I am wondering if anyone has used these and if they work are they cheaper to run than the 250 watt heat lamps i will be raising chicks most of the winter and it is getting cold.I have 2 lamps running now 250 watt.wii the panels heat a bigger area
I haven't seen them before. But as to the cost, just look at how many watts they are rated at. Heaters are usually 1000 watts upwards to 5000 watts depending on the size. Compare that to the 250 watt bulb you're using, the bulb would be cheaper.
I've never used them but there were a number of unhappy posts on this forum about them last winter, from people who bought them and found that they did not live up to their expectations.
Basically, it comes down to this. While there are differences among electrical heating devices in how apt they are to start fires accidentally, they basically ALL produce heat in proportion to their rated wattage. A 100w flat panel heater is not going to provide meaningfully differnt amount of heat from 100w of electric lightbulb or 100w of very small oil-filled heater or 100w of any other electric heater.
AFAIK the selling point of the flat panel things is that they are claimed to be reasonably fire-safe and birds theoretically 'can snuggle up against them' but they will not heat your coop per se and they will not warm combs particularly.
So it depends on your needs.
For baby chicks they would not be appropriate. For that, you want some form of overhead 'hover' type brooder. Go to www.plamondon.com and rummage through his chicken info to find his pages on constructing what he calls an insulated electric hover brooder -- it is basically a table with partial sides that you put lightbulbs underneath and shavings on top (for insulation) and provided you have enough size and wattage for your #chicks you can raise chicks fairly successfully in really quite cold conditions that way. (Assuming you have total absence of drafts)
I used one last winter in North Dakota and loved it! It works much better than a heat lamp and of course, much safer.
Mine is a 650 watt and I see there are more expensive ones that are only 250 watts. So I wonder if that is why some don't like there's, but people like me, think they are great?
Here is the one I got. It's pretty big, good wattage for 40 bucks.
I also used a cookie tin heater for the waterers and my nest box is a plastic dog house used as a community nest box, so I used one of those plastic dog bed heaters in that with some straw on top which also worked real well. It kept the eggs from freezing in January!
Just read the info on the brooder- excellent article. This is exactly what I was looking for. I've got 75 chicks coming at the end of March and I will hatch out approximately 100 of my own so this will be perfect. Thanks for sharing.