Thursday, January 9, 2014

Safer Heat?

I've been doing some reading, which can be a dangerous proposition.  Reading tends to lead me into various new avenues and "project development"...ah, well.  It's not all bad, really.  In this case, I'm thinking it is leading me to a safer way to keep little chicklets warm.

In the past, I've always used a 250 watt, red heat lamp.  It's hot, it uses a ton of electricity, and can be very worrisome.  I've nearly lost two batches of chicks when the lamp fell in and landed on the bedding and started smoking.  Both times, I luckily came out in time to put out the small flames and scoop up my small charges.  So while it keeps the chicklets nice and toasty, I am always afraid of an imminent fire when the lamp is in use. 

I had thought about using ceramic lizard bulbs, which get warm and give off radiant heat rather than a grim red glow:
From what I have read review-wise, they work quite well.  But at 150W, they still suck up a ton of energy.  They are fairly expensive ($26 per bulb), so if you have a bulb-and-a-spare, that's roughly $50 just for bulbs.  They do sound less likely to catch flame, but there is still a risk of them heating up bedding to the point of smoking if a lamp fell in, plus cracking if they accidentally got water on them (as in when the chicks get silly and splash their water around).

But then I came across this:
The EcoGlow by Brinsea.  It uses only 18W (!!) and simulates the heat given to a chick by a broody hen.  The chick can run underneath and get warm, and then run out to explore, get food and drink, be a silly little creature, and duck back under for a nap and a warm up.  It's fairly teeny too, which is great when you are a person who typically has a small brooder set up and only 20 to 50 chicks at a go.  I suppose it would be possible to set up a couple of them for a larger group of chicklets...anyway, it's one downside seems to be that it is made of plastic (with the inherent limited lifespan) and the cost.  It's about $75 for the 20-chick size.  Not spare change, for sure, but the overall reviews are very positive and folks that buy it seem to use it year after year, for all kinds of poultry offspring.

So, here's my thought.  I am pining for the EcoGlow, but depending on finances come chick-time, I may only be able to spring for a couple of lizard bulbs.  Either option will, I think, be a big improvement over the scary Red Bulbs of Death.

1 comment:

  1. Wow - I bet Miss Lucky would love to have one of those. Even though she's too big! I'd have to put it up on blocks ;-)



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