How to keep your chicks warm without heat lamps

chicken on a thermo peep heated pad

Most farmers use heat lamps to keep your young chicks warm for the first 6-8 weeks. The warmth source is to keep them warm, happy and comfortable to grow permanent feathers to stay warm in any weather condition. The recommended brooder temperature this period is as shown in the figure below.

But heat lamps has two main disadvantages. First, they can and have caused many fire accidents and losses. You need to constant adjust its height to keep it safe and secure from coming into contact with your brooder materials. Second, the brooder lights are expensive. They consume high electricity energy making your cost of chicken production high. These has made farmers to adopt the following alternative heat sources to keep chicks warm. In this article, we give you four alternate sources of heat to keep your baby chicks warm and comfortable that rely on electricity sources. They are:

Chicken AgeRecommended Temperature
1st Week92 – 95°F
2-3 Weeks85 – 90°F
3-5 Weeks80 – 85°F
5-8 Weeks70 – 80°F
8 Weeks +room temperature
chart for young chicken warmth requirements
  • Heated chick pads
  • Reptile heat lamps
  • Chicken coop heaters
  • Chicken brooder heat plates

Heated chicks pad

These are the ideal heat source for chicks or other young pets for urban farmers. Use it in early stages of young chicks’ life or use it during the cold winter months. The thermostat peep heated pads has internal thermostats to self regulate your chicks warmth. They are ideal for use in indoors and outdoors and you can place them horizontal or vertical in the chick’s coop.  They are cheaper than heat lamps as they only use 25 watts. The power supply cords for heated animal pads like  has rounded edges to deter chicks from chewing it

Reptile heat lamps

Those ceramic heat lamps like the BOEESPAT 150W are safer, efficient and energy saving to use than the chicken heat lamps. They provide no visible light; at night the chicks’ sleep will not be affected allowing them to grow fast and healthy. Those infrared lamps are more durable than other sources. They provide 24 hours heat and can last for 15,000 hours before replacement. Besides, they are ideal for use in egg incubators. You can buy the white or the black ones.  Ideal for Use with a 110-120 v porcelain socket.

Chicken coop heaters

Are you a farming technology enthusiast? The chicken coop panel heaters like the magicfly are the best choice to keep your chicks warm and comfortable. They come with a remote control you can use to easily see and adjust the coops temperature without entering into the coop. The heaters has a range of range of 130~160℉/ (55~71℃) and you can adjust it by pressing the button “-” or “+” on the LED display or by remote control.  You can buy the big sized one of 19.68”X14” which will only consume 165 watts which is close to 90% energy efficiency than the traditional 1500 watts heater lamp.

Chick brooder heating plate

Chick brooder heating plated like the RentACoop’s 12×12″ heat plate is cheaper to raise chicks and ducklings. Its running cost is around $ 3.53 over weeks when running 24 hours a day. In comparison, the 250 watts heat bulb will spend over ten times higher at $ 40.32 running for 24hrs a day for 8 weeks to raise 20 chicks. The brooder plate can come with a anti roosting covers and comfort feathers. It can accommodate the growth of your baby chicks where you will adjust its height using clips on its four legs.

The article gives you the best alternatives to keep your chicks warm without heat lamps. Apart from ensuring farm safety from accidental fires, these sources are cheaper and more efficient.

Read Next: Keep young chicks warm without electricity

As a bonus tip, Agcenture recommends that you MUST have a power back-up system incase of a power black-out. These can be a generator or an off-grid solar system. Besides its good to have the traditional sources of heat used to keep chicks warm without electricity e.g kerosene lamps, charcoal jikos and cold brooders to prevent death of chicks through chilling.

Samuel S.K.

S.K is the founder and senior agribusiness development consultant at Agcenture. He can be reached at

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2 Responses

  1. May 11, 2021

    […] heat lamps if you have access to reliable electricity supply. Some of the items you can use to keep chicken warm without heat lamps are cold brooders, hot water bottles, or heated chicks pads. The same is cheapest if you are in […]

  2. July 5, 2021

    […] Read next: How to keep young chicks warm without heat lamps […]

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