The Cost of Brooding Chicks

The Cost of Brooding Chicks
The Cost of Brooding Chicks

Last month we discussed incubators, so the natural progression is about brooding baby chicks. Once we have hatched chicks with an incubator, now we are going to keep them warm until they can maintain their own heat and “feather out.”

What’s your climate?

Depending on your temperatures in your coop or where you want them to live, you are going to have to brood them for 4-6 weeks. If you are going to put your birds out in the north in the spring you would have to brood them for longer. If you are going to put them out in the summer you could get away with the shorter 4 week period.

When taking care of baby chicks, watching their behavior is the key to success—you want them moving around a peeping happily, not frantically. You do not want them trying to escape the heat or piling up to generate more heat by getting close and using each other’s body heat. It’s best to acclimate the birds to the environment.

‘Just right’ heat

The brooders that I recommend are the radiant heat plates that stand on legs. Instead of heating the whole brooder, they only heat the area directly below them. That means they don’t have to get as hot.

They are much safer because they can not fall into the brooder and light the wood chips on fire.

They use much less energy than the traditionally-used 250-watt light bulb. The average heat plate brooder uses about 20 watts of energy while a 250-watt light bulb uses ten times as much energy.

Not only do these save you money but I believe they help your chicks to develop better feathers because they will be choosing when to go in and out of the heat.

Happy brooding this spring and whichever method you use I hope your brooding is successful.

Learn more

See Stromberg’s Comfort Chick heat plate: strombergschickens.com/brooders-for-chicks/comfort-chick-brooders/

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