing by 5°F each week until reaching the ambient outside temperature.

red heat lamps for chickens
Using red heat lamps for chickens.

Safety First: Reducing Fire Risks

Heat lamps can be a fire hazard if not used properly. To ensure safety:

  • Secure Installation: Ensure the lamp is securely mounted and cannot fall onto bedding or flammable materials.
  • Regular Checks: Regularly check the bulb, guard, and connections for any damage or wear.
  • Fire Extinguisher: Keep a fire extinguisher nearby as a precaution.

Alternatives to Red Heat Lamps for Chickens

While red heat lamps are popular, there are alternatives:

  • Ceramic Heat Emitters: These provide heat without light, ideal for maintaining nighttime darkness.
  • Heating Pads: Designed for brooding, these pads provide a warm surface for chicks to huddle against.


Red heat lamps are a valuable tool in poultry care, offering not just warmth but also contributing to the overall well-being of your chickens. They encourage healthy growth, reduce stress-related behaviors, and help maintain a harmonious environment. However, it’s vital to use them responsibly, keeping safety as a paramount concern.

Remember, the key to successful poultry keeping lies in understanding and catering to the needs of your chickens. By choosing the right type of heat source, monitoring the environment, and maintaining safety standards, you ensure a happy, healthy flock. Now, with your red heat lamp in place, watch as your chickens thrive in the comforting glow, protected from the cold and stress of the outside world.

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