The Best Heat Lamp For Your Chickens for 2022

Written by Dayva Segal
Updated: October 10, 2022
© Oliver Foerstner/Shutterstock.com

This post may contain affiliate links to our partners like Chewy, Amazon, and others. Purchasing through these helps us further the A-Z Animals mission to educate about the world's species..

Baby chickens need a heat lamp to stay at the right temperature. They were meant to have a toasty mama hen sitting on or near them to help them stay warm. So, if you are brooding chickens without a hen, your chicks will need a heat lamp for the first 4-6 weeks of life.

The chicks need a temperature between 95 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit at first, but you can lower that by about 5 degrees each week. Once they have their feathers at 6 weeks old, they won’t need heat anymore, unless it is winter. If it is cold out, you may need to use supplemental heat for a total of 12 weeks.

Even adult chickens can sometimes benefit from a heat lamp, especially if you are raising them in a colder climate. Adult chickens especially benefit from supplemental heat if they are ill, or if there is constant freezing weather.

It’s important to note that adult chickens are quite a bit better at keeping themselves warm than we humans are. They can puff out their feathers to trap heat inside, like their own personal jacket. They also have a higher body temperature in general, usually between 105 and 107 degrees Fahrenheit. So, they don’t always need a heat lamp, even if it feels cold to you.

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Heat Lamp For Your Chickens

  1. petnf Chicken Coop Heater
  2. petnf Chicken Coop Heater
    • Unique, modern design
    • Really energy efficient
    • Install on wall of the chicken coop or choose free-standing option
    • Complies with UL standards
    Check Amazon
  3. Woods 166SW Clamp Lamp with 10 Inch Reflector and Bulb Guard
  4. Woods 166SW Clamp Lamp with 10 Inch Reflector and Bulb Guard
    • Comes with a 6-foot cord
    • Convenient clamp for safely attaching
    • Features a metal bulb guard
    • Totally portable
    Check Amazon
  5. Simple Deluxe 150W Ceramic Heat Emitter
  6. Simple Deluxe 150W Ceramic Heat Emitter
    • Made from high purity ceramic
    • Lasts up to 10,000 hours
    • Very economical to use
    • No light emitted
    Check Amazon
  7. K&H Pet Products Thermo-Chicken Heated Pad
  8. K&H Pet Products Thermo-Chicken Heated Pad
    • Features an internal thermostat to control temperature
    • Flexible design
    • Only uses 40 watts
    • Can be placed on floor or mounted to wall
    Check Chewy
  9. BRINSEA EcoGlow Safety 600 Chick & Duckling Brooder - Chewy.com
  10. BRINSEA EcoGlow Safety 600 Chick & Duckling Brooder - Chewy.com
    • Allows chicks to sit underneath the heating element
    • Can raise or lower the heated platform
    • Comes with a fire-safe 10-foot power cord
    • Does not emit light
    Check Chewy

The Overall Best: petnf Chicken Coop Heater

The petnf Chicken Coop Heater has a unique, modern design compared to other heat lamps on the market. It has a radiant heat design and looks more like a heat panel than a lamp. They have really thought of a lot in terms of convenience and safety with this product.

One of our favorite features is the fact that it is energy efficient. It only consumes 140 watts, which is less than half of many traditional styles of heat lamps for chickens. This can help you save on your electricity bill while also staying eco-friendly.

You can install it on the wall of your chicken coop. However, it also has an option for standing installation. Either way, the installation is easy. For standing, just insert the standing feet into the appropriate slot and screw them into place. For wall installation, use the included screws to hang the lamp using the pre-made holes on the back panel.

The radiant heat from this product can be felt by any chicken that sits within 40cm. Plus, radiant heaters are typically safer than space heaters or heat lamps, which may be a fire hazard. petnf’s radiant heaters are certified with UL safety standards to give you peace of mind as well.

Use the included dial to adjust the temperature between 122 and 167 degrees Fahrenheit. It also includes a heat-sensitive sticker to act as a sort of thermostat. When the sticker is black, the temperature is below 113 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is red, that means the temperature is above 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

Overall Best
petnf Chicken Coop Heater
  • Unique, modern design
  • Really energy efficient
  • Install on wall of the chicken coop or choose free-standing option
  • Complies with UL standards
Check Amazon

Best Traditional Brooder Lamp: Woods Clamp Lamp with 10 Inch Reflector

A brooder lamp is specially shaped to enhance the warming qualities of a heating lightbulb or even a normal lightbulb. It has a bell shape and the best brooder lamps also have a bulb guard. The heating bulbs can get quite hot, so the guard prevents the bulb from touching the animals or anything else that might get hurt or catch on fire from the high temperature.

This type of heat lamp is great for keeping baby chicks warm. However, this style is more prone to safety hazards, like fires. If the lamp falls over, it can easily catch dry coop bedding or the wooden coop frame on fire. It can also burn the chicken itself if they are able to get too close to it. So, it’s best to use a traditional brooder lamp in a more controlled environment. While other styles of chicken coop heaters may be great for chicks and adult chickens, experts recommend using this style only for baby chicks in a brooder box. To use it safely, attach it firmly with two or more different methods, in case one fails. Put it up high enough that a chick can’t bump into it and knock it over.

This one has a convenient clamp arrangement for attaching. So, you can clip it onto an area that is a safe distance, and move it around easily. As your chicks grow you may need to rearrange their living space, so this flexibility is useful.

The Woods Clamp Lamp does not come with a bulb. However, this gives you the option to pick your own that will work best for your situation. Popular options include infrared heat lamp bulbs, incandescent heat lamp bulbs, and heat lamp bulbs with explosion-proof glass, for added safety.

This lamp comes with a 6-foot cord, allowing you to plug it into a nearby outlet or power strip.

Best Traditional Brooder Lamp
Woods 166SW Clamp Lamp with 10 Inch Reflector and Bulb Guard
  • Comes with a 6-foot cord
  • Convenient clamp for safely attaching
  • Features a metal bulb guard
  • Totally portable
Check Amazon

Most Budget-Friendly Heat Lamp: Simple Deluxe 150W Ceramic Heat Emitter

This bulb is one of the most budget-friendly options out there for offering your chicks heat. It is made from high purity ceramic, which means it is resistant to breaking, even under high temperatures. This model does not emit any light but functions similarly to a light bulb. Just screw it in, and turn it on.

Besides the price, there are other ways this Simple Deluxe Heat Emitter can save you money. First, it lasts up to 10,000 hours. That’s over a year of heating! So, you’ll be able to use it for several generations of baby chicks. Second, it only uses 150 watts, saving you a bit on your power bill compared to traditional bulbs.

There are some safety advisories to note with this bulb. First, don’t touch it while it is on, because it will be quite hot. Wait an hour after turning it off to touch it. Second, the manufacturer recommends keeping it at least 35 centimeters away from animals.

This lamp works best with a dome of between 6 and 8.5 inches. It points the heat downwards, for efficiency.

While this lamp is great for baby chicks, you can also use it for your other furry friends. It also works well in reptile enclosures, dog houses, and other outdoor pet areas that you want to keep cozy.

Most Budget-Friendly
Simple Deluxe 150W Ceramic Heat Emitter
  • Made from high purity ceramic
  • Lasts up to 10,000 hours
  • Very economical to use
  • No light emitted
Check Amazon

Best Heating Pad: K&H Pet Products Thermo-Chicken Heated Pad

A heating pad is a unique type of heat lamp for chickens that is sometimes considered a bit safer than heating bulbs. This model has an internal thermostat that controls the temperature of the pad. When it gets too hot, it shuts off for a while. When it gets too cold, it comes back on. This is great for managing the temperature.

This mat is 12.5×18 inches and you can just put it on the floor of the brooder box or coop, but you can also mount it to the wall if you want. This flexible design makes it one of our favorites. It provides radiant heat, and chicks love to sit right on it.

This pad can be used for baby chicks to keep them safe and healthy, or for adult chickens when temperatures go below freezing. In terms of power usage, it only uses 40 watts, further saving on your energy bill compared to some of the higher wattage traditional brooder bulbs.

With a pad like this, you must consider the space. Make sure your chicks have enough space so they can decide whether they want to be on or off the pad so they can stay comfortable and healthy.

Best Heating Pad
K&H Pet Products Thermo-Chicken Heated Pad
  • Features an internal thermostat to control temperature
  • Flexible design
  • Only uses 40 watts
  • Can be placed on floor or mounted to wall
Check Chewy

Best Brooder Heating Plate: Brinsea Ecoglow

A brooder heating plate is a device that allows chicks to sit underneath the heating element. This configuration makes it efficient, as the chicks huddle together to make it even cozier. This particular model is easy to use. You can raise or lower the heated platform to accommodate your chicks as they age.

Up to 20 newborn chicks or 10-12 older chicks can sit together under this heating plate. It is the most eco-friendly option, running on just 12 watts. It comes with a fire-safe 10-foot power cord so you can plug it in safely nearby. Another safety feature we love about this one is the indicator light. When it is on, the light illuminates. So you’ll always know whether it is on or off.

Since this doesn’t use lights, chicks can get used to the natural day and night cycle from the beginning of their lives. You can use this brooder plate inside or outside. It is a nice addition to your chick’s living space as it gives them the option to huddle together and stay warm, or go outside of the plate and cool off.

Best Brooder Heating Plate
BRINSEA EcoGlow Safety 600 Chick & Duckling Brooder - Chewy.com
  • Allows chicks to sit underneath the heating element
  • Can raise or lower the heated platform
  • Comes with a fire-safe 10-foot power cord
  • Does not emit light
Check Chewy

Choosing the Best Heat Lamp: What to Look For

When choosing the best heat lamps there are a few factors to consider: safety, durability, power usage, and temperature.

  • Safety: Some types of bulbs pose more of a fire hazard than others. Be sure to always read and follow the directions for whichever heat lamp you buy to reduce risks.
  • Durability: Farm life gets messy and rough sometimes! You need a heat option that can withstand rough weather, dirt, and anything that can happen on a farm.
  • Power usage: Some options for heating a chicken coop use as little as 12 watts, while some use 250 or more. Using lower wattage options makes for a lower energy bill and is good for the planet.
  • Temperature: Heat bulbs usually give off the most heat. Heating plates, panels, and pads emit more moderate amounts of heat.

The Different Types of Heat Lamps Compared

There are several different types of heating options for chick brooders and chicken coops. You can use a traditional brooder lamp with a bulb of your choice. These include an infrared bulb, incandescent bulb, or ceramic bulb. You can also use a radiant heating option like a heating pad or heating panel. Finally, you can buy a brooder heating plate.

  • Infrared heat bulbs – According to some sources, the red color of these bulbs is good for chick behavior. It can help them sleep and prevent them from fighting. However, when used improperly, they are more hazardous than other options.
  • Incandescent heat bulbs – These are similar to infrared bulbs, but they give off bright light instead of muted red light.
  • Ceramic heat bulbs – These lamps do not give off any light, so they can help baby chicks get used to the daily cycles of waking and sleeping.
  • Heating pad or panel – These heat lamps use less power and pose less of a fire hazard than heat bulbs.
  • Heating plate – These options allow chicks to huddle together underneath for warmth. As they do not emit light, it allows chicks to have darkness at night and light during the day.

Verified Reviews

These products are highly reviewed, and for the most part, people love them. Ease of installation, the level of heat emitted, durability and safety were top qualities reviewers pointed out.

Some of the other products we chose came with a few complaints. For example, some users claimed that their Woods Clamp Lamp was a little dented upon arrival. Ultimately, most didn’t mind because it didn’t interfere with the functionality of the lamp.

When it comes to the Simple Deluxe Ceramic Bulb, some users wrote that the bulb didn’t last quite as long as it claimed. One reviewer mentioned hers only last for 154 days, however, others mentioned their bulbs lasted for 7 months or longer.

However, most people were quite happy with their choices. One user said that his Billy goat accidentally kicked over our top choice, the petnf Chicken Coop Heater, and the device still worked. Durability is essential on any farm, no matter the size.

In 2021, another user wrote about the same product: “As many know, we recently had the worst freeze Texas has ever seen…I put it in their little house and they were snug during the entire below zero event. I didn’t lose a single chick!” So you can see, it really does the job when the temperatures are cold.

About the Author

I'm a freelance writer who has been working in the field of content creation and digital marketing for more than seven years. My favorite topics to write about include health, animals, fitness, and nutrition, though as a professional content provider and ghostwriter, I can easily write about pretty much anything! I love all animals and have been some form of vegetarian or vegan for over 10 years. My favorite animals are cats, dogs, and chickens, especially my own cat, Tula.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.