Plus Other Ways to Prepare your Backyard Chickens for Winter
Using the deep litter method during the cold winter months works the best for me and my flock. Here in the mid-Atlantic, Zone 6b, winter means that water routinely freezes, plants are dormant, and days are considerably shorter—and nights…
Here’s some valuable advice from chicken keepers who keep chickens in winter. As a desert dweller, I better leave this subject to the pros! Hope these articles are helpful.
How Cold Is Too Cold For My Chickens?
Here in the North Eastern States, we will be seeing the snow flying soon.By all accounts this year is going to be bad, so we need to prepare ourselves and our flocks for the long months ahead. Many beginner chicken keepers are amazed at just how hardy and tough chickens are. But still, a common concern is how cold is too cold for my chickens? Continue Reading
More… 6 Ways to Avoid Frostbite
If you live in an area with harsh winters, follow these common-sense guidelines to keep your chickens safe. Many of our domestic chicken breeds were cultivated for colder temperatures. They have down feathers insulating their bodies, they naturally move regularly to keep warm and they instinctively know to eat more when Old Man Winter comes knocking. Continue Reading
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…
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.