Is anyone using the Premier "heat plate" brooder for chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SIMZ, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. debp

    debp Chirping

    210
    11
    86
    Nov 20, 2013
    Durango, Colorado
    I have a beginners question regarding heating plates. I am trying to decide about heating source for my brooder, which I'm working on now for chicks arriving in early April. I am expecting 25 chicks. How can 50 chicks fit under a heating plate that is only 16" by 22" (the Brinsea 50, for example)? I can see how this would work for the first week or so (maybe), but, from what I've been reading on BYC, these chicks will need supplemental heat until they are about 10 weeks old (it doesn't get to 55 degree nights here until maybe mid-June). Wouldn't I just have to switch to heat lamps for 25 chicks as they grow, anyway?
     
  2. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg

    53,725
    104,330
    1,877
    Mar 31, 2011
    Woodland, CA
    My Coop
    They do not need heat at 6 weeks old and fully feathered. They will fit under it.

    The Premier is bigger so 50 will fit under it longer. With contact heaters, you would need to use an extra heat source if the room they are in goes below 40 degrees but only for the first couple of weeks.

    I have 4 week old chicks and I plan on taking the eco glow out next week and then moving them tot he garage the next week without a heater.
     
  3. debp

    debp Chirping

    210
    11
    86
    Nov 20, 2013
    Durango, Colorado
    Okay. That is helpful. So, 25 chicks would fit under the larger heater at 4 weeks age, according to your experience. It was thinking about moving my chicks to the coop (uninsulated, but not drafty) at about 6 weeks. But, that would be mid-May, when the nights could very well still get to freezing (upper 20's, lower 30s). I'm not wanting to use more heat than necessary, but wouldn't that be a bit cold for 6-week old chicks?
     
  4. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg

    53,725
    104,330
    1,877
    Mar 31, 2011
    Woodland, CA
    My Coop
    The chicks should be fine if they are fully feathered. With 25 of them, they will huddle if they get too cold.

    If worried, run an extension and the heater plate out there for a week.

    What Breed or breeds are you getting?
     
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I would just brood them directly in the coop and not do a transition from house to coop. If you brood them directly in the coop from day one they are going to feather out earlier and already be hardened off to the ambient temps in your coop, while still being able to use the heat plate for warm ups. That's how it's done under a broody mama...it can be pretty cold in an outside brooder even for day old chicks and they still will come out from under their heat source, run about for food, drinks and adventure and then tuck under mama for a bit for a warm up...then right back out in the colder temps.

    As they age in the coop with a mama and the temps are still cold, you'll see them not all going under her....some will just get on top or inside a wing. In this way they are slowly hardened off to the ambient temps as they start to gain feathers.

    I called about the Premier heat plate to see if the upper surface had any radiant warmth and they said that it did, which I thought would be perfect and have that same experience for older chicks as they still warm their feet and bellies on a mama but like to be top side.
     
  6. SIMZ

    SIMZ Crowing

    2,166
    203
    261
    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    X2

    This seems to mimic a hen more than a heat lamp, which tends to raise the temperature of an area. I am always amazed to see tiny chicks running around in 40 degree temps for long periods of time. Hens apparently haven't read any of the books on how to raise chicks. [​IMG]
     
    3 people like this.
  7. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    17,862
    995
    472
    Sep 6, 2007
    Corydon, Indiana
    SIMZ, I noticed that too. Seems that when my silkie hatches chicks, they have spent most of the day outside even down to 40 degrees, and just take naps under mom.
     
  8. debp

    debp Chirping

    210
    11
    86
    Nov 20, 2013
    Durango, Colorado
    Thank you all for sharing your experience. I have 3 breeds coming: Barred Rock, New Hampshire and Red Leghorns. Only 6 leghorns, so they are on the large size.
     
  9. On the fence about which one to buy. I won't be hatching until May so I'm very interested in the out come of the comparison between the two.
     
  10. Caitlin_VT

    Caitlin_VT Songster

    715
    32
    133
    Jul 3, 2011
    Vermont
    By then I think a few of us will have compared the two!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: