Do chicks out grow heating plates before not needing them?
The idea is to provide one warm spot in the brooder, the rest can be cool to cold.
They do grow fast and will feather out fairly quickly, but will still need a warm place for a few weeks, depending on where and when your are brooding.
Here are a couple of DIY ideas to take a look at. They both use a heating pad for heat. Blooie's is more like a "cave" and aart's is more like one of the plates you are talking about.
Are you going to be brooding outside or inside? Are these your first chicks? Do you have your coop ready?
The first ones are so exciting!
Any questions you have, be sure to check out the threads here on BYC or you can always start a thread and ask. Everyone here is always glad to help.
Good luck on your little ones!
Really going to depend on environment 15 chicks may be fine with a small plate if ambient temps are 60s at night and they only need it a few weeks, but if it is 40s at night they will need it for longer and be more likely to outgrow.
I am looking at plate heaters and seriously considering the big one just so I can start meat birds earlier. I wont ever have 20 going at once but with the big plate 10-15 will still fit under it as they get bigger and let me look at having meat birds outside MUCH earlier in spring than if I had to wait for them to feather out. It will be a hassle brooder space wise though.
For daytime temps in New Mexico I would think you certainly right, what are the nighttime temps or are they sheltered enough to not matter?
For example here we are forecast to be in the 50s and maybe even some 60s next week BUT our average last frost is May 15th meaning nights can frequently drop into the 20s right through April it was 5degrees one morning just this week.
If dropping below freezing I would expect 4 week old egg breeds to appreciate some heat yet at that age and think their size would mean very few would fit under a 12" plate then.