Heat Plate vs. Heat Lamp

harriamelia

In the Brooder
Jul 11, 2018
13
20
21
Hello,
I am currently 2 days away from lockdown with my 12 coturnix Quail eggs. I bought a Heat Plate a few months ago from UKPoulty, which said it was suitable for Quail chicks. But now I am having pre-hatch anxiety and double checking absoloutly everything and I read a few threads on here last night where people with more experience (this is my first hatch) said that a heat plate was not suitable and was dangerous for Quail chicks.
I wanted more opinions, should I run out ASAP and get a heat lamp instead and disguard the heat plate? Is it dangerous? Is it even suitable for Quail chicks?

I am freaking out a little bit!:barnie
 

Feather Hearts

Crowing
Oct 4, 2016
1,042
2,591
317
Northland, New Zealand
In my experience heat plates were fatal too three batches of quail chicks before I saw the problem. I was feeding gamebird starter, the water was shallow and they couldn't get stuck or hurt on anything. The heat plate just killed them. I had never had any issues with the plate before, I had used it for ducks and chickens(disinfecting after every use) but the quails just died. From the first batch of four coturnix chicks three died and one lived (But in all fairness to the heating plate a cat killed two of the babies.

My second hatch almost completely put me off quail forever. I hatched twelve chicks and in the first week they all began dying off. They would cheep loudly as though they were in pain and then die.

My third hatch was when I realised it was the heating plate (a Brinsea EcoGlow BTW
I had hatched four Chinese Painted quail. Then they began dying. I had two chicks left when I realised. I moved the two remaining babies to a box with a heat lamp. One died and I had only one left.

Sorry about my horror story, I just couldn't bear to have someone's chicks die because of a heating plate. Due too being on alternative power I can't run a lamp 24/7 so now I use hot water bottles. Take this information however you want, just personally I would use a heat lamp. :(
 

harriamelia

In the Brooder
Jul 11, 2018
13
20
21
In my experience heat plates were fatal too three batches of quail chicks before I saw the problem. I was feeding gamebird starter, the water was shallow and they couldn't get stuck or hurt on anything. The heat plate just killed them. I had never had any issues with the plate before, I had used it for ducks and chickens(disinfecting after every use) but the quails just died. From the first batch of four coturnix chicks three died and one lived (But in all fairness to the heating plate a cat killed two of the babies.

My second hatch almost completely put me off quail forever. I hatched twelve chicks and in the first week they all began dying off. They would cheep loudly as though they were in pain and then die.

My third hatch was when I realised it was the heating plate (a Brinsea EcoGlow BTW
I had hatched four Chinese Painted quail. Then they began dying. I had two chicks left when I realised. I moved the two remaining babies to a box with a heat lamp. One died and I had only one left.

Sorry about my horror story, I just couldn't bear to have someone's chicks die because of a heating plate. Due too being on alternative power I can't run a lamp 24/7 so now I use hot water bottles. Take this information however you want, just personally I would use a heat lamp. :(
This is my absoloute nightmare and what I am afraid of. I wonder what it is about the heat plate that kills them? I am so sorry for you, I would be devastated.

I think I am going to have to just go and buy a heat lamp, which I really, really did not want to do since I spent a good amount of money on the heat plate as I thought it would be better for them.
 

Feather Hearts

Crowing
Oct 4, 2016
1,042
2,591
317
Northland, New Zealand
This is my absoloute nightmare and what I am afraid of. I wonder what it is about the heat plate that kills them? I am so sorry for you, I would be devastated.

I think I am going to have to just go and buy a heat lamp, which I really, really did not want to do since I spent a good amount of money on the heat plate as I thought it would be better for them.
It was devastating for me losing so many babies yeah. As for why the heat plate seemed to kill them, I'm at a loss. The plate was adjustable so you could lower or higher it as the chicks aged. All of this happened around a year ago, and it was truly awful. If you are willing to give the heat plate a try I will say you may lose a chick or two... It also would be best to have a lamp on hand if you do try. Personally I can never do an experiment at the possible cost of lives unless I truly have too(Say a hen leaves her eggs and I have no incubator) It is up to you now, I'm truly sorry to frighten you but it would be terrible if you lost babies because of a heat plate.
 

harriamelia

In the Brooder
Jul 11, 2018
13
20
21
It was devastating for me losing so many babies yeah. As for why the heat plate seemed to kill them, I'm at a loss. The plate was adjustable so you could lower or higher it as the chicks aged. All of this happened around a year ago, and it was truly awful. If you are willing to give the heat plate a try I will say you may lose a chick or two... It also would be best to have a lamp on hand if you do try. Personally I can never do an experiment at the possible cost of lives unless I truly have too(Say a hen leaves her eggs and I have no incubator) It is up to you now, I'm truly sorry to frighten you but it would be terrible if you lost babies because of a heat plate.
I am glad you told me, I wanted honest responses from people who have had either (hopefully) successfull experiences or otherwise. I needed to hear what happened to your chicks as I do not want this to happen to mine, it sounds awful. Any way I can give them the best start is what I am going to do, I would much rather spend more money on a heat lamp knowing that it will be better for them.

Thankyou :)
 

Acre4Me

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2017
3,382
7,207
517
Western Ohio
Heat plate worked great for our quail hatch .... after they spent 1 week under a heat lamp.

We hatched 32 quail, and they are tiny. I do not believe the heat plate is able to provide enough warmth to them initially. A heat plate works by allowing the chick to press up against it for warmth. The heat plate is warm when you touch it, but it does not heat up much else-you have to be in contact with it. Although I had mine set very low so the quails should have had no problem touching it, it was not enough those first few days. So back under the heat lamp. I had had them under a heat lamp for the first 48 hours to better monitor them and their behavior and had switched to the heat plate, but moved them back under the heat lamp for several more days. Once they feathered out some and gained a bit of size (after about 1 week), I used the heat plate and it was great.

We then got chicken chicks. 17 chicks, and after 48 hours under a heat lamp (monitor behavior), we switched to the heat plate and it worked great for the chicken chicks too (who are now 20 weeks old).

I like the heat plate: clean, low wattage, easy to adjust, easy to store, not much risk of fire (if any). Also, it does not emit light, so the chicks get used to a day/night cycle and are quiet in the dark.

Remember to keep the brooder area draft free, that is a very big issue for chicks. We had the quail in a large appliance box with all sides solid cardboard, except the top of the brooder. We used the piece of cardboard we cut off to make to make a draft shield - the basement we had them in had ceiling vents and this created a draft.

Good luck and don’t be afraid of the heat plate-just delay using it for a week.
 

le_bwah

Crowing
May 1, 2018
887
2,313
256
Boise, ID
My Coop
My Coop
I love my heat plate. The issue with keeping them warm enough is they have to be able to touch it to get the best benefit, and most brands (Brinsea especially) don't let you lower it enough. If they don't have to duck to get under it, you don't have it low enough. I have a Titan, and I take the legs off one side so they can squeeze under the low spot when they get cold. Otherwise, the chicks just hang around the middle, standing up and pushing their backs against the plate when they need to.

I highly recommend a plate because it encourages a natural behavior in the bird, keeps night crying to a minimum (most sleep right on through), and allows early weaning off heat (I took the plate away at two weeks, but a lot will depend on your climate). If you're hesitant at all, it can't hurt to get a heat lamp (if you buy new, don't open it unless you need it) and set that up if you run into the same problem as Feather Hearts.

I've got nine new babies under a heat plate right now, all happily napping. Ten more successfully brooded before that. I've yet to see how this batch grows out, but no one's died from cold yet.
 

harriamelia

In the Brooder
Jul 11, 2018
13
20
21
Thankyou everyone for your input!

I just took the legs off one side of the heat plate and took the two from the other side off comepletely, to see if it would be low enough that way. And it looks it to me. However, I have never actually had quail chicks, only watched video's so I may be way off.

So, I am going to buy a heat lamp and keep it in the packaging and if it looks like the heat plate isn't working, use the lamp instead (like le_bwah suggested).

Thanks everyone :)
 

harriamelia

In the Brooder
Jul 11, 2018
13
20
21
Just a quick question:

Two of my eggs have started moving (and I am sooo excited), but I am only on day 13 of incubation. Is it normal for them to start getting into position this early and should I stop turning the eggs I see moving now? And do I need to put them into lockdown earlier and if I do will this harm the other eggs? (okay, so questions haha!)

:wee
 

WVduckchick

🐓🦆 For the Birds! 🦆🐓
Premium member
5 Years
Feb 9, 2015
47,484
117,349
1,682
West Virginia
My Coop
My Coop
I use a Brinsea brooder plate. For quail, and for my small bantams, I add some height under it by putting a wash cloth under the puppy pad, with another one folded across the middle. The wash cloth fits right between the legs of the plate. The base one gives them a slight incline to climb up, the second one folded gets them closer to the plate. After about a week, I remove the folded one and leave the flat one. Never had any problem doing it this way.

Oh, I also add an old sock, stuffed with toilet paper, with a knot tied in the end, kinda smashed, not flat, but not huge round. (who doesn't have single socks to spare? lol) and I lay it under the plate. Smaller ones will even climb on it, some will huddle beside it.

Watch their activity and let them show you if they are too warm or too cold.

Best of luck with your hatch!! Please post some pics when they are out and about!
 

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