How Long Do Chicks Need Heat Lamp (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 6 – 8 Weeks

The term chick is used for a baby bird, especially for a chicken that has just recently hatched. This is a 14th-century shortened version for chicken which is now used to refer to a baby or newly hatched chicken.


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A heat lamp is nothing but an electrical device or a bulb that radiates infrared light as well as produces and emits heat. Thus, heat lamps are useful as an excellent heat source. These are mainly used for bringing warmth to a rather cold environment.

Heat lamps are popularly and frequently used for keeping baby chicks warm. These lamps are required by the chicks till they become a bit older to sustain temperature fluctuations. However, heat lamps ensure that in any degree of temperature, chicks stay warm when they are under the heat lamp.

How Long Do Chicks Need Heat Lamp

How Long Do Chicks Need Heat Lamp?

The minimum time for using heat lamps for chicks4 – 6 weeks
The maximum time for using heat lamps for chicks8 – 10 weeks

As soon as the chicks are hatched, they require a heat lamp to keep themselves warm. Thus, chicks need a heat lamp for about 6 to 8 weeks. It must also be noted that while raising baby chickens, one should pay attention to the surrounding temperature as extremely cold environments are not suitable for baby chicks.

Baby chicks require warmth and thus they need a heat lamp for a short time. The ideal temperature for keeping a chick who is quite young or newly hatched is about 80 – 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature requirement can be said to decline by 5 degrees Fahrenheit as the baby chick begins to grow.

Thus, if a chick is younger than 7 days, the ideal temperature for it should be at least 95 degrees Fahrenheit. For a chick that is 2 weeks old, the temperature should be 90 degrees Fahrenheit. For a chick that is about 3 weeks old, it is about 85 degrees Fahrenheit and so on until the chick is old enough to live outside at normal temperature.

It is necessary to keep chicks under a heat lamp as when the chicks are young, they do not yet have their feathers to keep themselves warm and regulate their body temperature. Thus, in the initial stages of development of the chicks i.e for about 6 to 8 weeks, they require external assistance for keeping their body warm.

However, the duration for which one might need to keep their heat lamp on for the chicks also depends on various external factors like the temperature and weather condition of the place where the chicks are kept, the current season, etc.

Why Do Chicks Need Heat Lamp For So long?

The average time for which a heat lamp is required by baby chicks is said to be for 8 weeks. However, this is not an exact estimation of the time one needs to keep their chicks under the heat lamp. One can adjust it according to the climatic condition of the surrounding.

The foremost requirement for a heat lamp is the fact that chicks are not fully feathered when they have just hatched. They are small and fluffy during this stage but they don’t have all their feathers yet. The feathers of the chickens help them to maintain their temperature to survive in most weather conditions without depending on anything else.

Therefore, a heat lamp is needed by the chicks for 6 to 8 weeks as this is the duration most chicks are feathered out and can be ready to face the external environment. Feathers of the chicken protect them from the cool weather and thus, if they are not yet on the chick, it needs a heat lamp to keep itself warm in a cold environment.

Depending on the season outside, one can think about whether to keep the chicks under the heat source or not. If it is summer and the temperature is 95 degrees Fahrenheit or more, one need not keep the heat lamp for chicks that are at least 3 – 6 weeks old. However, it is cold outside, then the best idea is to on the heat lamp for the betterment of the baby chicks.


Baby chicks, that are newly hatched chickens need supplementary heating via a heat lamp to keep themself warm are they are unable to do so on their own due to the absence of feathers. The duration for which a baby chick might require external heating like through a heat lamp is about 6 to 8 weeks but this also depends on the temperature of the outside surroundings.

Recently hatched chick requires a higher temperature i.e about 95 degrees Fahrenheit which gradually gets reduced as time passes and the feathers of the chick grow out.

If one is raising the chicks in cold weather, one needs to compulsorily keep the heat lamp on and might be required to keep using it for about 6 to 8 weeks. However, if it is summer outside, one might most likely need to supplement heat for a shorter duration and vice-versa if it is winter season.



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