Brooder/coop heater for bitter winter


Aug 14, 2020
SE Michigan
My Coop
My Coop

I am hoping to move my chicks outside (3 weeks old) soon. Current nighttime temps are around 20s, and I have heard that some brooder plates don't work below a certain temperature. However, I am having trouble finding this information provided by manufacturers. I purchased one from TSC that has no information on its operating conditions. Can anyone recommend a brooder heater to put in an outside coop for the chicks?

What are the day time temps? I use the Mama Heating Pad method with a folded wool blanket over the top for below freezing nights. The chicks, even in the first week, are fine with temps in the low 50s. At three weeks, they wouldn't even use the heating pad during the day unless the temps were in the 40s or lower.

The thing that makes the heating pad method work better than heat plates, in my opinion, is that chicks warm themselves by direct contact with the pad. The frame is easily adjusted by squishing it or forming a higher profile as chicks grow.
Glad you're interested in the concept. Look on the internet and you can find a heating pad with a by-pass, allowing the choice to stay on all the time or shut off in two hours.

Also, search until you find a heating pad that will remain on and also come back on by itself when the power comes back without having to reset the thing.

It's happened to me a few times where the power went off at 2 am, and I was left with no choice but to trek outside in a snow blizzard in the dark of night to turn the heating pad back on or substitute a hot water bottle if it was an extended power outage.
Yep, it did, thanks!
Looks like the temp controls are very similar to the human heating pads,
unlike most pet pads which have some kind of thermostat that adjusts to ambient temps and/or pressure of pet to turn it on.

Probably kind of stiff too(?) so easier to attach under a flat rack for chicks.

Does it come back on if power goes off then back on?
Digital controls, so probably not.

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