Free Range Easy Fill Drinker, Design Flaw. An Updated Review

There is a problem with this drinker, I’m disappointed to report a major design flaw that needs to be addressed. I used this drinker for about a week and kept finding the tank full and the tray dry. This is a death sentence in Phoenix where temps are 110+. There isn’t a vent in the cover, causing a vacuum and therefore a stoppage of water flow. I drilled a couple of holes in the lid and now it’s working nicely.

I thought the Free Range Easy Fill Drinker was a good choice for our farm because it held 3.5 gallons of water, keeping it cooler longer when the temps are extreme. For the price, I expected more, and now it’s up $10+ dollars!

I won’t tell you not to buy this drinker, but be prepared to drill a few holes in the cover or you’ll find your birds without water.

FYI: I’ve contacted the manufacturer about this problem.

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My Pet Chicken, a Review

  • Customer Service & Shipment of Baby Chicks
  • How My Pet Chicken Handled a Problem Shipment

My Pet Chicken is one, if not the only one who ships sexed Silkie Bantams and Millie Fleurs. They also are a hatchery that ships only a few birds, they definitely deserve points for that. My Pet Chicken is high on my list of choices for Ornamental chicks, and I’ve never had a problem with a baby chick shipment, until now.

My order of six chicks arrived yesterday, nicely packed with plenty of a straw- like bedding in a nice sturdy box with ample ventilation. They were shipped on Monday and they arrived Tuesday at 2pm, exactly what I expected.

Unfortunately they were not handled with care either by the airlines or USPS, one Silkie was dead, one Silkie and a Mille Fleur had broken legs. I was devastated. I’ve mail ordered chicks many times over the last fifteen years with at least a 95% success rate. I definitely wasn’t expecting to have any problems of this magnitude.

Unfortunately, I had to cull the injured chicks, and I must say, even though I’ve had my share of unpleasant tasks over the years having chickens… it was still traumatizing. It’s done, I’m over it, and focusing on my three healthy fuzzy butt chicks.

How Did My Pet Chicken Handle the Situation?

I called My Pet Chicken informing them of the poor arrival of my chicks. I didn’t know what I was expecting… after all, it wasn’t their fault this happened. Nevertheless, maybe I just needed to vent. So glad I called, customer service was beyond nice, genuinely compassionate, and to my surprise, offered to send me replacement chicks or a refund for the 3 chicks lost. If that’s not customer satisfaction I don’t know what is. My Pet Chicken gets an A+ from me. 🙂

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What’s The Chicken Swing all About?

Does your flock need a boredom breaker?  I think this might be it! Looks like fun, and certainly would be entertaining to watch. Pretty sure even I could hang it. If your like me, installing anything is a challenge, but this seems girl friendly!

 

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The Pro’s and Con’s of Using the Brinsea EcoGlow for Chicks in Winter

An Updated Review by an Actual User of Radiant Heat

Raising baby chicks in winter… we’re all set in our ways. Especially me, but right now I’m practicing what I preach about not keeping chicks in the house and using the Brinsea EcoGlow brooder in an outside shelter. Radiant heat certainly has it’s qualities, just not in every situation. Here’s why…

Good Points

There are many valid reasons for using radiant heat instead of a heat lamp, and for the most part I agree with them all.
It’s pounded into our head to avoid  heat lamps being they’re a fire hazard, no argument there. It’s also true that pasting up (poopy bums) is less likely to occur when using the Brinsea brooder. Another good point is radiant heat is more like being under the mother hen. But, the Brinsea does have limitations to it’s effectiveness.

The Downside, (but not a deal breaker)

Using radiant heat is compromised in temperatures below 50 degrees. In other words, it doesn’t offer sufficient heat for chicks when they need it most. So considering the fact we shouldn’t keep chicks in the family living space, and heat lamps are a fire hazard that should be avoided… what to do?   Every article on keeping baby chicks specifies the importance of keeping their environment at 95 the first week, then drop the temp by 5 degrees each week until they are fully feathered.

I realize there is constant controversy over the proper way to raise baby chicks. Our family has been raising chicks for three generations. My grandmother kept her chicks in the basement near the furnace, my mother in the kitchen behind the wood stove. I’ve kept them in a box in a spare bedroom with a heat lamp, then the laundry room, later in the garage. But today these practices are criticized. I’ve tried to comply with what today’s health officials consider safe chick rearing, and here’s my conclusion and solution.

I’m currently using the Brinsea Ecoglow20 brooder for my 6 day old chicks in an outside draft free 8×10 insulated shed. Outdoor temperature is 43 degrees. Taking into consideration the Brinsea brooder only provides enough warmth for chicks in temps above 50 degrees, I see only one solution… a heat lamp. Securely hung above the brooder box at a height to keep the interior heat at 60. Ok… truthfully more like 70.

Do I like the Brinsea EcoGlow? Definately, wouldn’t be without one. However, I don’t feel it’s the perfect solution with all the capabilities of kicking good ol’ fashion chick rearing practices to the curb. My opinion.

Brinsea Brooder
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