Eases the burden and constant concern over the proper brooder temperature. Uses only 15 watts of energy versus up to 250 watts used by a heat lamp. A resourceful and safer alternative to a heat lamp, and less fire risk. With radiant heat your chicks stay warm from direct contact with the heated underside of the plate. It’s not hot, it’s just right. 🙂
Adjustable and Available in Different Sizes
Easily accommodates the size of your growing chicks with 25 adjustable height settings ranging from 1”-7” and can be customized to fit your flock’s needs. Affordable price, around $50 for the smallest one. Available on Amazon. I’ve bought from this company and have been very happy with their products.
This is the brooder I’m using, been working great for years. Brooder for warming up to 35 newly hatched chicks. Safe 12 volt radiant-heated underside for producing uniform temperature. Price: Around $80. Available in Amazon
Rural 365 Brooder
Perfect for 10 to 20 newly hatched chicks. Adjust leg height so chicks can stand and have direct contact with the bottom of the chick brooder plate. Price: Around $50. Available on Amazon.
It’s much easier to keep baby chicks warm then trying to keep them cool… which is impossible.
Most parts of the country raise chicks in Springtime when the weather is mild. This gives the birds plenty of time to mature through the summer months and be fully feathered by Fall. Not the case here in Phoenix because extreme temperatures of 100+ can start as early as May and by June, reach 110+.
These conditions are not suitable for baby chicks, being this hot in a confined brooder is not only stressful, but can be life threatening. Chicks need to have a heat source, yes, this is true, but also need to be able to get away from it to stay comfortable.
Improper brooder temperatures also increase the onset of pasty butt (fecal impaction.) For these reasons, in Phoenix, it’s best to start chicks in November, and by April they are mature enough to slowly acclimate to our rising temperatures. Remember, It’s much easier to keep baby chicks warm then trying to keep them cool… which is impossible.
Chicks are Best Kept Outdoors
Raising chicks outdoors in a shed, barn, or garage is the best place to keep your baby chicks in November. They will most likely only need a radiant heat source. If the weather turns colder at night, a low wattage heat lamp may assist in keeping the brooder temperature steady. You can buy low wattage heat bulbs in the reptile section at your local pet or feed store. I usually use a red 75 watt bulb if the brooder temperature drops below 60 degrees. More on using radiant heat & heat lamps.
Where Do I Buy My Chicks?
If I want a particular breed and can’t find it locally, my #1 source is Ideal Hatchery or My Pet Chicken. I’ve never had a shipping problem, and they both usually have those special hard to find breeds I’m looking for.
Fact: People can get sick with Salmonella infections from touching backyard poultry, their feed, and the places where they live and roam.
Keeping chickens can be a healthy & rewarding hobby, but what we really need to talk about is the proper management that will keep your family safe from the dangers of salmonella. This isn’t talked about near enough and I feel too many chicken keepers are dismissing the fact that salmonella is found in bird droppings. If eggs are not handled properly, salmonella can be passed along to people. That’s the basic truth. But the facts are much broader than just safe egg handling, every chicken keeper should be well educated on proper housekeeping and coop management to safeguard against Salmonella.
Simple Rules for Good Chicken Housekeeping
Backyard poultry can carry Salmonella germs even if they look clean and well kept after. After handling baby chicks, (especially children and people with weakened immune systems) should immediately wash their hands thoroughly.
There should be a clean space between your home and where your chickens roam. That means they must have their own space where people won’t be constantly exposed to their droppings.
Wear special shoes or boots when tending to your birds, and store them away from the designated clean space.
Never eat or drink where your chickens live or roam.
Keep your coop and where the chickens roam clean. Regular coop cleaning and fresh bedding should be at the top of your chore list.
Collect eggs daily and keep the nest box clean. Eggs should never lay in droppings.
Refrigerate your eggs, this slows the growth of germs.
Coop equipment such as water or feed containers should be cleaned outdoors only.
Chickens are not indoor pets and shouldn’t under any circumstances be allowed in your home. They aren’t to be cuddled and certainly not kissed.
Outbreaks of Salmonella Infections Linked to Backyard Poultry in 2020…
As of December 17, 2020, a total of 1,722 people infected with one of the outbreak strains of Salmonella were reported from all 50 states.
333 people (33% of those with information available) were hospitalized.
One death in Oklahoma was reported.
24% of ill people were children younger than 5 years of age.
Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence showed that contact with backyard poultry was the likely source of these outbreaks.
576 (66%) of the 876 ill people interviewed reported contact with chicks and ducklings.
People reported obtaining chicks and ducklings from several sources, including agricultural stores, websites, and hatcheries. Testing of backyard poultry and their environments (such as backyard coops) in Kentucky and Oregon found three of the outbreak strains.
Preparing the Chicken Coop for the Colder Months Ahead
The winters are rather mild in Phoenix and your birds will be quite comfortable without heat added, as long as they are protected from wind, drafts, and especially rain.
Temperatures rarely drop below freezing in Phoenix, with the usual overnight temperature in the 4o’s. As long as your birds are kept dry, cool weather is quite welcomed, especially after a long summer of brutal heat.
A heavy weight tarp is suitable protection from wind, along with ample clean pine shavings (preferred) or straw in the coop and nest boxes. Your birds will huddle together for warmth at night, if you stick your finger deep inside their feathers you’ll see they are toasty warm, even at freezing temps.
Never put a heat lamp in your coop, the risk of fire is far to dangerous. I wouldn’t use a light bulb for heat either. First of all, your birds don’t need it in Phoenix, and second, light is annoying and disruptive to the normalcy of nature.
You will hear other chicken keepers say egg laying is reduced or halted completely in the winter months. That may be so in other parts of the country, but in Phoenix I never notice much change in frequency. Remember, the key to keeping the egg basket full is defined in two simple words… happy birds.