Chicken brooder or what others may refer them as chick brooders play an important role in raising happy chicks into hens or roosters.
These tools act as the mother hen by providing the much needed heat to the young birds. As we all know, chicks are not able to regulate their own body temperatures at hatching.
The young chooks require you to supplement them with heat, food, water and shelter for survival. What do you use for a chicken brooder?
What is a chicken brooder?
A chicken brooder is a tool or a place that provides warmth in form of light or heat for your chicks. This is where the young birds are taken of after they hatch in the egg incubator or by a broody hen.
Baby chicks remain in the chicken brooder for 6 to 8 weeks. At this time the downy feathers they hatch with are replaced by juvenile plumage.
Modern chicken brooders vs. DIY chicken brooders
Modern chicken brooders are now the most used brooders in commercial poultry farming. These devices allow for a large number of chicks compared to DIY chicken brooders.
DIY chicken brooders are easy to make using readily available materials like a tote box and are very cheap. Even though they are easy to acquire, their rate of failure is very high and mistakes can occur at any time.
Modern brooders are very efficient and easy to use. They have automatic features such as temperature control and some can continue running even when there is a power blackout.
Homemade chicken brooders are good with farmers who have just a few chicks. Unlike modern brooders, DIY brooders will stop when the power goes off if they are powered by electricity.
Some DIY chicken brooders especially those using charcoal will release some toxic gases that can easily kill the young chooks. They may also get too hot and bake the birds or get too cold and make the chicks chill.
Best products for a Chicken Brooder
Through much dedication and thorough research, I decided to put my thoughts down in writing to bring you best chicken brooders.
As a wholehearted chicken farmer, I have my personal experience on several types of chicken brooders that I have used.
Some served me better and left I and my birds happy while some ended up frustrating me after my birds chilled to death. This left me with losses and almost killed my morale.
I have decided to write to you this article to help you before you dip your hand in the pocket and pay for that brooder in your thoughts.
1 RentACoop (10 by 10) Chick Brooder Heating Plate Warming Up to 15 Chicks 15 Watts
Size: 13 by 10.5 by 2.2 inches
Weight: 2.55 pounds
The device is hot enough to provide the required heat of between 95 to 100 degrees F for the chicks. This amount of warmth is good enough for the baby chicks.
It is made in a way that the height can be adjusted from 1 to 7 inches as the chicks grow taller. This allows chicks at various stages of growth to use this device and have their bodies kept warm.
Baby chicks get sufficient warmth under the heating plate because it simulates the mother hen. The comfort feathers makes it more natural and are sold separately. This gives the young chicks a feeling of motherly love.
This chicken brooder is` enough for 15 using only 15 watts of power per hour. It is economical using such little power and keeping your birds warm.
There are no cases of fire outbreak and catching the bedding unlike using other types like charcoal chicken brooders.
It can be fitted with a no perch cone that is sold separately. The cone discourages chicks from perching on top of the heating plate and contaminating it with their droppings.
This chicken brooder has four adjustable legs that give it a firm stability so that it will not fall on the chicks or beddings.
It also has a 6ft long 110v power cable with a plug that allows you to connect to any power source and keep the baby chicks warm.
The temperature of this chicken brooder will remain constant. Brooder temperature can only be adjusted by adjusting the height. This device only stays warm and can be used in a plastic tote box without melting it or fire outbreak.
2 HKDQ Chick Brooder Box for Chicks Incubator for Kittens/Puppies Incubator with Heating
Size: 13 by 13 by 16 inches
This is the chick brooder I am currently using to warm my baby chicks and it is working wonders. Its interior can be divided to house either chicks and ducklings or any different bird species.
It has a transparent side that allows you to monitor the behavior of chicks at a distance. The transparent side also gives you enough view to check if the feeders and your chicken waterers need a refill.
This device is equipped with two bulbs. The first one is the sun bulb that allows plenty of sun to get in it and you don’t require using electricity during the day.
The other bulb is an infra-red bulb that allows the birds to have sufficient amount of warmth at night and during the cold season.
Cleaning this chicken brooder is very easy. Since it is made of ceramic material, a wet cloth is enough because it can be disassembled in parts for easier cleaning.
These brooders are available in different sizes depending on the number of chicks you have. They can hold up to 35 chicks at a tie being a good number for a medium flock.
On the sides there are several holes made to allow in and out movement of fresh air and your birds cannot suffocate.
When there are no chicks to keep in this chicken brooder, it can be used to provide warmth to other farm pets such as kittens and puppies.
It has a high resistant temperature plate and you do not need to worry about a possible fire outbreak that can occur as a result of high temperatures.
This device allows you to adjust the brightness levels. Full spectrum solar light can be used to synthesize the much needed sun vitamins and give the chicks appetite. When not in use the light can be reduced to allow the young birds take a rest.
Rural 365 Chick Heating Plate Brooder Plate- Brooder Heating Plate for Chicks and Ducklings
Size: 12.6 by 10.4 by 2.4 Inches
Manufacturer: Rural 365
Weight: 2.54 Pounds
This chicken brooder is well designed to simulate the mother hen by providing enough amount of heat for the chicks as she does.
The device is easily adjustable as the chicks grow. This makes it very economical because you don’t have to worry about your fast growing baby chooks.
These devices will only consume 50 watts of power per hour. If you compare them with other heat sources like infra-red bulbs they are very cheap to use.
They can be used with non-perch cones that are sold separately. This will help discourage the young birds from perching on top and contaminating the heating plate with chick poop.
Are you afraid of the beddings catching fire? Choose this chicken brooder. They will only provide enough warmth for the chicks that is not enough to ignite your straw or wood shavings litter.
Cleaning this device is very easy. It can be dissembled into parts for easier cleaning and packaging for storage when not in use.
Do not worry about overheating and short circuiting. It has an inbuilt fuse that regulates the temperature automatically meaning only the required amount of warmth is produced.
It has a Red LED indicator light that lights up when this chicken brooder is switched on.
4 K & H PET PRODUCTS 100213615 Thermo Poultry Brooder for Newly Hatched Chicks and Ducklings
Weight: 2.11 Pounds
Size: 8 by 13.5 by 8 Inches
Manufacturer: Central Garden & Pet
Are you tired of the bright infra-red light bulb? This is the kind brooder that can keep your chicks warm without producing any light.
It is made in a way that it produces the precise amount of warmth for your baby chicks just as momma hen does. This helps chicks get the heat easily and almost naturally under the orange plate.
The risk of beddings and litter catching fire is not anything to worry you anymore. This chicken brooder provided just enough amount of warmth to keep the young birds out of cold.
This is the most economical brooder I know of so far. It only uses 25 watts of current per hour saving you much cash that would have been channeled to hefty power bills.
Cleaning this chicken brooder is made easier. It can dissembled in parts for easier cleaning and storage when not in use. After cleaning, assembling is very easy as no tools are required.
It is very easy for chicks to use and can be tilted as you wish for coziness especially when the chicks are very tiny. As they grow tall and big the height can be adjusted until the baby chooks are fully feathered.
5 Titan Incubators Chick Heating Plate/Brooder Hen Heat Lamp Replacement Up to 25 Chicks
Weight: 3.31 Pounds
Size: 14.57 by 12.6 by 1.97 Inches
Manufacturer: Titan Incubator
Origin: United Kingdom
Ooops I never thought there is a chicken brooder that was so economical when it came to power usage than this one here.
It is powered by 20 watts of current reducing heavy cost of huge bills incurred when using other types of heat sources.
They are made to provide enough warmth to keep your chicks free from cold. The amount of heat produced by these devices is enough to keep the young birds warm without baking them and causing fire.
The height of the heating plate can be easily adjusted as the chicks grow. This ensures the device serves you throughout the chicks growing period until they are big enough to regulate their own body temperatures.
This device is very stable with four legs. It can be easily packed and stored when not in use.
Factors to consider when buying a chicken brooder
Before you swipe your card and taking that brooder home, it is good to know what to look at so that you get the value for your hard earned cash.
1 Size of your chicken brooder
The size of your chicken brooder will determine the number of chicks it can serve at a time. A brooder with a big heating plate is good for a large number of chicks.
A brooder with a small heating plate will only serve a few number of birds. Such a device is good with small scale farmers who only raise birds for their meat and eggs or as pets.
2 The number of birds
Large commercial farms have thousands of chicks to raise either as broilers or as laying hens. Such facilities require large chicken brooders that can serve their large flock.
In turn, they have mechanized the large barns where they raise these birds. In here, everything from temperature, feeding and general management is mechanized.
These structures have both heating and cooling mechanisms where they are the giant chicken brooders themselves.
Few chicks can get natural warmth from the mother hen. Additionally, a small brooder with a small heating plate is enough to keep them warm.
3 Amount of heat it discharges
The reason you choose a chicken brooder is to provide supplemental heat to your chicks because they cannot regulate their own body temperatures.
Choose a brooder that provides enough warmth as a mother hen does. Too much heat would bake the young chooks to death.
If your chicken brooder does not produce enough warmth, the baby chooks may easily get cold and chill to death.
4 Power consumption
Power is another factor to put into consideration. Choose an economical chicken brooder that will use little amount of power and produces enough heat for your birds.
Some chicken brooders are heavy power consumers and this will raise the power bill making you dig deeper into the pocket to settle it.
Durability will determine the period of time the chicken brooder will serve you. Choose a good quality device from a reputable company for a longer service.
Consider devices from companies that have a warranty and will accept the product back if it turns out faulty.
Check what kind of material the device is made with; Galvanized Metal chicken brooders keep out rust and corrosion. Such devices are durable.
Nonmetallic brooders made of high quality plastic, wood or ceramic material may last longer.
6 Cost of the chicken brooder
How much does the chicken brooder you intend to buy cost? What amount of money do you have or intend to spend?
These questions are very important because they will help you operate within your budget. Choose a chicken brooder worth the amount you can afford.
Don’t let the shop owner make you return it to the shelf because you cannot afford it.
Brooding is one of the most important stages of chicken rearing. From eggs we get chicks and it is the chicks that we raise to get a breeding flock and the cycle continues.
With a good chicken brooder, chicks are happy because they are warm enough to help them grow until they are fully feathered.
Do you have a brooder? Happy brooding!