How Much Heat Is Enough For Your Chicks?

How Much Heat Is Enough For Your Chicks
via Flickr

Chicks need to be kept warm, but heat can hurt your chicks as well so what every chicken keeper needs to be aware about is how much heat can be good  and how much can be bad for your chickens. Many chicken keepers make the mistake with putting a heat lamp too close to the chicks and that can cause stress and even death in some situations. This is what made us the typesofchicken.com spend some time on this article in which we hope to help our readers raise healthier and better chickens.

Heat Lamps – Yes Or No?

How Much Heat Is Enough For Your Chicks
via Pixabay

As we said in the introduction heat lamps can overheat your chicks and cause stress and even death in some cases. They are disturbing the normal light routine in the brooder and can be confusing to use. Heat lamps can also cause fire in your brooder so if a chicken keeper wants to use one he or she should be very careful. The most commonly used heat lamps have a red light bulb an work on 250 watts. These heat lamps are also the ones that are most dangerous according to our research. Many chicken keepers brood their chickens with a heat lamp that is set up on 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit and then lower it as the chicks get weeks and weeks older, but this is not good because it gets the chick`s system used to constant temperature and when you let them out in the real world that can mess them up a bit. So if you can avoid using heat lamps, you will provide safety for you and your chicks.

What Would A Mother Hen Do?

A hen’s normal temperature is 104-107 degrees, and before the hen’s eggs are hatched, she is able to keep them warm. When the chicks hatch they do not have a normal body temperature, therefore the mother hen needs to put an effort in adapting them to the temperature and environment around them. At first the brooding hen is constantly regulating the temperature of her young ones, but after a week or so the chicks become more independent. However, whenever the chicks feel cold, they come to their mother so that she can provide them with warmth. The mother hen, in order to keep the chicks warm, does variety of things. These things include: watching and monitoring their behavior, prioritizes which chick needs the most attention at the moment and makes sure that the chicks are safe. While observing them she notices which chick is in more need for warmth. The hen keeps her baby chicks warm by tugging them underneath her body.

How Would You Do What A  Mother Hen Does?

How Much Heat Is Enough For Your Chicks
via Flickr

To brood a baby chick properly you need to provide them a brooder that has 60 degrees Fahrenheit. You need to know how chicks behave when they are warm and how do they behave when they are cold – the same – they make a hell lot of creeping noise. A noisy chick means that the chick is warm, cold, stressed or afraid. Monitor your chicks and they will indicate a problem with their behavior – when they do just check the temperature if you have a thermometer in the room you have provided for them or just adjust it a few times until you notice signs of satisfaction from your chicks.
If you use some kind of system for heating your chicks maybe it will be easier for you to understand what is the problem with the temperature – if they are getting close to the point of heating they are cold and if they are staying away from it that means that they are cold – as simple as that.

It is important that every chicken keeper is patient with his chicks in order to properly understand them. If everything is properly set up after their arrival and after they arrive they still make unpleasant noises it may not mean that the chicks are too warm or too cold but maybe that they are afraid and slowly adapting to their new environment. Watch them closely and try to notice their patterns of behavior and that is going to help you raise them into a healthy flock of full grown chickens.

How do you maintain the temperature around your chickens? Make sure that you share your experiences with us in the comments below.

  • lj streight

    typo ” If getting away from hear source means they are cold”. NO IT MEANS THEY ARE HOT NOT COLD. PROOFREAD PLEASE.

  • Byron

    The brooder should be 95 degrees for newly hatched chicks and the temperature should be lowered by 5 degrees each week. The chicks will huddle under heat source if they are cold.