With the amount of chicks we raise here to breed and to sell, I needed a reliable way to brood them. But let me back up a little bit. We have had chickens off and on for over 20 years. We always bought the birds after they were feathered out and did not need any heat, so heat was never even a thought. And when we did have chicks, they were hatched and brooded by their Mommas, so again we did not need to think about extra heat. So when we decided to get chickens again, I wanted to start with chicks this time which was something new for me.
So I ordered the chicks and set up a little brooder with a “borrowed” heat lamp because I did not own one. So then I began to worry. I worried that the chicks would be too cold or be too hot, and what kind of bulb to use. A house hold bulb or one of the the red bulbs that you could cook food with? And was it safe since it got so hot? And this was before I had ever seen all those news stories about people burning down their chicken coops, barns, garages and houses while trying to keep their chickens warm.
So the first time I saw a Brinsea EcoGlow 20 I was very intrigued. After some consideration, I decided to purchase 2 of them for my chick brooding needs. The price of each unit is $79.99. The EcoGlow 20 comes with 4 parts, the main body that supplies the heat which is 8” x 12”, the 2 flat panel legs and the power cord with a 12 volt transformer attached.
The EcoGlow 20 is meant to keep up to 20 chicks warm, but I have had as many as 25 chicks under it with no problems. It also works for ducklings, guinea keets and recently I have used it for quail chicks. You can adjust the height to 3 different positions to accommodate larger chicks and waterfowl also. For the smaller bantam chicks and quails, I like to pile the shavings up a little more under the heater to keep them closer to the heat source.
Amazingly the EcoGlow only uses 18-20 watts of power and when you think of the fact that a heat lamp can have anywhere from a 60 watt to 250 watt bulb in it. And when it is plugged in, there is a red indicator light to let you know that it is on and working. Another thing that I like it the the power cord disconnects in the middle with male and female ends which makes it a lot easier to run the cord threw my brooder cages and easy to unplug and remove the heater for cleaning and when cleaning the brooder cages.
Brinsea also makes a larger version called the EcoGlow 50 for brooding up to 50 chicks. The price of the EcoGlow 50 is $139.99 each. The size of this one is 16” x 22” and this one uses 60 watts of power which is the same as an average light bulb. The power cord is similar to the EcoGlow 20 and it also has the red indicator light to tell you it is on and working.
The one big difference between the 20 and the 50 besides the size, are the legs. On the 20 it has 2 solid end panels for legs and on the 50 it has 4 separate legs that screw in by hand through the corners of the main body of the heater and need to be adjusted clockwise or counter clockwise depending if you want to raise or lower it for the chicks. The 50 definitely needs more space. I have it set up in a 38” x 38” brooder cage and that seems to be fine. I have plenty of space for the heater, food and water and the chicks have space to move around. It has worked quite well for us.
One more thing that I like about using the Ecoglows is the fact that when I was using the heat lamp, I had to leave it on 24/7 and that was threw the night also. So the chicks never got a true rest period since it was light all the time in order to keep them warm. It just seemed wrong. Any little noise and they were up eating and drinking and running around, even if it was 2:00 am.
As far as cleaning the 20 and the 50, I take them outside to the hose and set the hose to its strongest setting and rinse them off and try to keep the water away from the electric cord. I have to rinse off the top since the chicks do enjoy sitting on top of the EcoGlows and they do get them messy. I let it set for a couple minutes and rinse it again. That usually works pretty good. Then I allow the unit to dry and then wipe it down with a disinfecting wipe before placing it back in the brooder for its next use.
So my experience with the EcoGlows has been a good one. So much so, that I recently ordered 2 more EcoGlow 20s for brooding even more chicks in our new little hatchery building without any worries of a fire from a faulty heat lamp. I ordered our first 2 Ecoglow 20s over 2 years ago and they are still working fine and I feel it is money well spent.
Published : 01/25/2016 - 4:14pm
- 8” X 12”