Keeping Chicks Warm without Power: Creative Solutions for Cold Emergencies.

Keeping Chicks Warm without Power: Creative Solutions for Cold Emergencies.

I understand the anxiety that comes with unexpected situations. Recently, my power went out and my chicks were left in the cold. It was a nightmare, but with some quick thinking and a few helpful tips, I was able to keep my chicks warm and safe until the power came back on. In this article, I will share some tips on how to keep your chicks warm during a power outage or any other unexpected event that leaves them without a heat source.

Testing Different Heat Sources

Before discussing tips for keeping your chicks warm, let’s take a moment to address the importance of having a backup heat source in place. You never know when a power outage or other situation will leave your chicks without their heat lamp, so it is important to have a plan in place for these situations. I recommend testing out a few different heat sources before any unexpected situation arises. This can include things like terracotta pots with bricks and tealights, kerosene lamps, hot water bottles, and even rocks warmed up on your car engine. By testing out these different heat sources, you will be prepared in the event of a power outage or other unexpected situation.

How to Keep Chicks Warm During a Power Outage

If you find yourself in a situation where your chicks are without heat, there are several ways to keep them warm. One option is to use hot water bottles. Fill up a few bottles with hot water and place them in the brooder with the chicks. You can also use old glass jars and tuck them into a sock. This will keep the chicks warm for up to four hours at a time. Hot hands and body warmers are also great options. Simply place them under a thin towel or blanket and they will provide at least eight hours of warmth.

If you have a terracotta pot, place it on top of two bricks with four tealights underneath it. The heat will rise and warm up the pot, which you can then slide under the box to heat the chicks. You can also use an old crock pot or any clay pot secured over the heat source to provide warmth.

If you have access to hot/lukewarm water in your geyser, place it in a Tupperware bowl for the chicks to snuggle up next to, or wrap them in a towel on your lap so that they can snuggle up against your body heat. You can also put a couple of good-sized rocks on your car engine, let them get warm, and then place them in with the chicks. They hold heat for quite a while and will keep your chicks warm and cozy.

Using Handmade Heat Sources If you find yourself without any of the above heat sources, there are still ways to keep your chicks warm. If you have a stuffed animal and a few empty soda bottles, fill them up with hot water and they will last for a couple of hours. You can also use a box and put the water bottles in there, covering them with a towel to keep the warmth in. This method works for about four hours. You can also use hand warmers, as long as the chicks can huddle around them and there is at least one bottle to provide warmth.

One of the most creative solutions I have seen is putting on a hoodie sweatshirt and placing the chicks in the front pouch. This is a great solution if you need to move the chicks to a warm location and don’t have any other heat sources on hand.


  1. How can I keep my chicks warm if my power is out? There are several methods you can use to keep your chicks warm without electricity, such as using terracotta pots with tealights underneath, rocks heated on an engine, hot water bottles, kerosene lamps, or filling glass jars with boiled water and tucking them into socks.
  2. How long can chicks survive without heat? Chicks require heat to survive, especially in their first few weeks of life. If they are exposed to temperatures below 60°F (15°C) for extended periods of time, they can suffer from hypothermia and even die. It’s important to keep them warm at all times, especially if your power is out.
  3. What is the ideal temperature for chicks? The ideal temperature for chicks varies depending on their age. In the first week, they need a temperature of around 95°F (35°C), which can then be reduced by 5°F (2.7°C) each week until they are fully feathered and can regulate their own body temperature.
  4. How can I tell if my chicks are too cold? If your chicks are huddled together and making a lot of noise, it’s a sign that they are too cold. They may also be lethargic and not eating or drinking as much. Use a thermometer to check the temperature in their brooder and adjust accordingly.
  5. Can I use a generator to power a heat lamp for my chicks? Yes, a generator can be used to power a heat lamp for your chicks if your power is out. However, be sure to use the generator in a well-ventilated area and follow all safety precautions to avoid the risk of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
  6. What should I do if my chicks are too hot? If your chicks are too hot, they will be panting and spreading out away from the heat source. This can lead to dehydration and even heat stroke. Adjust the height of the heat lamp or reduce the wattage of the bulb to bring the temperature down.
  7. Can I use a heating pad for my chicks? Yes, a heating pad can be used for chicks if it is designed for this purpose and used properly. Be sure to place the pad under the brooder and monitor the temperature to ensure it remains at the appropriate level.
  8. How often should I check on my chicks during a power outage? During a power outage, you should check on your chicks every hour or so to ensure they are still warm and have access to food and water. If you notice any signs of distress or illness, take action immediately.
  9. Can I use blankets or towels to keep my chicks warm? Blankets or towels can be used to help insulate your chicks and keep them warm, but be careful not to block airflow and cause overheating. Monitor the temperature in the brooder and adjust accordingly.
  10. How long can I use alternative heating methods for my chicks? Alternative heating methods can be used for as long as necessary, as long as they are safe and effective in keeping your chicks warm. Be sure to monitor the temperature and check on your chicks frequently to ensure they are healthy and comfortable.


In conclusion, unexpected situations like a power outage can be stressful for new chick owners. However, by having a backup heat source and some quick thinking, you can keep your chicks warm and safe until power is restored. Testing out different heat sources ahead of time is crucial, and having a plan in place can alleviate some of the stress.

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About Jade Polystead

Jade is a homesteader with a passion for raising and caring for animals, specifically chickens, ducks, and goats. She was born and raised in a small town in the midwestern United States, where she learned to appreciate the simple pleasures of rural living.

Jade's interest in animal husbandry began at a young age when her family kept a small flock of chickens in their backyard. She quickly fell in love with the birds and became fascinated by their unique personalities and behaviors. As she grew older, Jade's interest in animal husbandry expanded to include other domesticated animals, such as ducks and goats.

View all posts by Jade Polystead

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