non-electric heat in brooder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Hopeful Peacock, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Hopeful Peacock

    Hopeful Peacock In the Brooder

    Oct 2, 2009
    middle TN
    My chicks are coming soon and I am setting up a brooder. (This is my first time!) I live off the electric grid and have solar electricity. Although all our household electric is taken care of, we use flourescent bulbs, etc. An incandescent lamp, left on 24 hours/day, will be a significant drain and I'd prefer to avoid it if at all possible. We have a greenhouse attached to the house and it is often 80-90 degrees in there on sunny days. However, at night and on cloudy or cold days, the chicks will need some extra heat. I am thinking of using hot water bottles in the brooder. Any other ideas?

    Has anyone actually done this successfully?

    Thank so much!
    Cara [​IMG]
  2. chickpeaz

    chickpeaz Songster

    May 26, 2009
    Central PA
    I have no input but I'm really interested in the replies...


    I hope someone can help you out! And nice job on being off-grid -- that's an impressive accomplishment.
  3. Volvo Farmer

    Volvo Farmer In the Brooder

    Mar 6, 2011
    We are also off grid and were facing the same problem. I found this interesting web page about kerosene brooders

    I found about about the Brinsea radiant brooder, Since it only uses 14 watts, I think out solar electric system can absorb the extra load. No way was I going to be able to run a 100-200 watt light bulb 24/7, but the Brinsea was doable. We have yet to use the thing but I have chicks ordered for mid May and are looking forward to it!

    Hope that helps some.
  4. tinychicky

    tinychicky Songster

    Mar 24, 2010
    Hollis, New Hampshire
    non-electric heat? it's called a broody hen. [​IMG]

    just kidding, idk, but i'd like to see other posts, though!
  5. dbcooper02

    dbcooper02 Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    SW Washington
  6. Liamm_1

    Liamm_1 Songster

    Cool! I'd love to live off the grid someday. How many Kw are your off grid systems producing? Any pics of your setups? Are you using solar thermal also? How about cooking... propane?
  7. mordarlar

    mordarlar Songster

    May 17, 2010
    Quote:We're working on going off grid ourselves. So far we have a battery bank. [​IMG]

    I have no suggestions for nighttime heating other than hot water but i wanted to offer that sand and rocks should offer decent thermal storage if exposed to the greenhouse temps during the day. I also really like it in the brooder so far, easy to clean.

    Whatever you decide, best wishes!!
  8. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Songster

    Nov 10, 2010
    Congress, AZ
    My Coop
    Quote:Wow that is quite an interesting book!! Fastinating to see how poultry was raised almost 100 years ago.
  9. Hopeful Peacock

    Hopeful Peacock In the Brooder

    Oct 2, 2009
    middle TN
    Wow! there are some great ideas here - thank you!

    I have to go get ready for work, but I will reply more meaningfully later. Thanks again! [​IMG]
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I took hot water in milk jugs out to my chickens in my shed coop awhile back since at the time I had a lone silkie who would roost on the floor alone and I was worried about her (also some in a brooder but it was 12 degrees out- a terrible cold snap for our area).

    The hot water bottles worked well, but I would say that if I were really relying on them completely (I had electric lights on too) I would have to bring more out in the middle of the night. They were too cooled down by morning to be of use.

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