In my recent post “How to Prepare for Successful Chick Brooding,” I shared my method of providing heat when brooding our first batch of baby chicks. We used a heat lamp and successfully raised those heritage breed hens. We are reaping the rewards every day when collecting fresh eggs from the nest boxes.
When the chicks were placed in the brooding pen, they instinctively moved toward the warmth provided by the brooder. They scurried under the panel and stayed there. The chicks were comfortably unaware that the barn they were housed in was cold and uninviting. They were warm and comfortable.
I observed them to ensure that they were warm enough. I looked for the telltale signs of cold chicks: huddling together for warmth. I am happy to report that our chicks did not exhibit that behavior. They were comfortably warm under the brooder. Now I knew that while only warm to my touch, the EcoGlow was providing ample heat for our day-old chicks.
It’s perfectly understandable now that I think of it. Having someone tower over your brooding pen, casting a shadow into your little world must have been unnerving to them as tiny birds of prey. They had everything they needed: heat, food, water, clean bedding and branches to perch on. However, there was nowhere to hide: no mother hen to take shelter under.
Once the weather was warm enough and the chicks were old enough not to need the supplemental heat, I chose to leave the EcoGlow in the brooding pen. It was clear to me that a few of the smaller bantam chicks preferred to retreat to the space below the panel when the larger chicks began to establish the pecking order within the flock. They seemed to soothe themselves by returning to the safety of the only mother hen they had ever known.
On the day that our chicks were transferred to their coop, I dismantled our leaf sweeper brooding pen and cleaned the brooding supplies. The EcoGlow wiped clean very easily in spite of the mess left behind by 10 baby chicks. I placed it in its shipping box, sealed the ends and stored it with our chick supplies in the barn.When I was in the process of cleaning the EcoGlow to pack it away, I began to wonder about the specific differences between it and our old heat lamp. I decided to compare them with regard to power consumption and the amount of heat emitted directly from them.
Next, I plugged in the heat lamp and waited ten minutes just as I had with the brooder. When I came back to record the reading, I was shocked to see that it was 265. The heat lamp used four times more electricity than the EcoGlow. That was a difference far higher than I had expected.
I moved on to the heat lamp. I plugged the lamp in and placed the thermometer underneath it. I looked at my stopwatch and as it hit the one minute mark, I looked back at the thermometer to check the temperature. The needle on the thermometer was displaying either -100 or 160 degrees depending on how I chose to look at it. The plastic face had developed a hole where it had melted from the intense heat. I turned the lamp off and set the thermometer aside.
The barn thermometer registered 72 degrees while the brooding pen thermometer continued to cool off. Thirty minutes later, the thermometer had cooled off and was reading 60 degrees below zero. Several hours later, it had returned to normal and was displaying a temperature within 5 degrees of the digital thermometer.When using the heat lamp with our first batch of chicks, it was obvious that the lamp was generating intense heat. The brooding pen was always warm and the unheated garage was balmy given the fact that it was late September in New England. When adjusting the position of the lamp, I took to wearing an oven mitt to prevent burning my fingers. Even so, I was surprised that it generated enough heat to melt the face of the thermometer and warm the coil inside to the point of no return.
When the time comes for us to brood another batch of baby chicks, I will certainly be unpacking the EcoGlow and situating it in our brooding pen. I’ll sleep easy knowing that our chicks will be warm and secure, with a heat source that provides them enough warmth without danger of overheating them or the flammable bedding in their pen. Then I can start worrying about important things like how I’ll introduce them to the grown hens in our coop.
When I was in the process of adding a flock of heritage breed chickens to our farm, I found myself researching chicken keeping equipment on blogs and websites. I determined which products would be the best fit for my farm by reading reviews written by other chicken keepers. It is for that reason that I have chosen to review products here in this forum. It is my hope that my reviews will help prospective chicken keepers to determine which products might be best suited for use with their own flocks.
Brinsea sent me a sample of this product in order to allow me to evaluate its performance on my farm. I did not receive additional compensation for writing my review. The review framework did not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the receipt of their product. This review contains both facts about the product and my opinion of its performance while being used at my farm.