Do Turkeys Need a Heat Lamp In The Winter?

| | , ,

You can have a turkey as a pet if you choose to. Turkeys are easy to maintain, and they are strong birds. Keep certain factors in mind when choosing a turkey for a pet.

Do Turkeys Need a Heat Lamp In The Winter?

A heat lamp might be necessary for turkeys in cold winter. A heat lamp is essential for baby turkeys, but they do not need extra heat when they mature. 

Some turkeys can even endure temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it depends on the breed with which you are bringing up the turkeys.

Feathers help birds adapt to winter by keeping the heat out.

Even in winter, turkeys show various resilient behaviors that are similar to those of hens, but they are much tougher than hens.

Turkeys can usually survive the winter when they are mature, but they may need some care and attention when they are young and growing.

The feathering process of turkeys requires an artificial heat lamp setting for around 6-8 weeks.

Depending on the breed of turkey and the weather, some turkeys may need heat lamps to keep warm after feathering.

You can provide heat lamps to turkeys in the Penn during cold weather, but some turkeys can handle even high temperatures.

If you want to provide turkeys with a heat lamp in winter, you must keep some things in mind. You must choose your turkey according to the weather conditions where you live. 

And you must understand the needs of the breed of turkey before selecting one.

Do Baby Turkeys Need A Heat Lamp?

For feathering, turkeys are kept in a brooding place under a heat lamp. During the first six to eight weeks after hatching, they require extra care and protection.

A turkey’s breed determines its raising factors. There are several species of turkey.

Baby turkey care is different from chicken care. They are larger than chickens, but they are not difficult to raise and maintain. You will need to dedicate more time and energy to them.

During the first seven days after their birth, you should keep the brooding temperature between 95 and 100 degrees. 

Their feathering phase lasts up to eight weeks. After the first week of their hatching, you need to decrease the temperature by five degrees.

As soon as they have finished feathering, you can remove the heat lamp, but they might need it in the winter or in relatively colder times.

4 Reasons Why Turkeys Need Heat Lamps In The Winter

Once a turkey reaches a certain age, you don’t need to worry about him much.

During the winter, they will need attention and heat, but not all breeds will need the same temperature.


When turkeys are raised in brooding spaces after hatching, they remain vulnerable because they are out of their natural breeding place. 

Hence, all the necessary conditions must be provided for them to develop. Heat lamps are needed in the brooding space of turkeys. 

After that, they will roam around and not spend much time in the pen. During winter, you need to be cautious. Some places can suffer from too much snow. 

Make sure your turkey is well protected. Select your turkey breed according to your location and the weather conditions.

Keeping warm:

Heat lamps in the brooding space are a must for some turkey breeds. They need more heat than other breeds.

You have to provide them with heat to protect them from various cold diseases, depending on the weather and environmental conditions.

Breed needs:

It is possible to breed turkeys that do not require much heat in order to survive.

As free-roaming animals, turkeys do not adapt well to cages. Therefore, you have to let them out most of the time even in winter.

Preventing frostbites:

Even outdoor turkeys keep their heads in shade while sleeping during the winter to avoid frostbites. Heat lamps can keep their habitat warm, preventing frostbites.

How Long Do Turkeys Need A Heat Lamp?

During the first week after hatching, turkeys should be kept at 95-100 degrees in a brooding space.

After that, you can lower the temperature by 5 degrees or more, depending on the breed of your turkey.

It is not right to keep the turkeys inside as well, because they don’t like to stay in cages for long. Keeping them inside might cause them to behave in a different way.

It is necessary to keep turkeys warm and comfortable until they start feathering. Heat lamps in their habitat are a necessity during this time. Once they are grown, they don’t need much heat.

Even mature turkeys may need heat lamps during the winter, depending on their breed.

After they become mature, turkeys need little attention. They are big and strong animals that live on their own.

Can Turkeys Survive Cold Weather? How Cold Can Turkeys Survive?

Despite their strength, turkeys can survive cold weather. Some breeds can even withstand temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperatures between 70 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for turkeys. Overheating is not tolerated by them.

With their inbuilt structure and adaptation techniques, turkeys can survive harsh winters. They stay on their own and cope very well with harsh weather conditions.

Turkeys are tough birds that prefer to stay out at night and roost, cuddle, and fluff themselves in winter.

In case of predators, you can keep them inside warm cages at night. Otherwise, you can leave them out without too much concern.

The abundance of food and water helps them fight colds. Turkeys can store energy and use it during cold weather. Their metabolic rate is very high, which allows them to stay active and warm.

How Do Turkeys Stay Warm In Winter?

In winter, turkeys can get cold. To keep warm, they have different adaptation methods. Moreover, you can modify their habitat and provide them with the necessary materials to withstand the cold.

Turkeys have a high metabolism, shiver to stay warm, and have good insulation in their bodies.

By trapping air pockets, birds like turkeys can keep their external bodies waterproof. This keeps their inner bodies dry and crisp. 

Birds like turkeys can develop air pockets by trapping them. This fluffing of birds keeps their external body waterproof.

To stay warm, turkeys often hide in tree cavities and bark. This saves them from predators and creates a cuddling effect in their body. 

Roosting also keeps turkeys warm. The feathers keep their feet cozy. Additionally, eating before winter and storing foods helps them stay warm in the winter.

How To Tell If Your Turkeys Are Too Cold?

There are various signs turkeys show when they become too cold and cannot tolerate it anymore. They include:

Less movement:

Cold turkeys tend to sit or stay in one spot for longer periods of time when they feel uncomfortable.

Decreasing appetite:

Turkeys will lose appetite and show reluctant behavior in their eating habits as the regular amount of food decreases.

Repeatedly roosting:

It can often be indicated that turkeys are cold by their increased roosting. Turkeys roost because their feathers keep them warm.

Not interacting with owners:

When they are cold, turkeys will hurdle under heat lamps and not interact with their owners.

When turkeys aren’t in their natural element, they show signs. Pay attention to their behavior, and you will know what they need.


There are a number of factors that determine whether a turkey needs a heat lamp, including the breed, its life stage, weather conditions, etc. 

If it is still feathering, the need for a heat lamp will increase for a few weeks. It might increase for a longer period depending on the weather. 

A mature turkey can survive in the winter and adapt well.


FISH: How Many Mollies can you keep in a 10 Gallon Tank?

Do Turkeys Migrate? (All You Need to Know)