Brooder heating plate

Do Chickens Need a Heat Lamp in Winter? Exploring the Benefits of Chicken Coop Heaters and Brooder Plates

Using a heat lamp to keep chickens warm in the chicken coop
With the onset of winter, caring for backyard chickens requires extra attention to ensure their comfort and well-being. One common consideration during colder months is whether chickens need a heat lamp for warmth. In this blog post, we will delve into the topic of chicken heating solutions, including the use of heater lamps, chicken coop heaters, and brooder plates for chicks. By understanding the benefits and considerations of these heating options, you can make informed decisions to keep your feathered friends cozy and healthy throughout the winter season.


The Importance of Proper Heating

Chickens are playing under a heat lamp in the chicken coop
Maintaining an optimal temperature in the chicken coop during winter is essential for the well-being of your flock. Chickens are generally well-adapted to cold weather, but extremely low temperatures can be stressful and affect their health. Here are some reasons why proper heating is crucial:

Chick Comfort

Providing a sufficient heat source helps prevent chicks from getting chilled. Young chicks are less equipped to regulate their body temperature and may need extra warmth in the early stages of life.

Egg Production

Cold temperatures can impact egg production. Maintaining a warm and consistent environment boosts hens' comfort, encourages consistent laying, and reduces the chances of frozen eggs.

Preventing Health Issues

Exposure to extreme cold can make chickens more susceptible to respiratory problems, frostbite, and other health issues. Proper heating helps prevent these conditions and maintains their overall well-being.

Heat Lamp vs. Chicken Coop Heater

When it comes to providing heat in the chicken coop, two popular options are heat lamps and chicken coop heaters. Let's explore their benefits and considerations:

Heat Lamp

Chickens are eating chicken feed from a feeder with a heat lamp on it
Heat lamps have been traditionally used for warmth. However, there are safety concerns associated with their use, such as fire hazards due to accidental contact with bedding or flammable materials. Additionally, the intense heat generated by heat lamps can be a risk for chickens. It is generally recommended to avoid using heat lamps in chicken coops due to safety hazards.

Chicken Coop Heater

Chickens are getting more heat from the Chickcozy chicken coop heater on the ground
Chicken coop heaters offer a safer alternative to heat lamps. They are designed to prevent fire risks and provide a controlled and consistent heat source. Electric flat panel heaters or oil-filled radiators are popular options for heating chicken coops. These heaters can be mounted on the ceiling or wall, keeping the coop warm without posing a danger to chickens.

Brooder Plates for Chicks

Day old chicks are standing on the top of Chickcozy brooder heating plate
For young chicks, a brooder plate is a viable heating option. Brooder plates mimic the warmth provided by a mother hen, allowing chicks to gather underneath for warmth and comfort. Key benefits of brooder plates include:

Safe and Efficient

Unlike heat lamps, brooder plates utilize radiant heat that is transferred directly to the chicks, limiting the risk of fire or burns. They are designed to maintain a consistent temperature and are energy-efficient.

Natural Behavior

Brooder plates encourage natural behavior by allowing chicks to huddle together, imitating the warmth and security they would typically experience with a mother hen.

Gradual Weaning

As chicks grow, they gradually become less dependent on heat. Brooder plates can be adjusted to reduce the heat output incrementally, preparing the chicks for the natural temperature fluctuations they would encounter as they mature.


When it comes to providing warmth for chickens during winter, it is important to prioritize their safety while also meeting their comfort needs. While heat lamps were once a common solution, the safety risks associated with them have led to safer alternatives like chicken coop heaters and brooder plates for chicks. These heating options offer controlled and efficient warmth without compromising the well-being of your flock. By understanding the benefits and considerations of heater lamps, chicken coop heaters, and brooder plates, you can make informed decisions to ensure your chickens have a cozy and healthy winter season.


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