Nest box heater - can they be homemade?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by happyhensny, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. happyhensny

    happyhensny Brown Barns Farm

    I saw on a site that a company makes a nest box heater out of a ceramic tile and some sort of heating element. Anyone have one or know how to make one? We have 3 ducklings and boy are they smelly in our kitchen! I was wondering if one of these could be used as a brooder heater?

    Thanks !


  2. I would think that if you want to brood chicks that a heat lamp overhead would be more suitable because there is no contact with the birds and you can arrange it at one end so the chicks can move in or out of the heat 'cone' as they need to. I'm leery of anything with an electric cord that might be contaminated and shorted with moisture...
  3. happyhensny

    happyhensny Brown Barns Farm

    That's what I thought also but a woman I know bought one of the heaters and uses it as the only source of heat in her brooders. It's nice because if the chicks are cool they go to it and snuggle down and it does not put out light so if you do not want your birds eating at night, it helps them by being dark when it is naturally. Like a Momma hen. They are made to be in a nest box, so assuming it is water proof.

    ETA: a quote from a dealer

    Ceramic Nesting Box Heater

    This 12X12” hand crafted coop heater is maintenance free and energy efficient. Ideal for very, very small coops or nesting boxes. Keeps animals warm and water defrosted during the cold months (metal or plastic waterers). Wipes clean easily. This substrate heater works as a conductive heat source for animals. The flat tile comes with attachable feet to increase air circulation around it. It’s constant 70 degree temperature lets you place straw or wood chips on top without worries of burns to the coop or your chickens. Hens can lay right on top.

    Powered with 16 watts through power cord. Recommend ThermoCube for automatic power regulation depending on outdoor temperature. USA shipping only.

    This heater fits in our Henspa and Hen Chalet coops.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  4. Can you control the temperature? Chicks need base temp of 95F and the ability to decrease this over the weeks ahead...I mean, I've never tried it, I'm trying to think it through. I had a system where I could raise the light and kept a thermometer at chickie level.
  5. RIBill

    RIBill Chirping

    Nov 7, 2010
    There's no reason you couldn't make one that is safe and effective. You would need a thermostatic switch, a heat generating device and a dust, water, and heat proof container which is also conductive. Ideally, it would also difuse the heat. A wide, shallow flower pot would probably be perfect. You can get a thermostat switch made for water heaters for about $9 at Home Depot. The heat device could be anything, but I would either use an infrared bulb with a ceramic base or even a strand of C-7 Xmas lights. I plan to make something similar in the next week or so.
  6. happyhensny

    happyhensny Brown Barns Farm

    Please post pictures if you could, I would love to see.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by