Poult’s cuteness fascinates people. It’s little wonder why people keep the little peeps as pets. Hatchlings also don’t carry diseases. But until when their novelty runs out, rearing them is fun. Unfortunately, the weeks following Easter usually receive a surge in castoff birds.
Also, backyard poultry can ruffle your neighbor’s feathers. Your neighbor can file a lawsuit against you. Above all, baby chickens need tender care. They are unable to regulate their body’s heat. Hatchlings from the hatcheries are just as vulnerable. Mother hens are moody at best. They choose to brood out of their own volition — not because you convince them.
Top 5 Best Chick Brooder: Editor Recommended
Fortunately, the market continues to churn out models – good and bad. But don’t let a barrage of choices and features inundate you. Picking the best chick brooder has never been a breeze. This chick brooder review is a product of long hours of painstaking research, analysis, and fact-checking.
From the large data set, we have narrowed down to ten. We hope they will help you make the right buying decision. Read on.
For anyone looking for a cheaper, safer, and more energy-efficient option than heat lamps, the best chick heating plate is in plentiful supply. A host of reasons explains why the plate’s popularity is surging across the country.
Studies have detailed the adverse effects of continuous lighting on the health, maturity, and behavior of pullets and cockerels. While they paint a gloomy picture, it doesn’t mean heat lamps lack merit.
Rearers have used them since man invented electricity — responsibly. As well, broody hens foster unfriendly children. Plates have their share of weaknesses. Chicks can outgrow their size, and outdoor temperatures below 50 degrees reduce their effectiveness.
10 Best Chick Brooder Reviews:
1. Brinsea Eco Glow 20 Safety 600 Brooder For Chicks
The USHD611C is a better alternative than a broody hen or heat lamp. Just like any other heating plate for chicks, its frame is flat and rectangular, beneath which baby chickens, goslings, or ducklings lie in contact to receive warmth.
It offers a simulation of the mother hen, and its design is simple. And because it apes natural brooding, Brinsea is an invaluable possession if you want the chicks to wean and feather early. With the best chick heating plate at your disposal, acclimating to the day/night cycle is hassle-free.
As long as temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the USHD611C Eco Glow is effective. Thus, brooding must take place indoors or in a building with a heat supply. Brinsea can be a disadvantage if you raise chickens in an outdoor coop because temperatures can vary according to seasons.
Also, the best chick brooder heater can accommodate 20 day-old chicks at first, but the plate’s size is constant. They will inevitably outgrow that size. Heat plates are the priciest options, although they are the most energy-efficient.
Hence, you will recoup the upfront costs in terms of electricity savings a few weeks down the line. You will also benefit from the peace of mind, unlike a system that overheats and poses a fire hazard when it disintegrates or falls off from where you suspended it.
The USHD611C also takes care of roosting, as it acclimates the chicks to the normal day/night cycle. Above all, it saves you from the hassles of having to convince the fickle mother hen and looking for them in the first place. It can be a perfect investment for your nesting box or other chicken coops.
2. Farm Innovators 3700 Starter Home Kit
The 3700 Starter Home Kit is the best chicken brooding box for anyone who looks to invest in proper housing for baby chickens. For many city dwellers, chicken rearing can be intimidating. However, the 3700 Starter home kit is a lifesaver if you are compassionate about chickens.
Following Easter, many owners cast their pets off when the novelty wears off. Some do so for good reasons. Keeping feathery friends in your backyard has the potential to ruffle your neighbor’s feathers.
Farm Innovators allows you to own chicken within the purview of the local laws. The best chick brooder features ten 18-inch-by-12-inch panels, which you can lump together to form a corral. It can accommodate up to 15 chicks until the time they have feathered.
The corral protects the chicks from wind and draft. Best of all, it comes with a heat lamp, which you can hang above the chicks to supply the necessary warmth. The lamp height is also adjustable.
Be sure to set the temperature of the brooder lamp at between 90- and 95-degrees Fahrenheit when you are starting with day-old chicks. Afterward, you can make five-degree decrements every week until you attain the 70-75-degree range.
However, heat bulbs can overheat. They can also drop or disintegrate and set the place ablaze when you aren’t around. And while it offers continuous lighting, it isn’t necessarily a good thing because it disrupts the normal day/night cycle, affecting roosting.
Some studies have indicated how continuous lighting delays maturity in pullets and accelerates it in cockerels.
3. Brinsea – USHD500 Eco Glow Brooder For Chicks Or Ducklings
If you have just bought day-old chicks and you feel that you have fallen short as a pet parent, you are in luck. Chicks, goslings, and ducklings need tender care, and supplying them with warmth is one of the best ways to show them love.
Fortunately, Brinsea USHD500 Eco Glow is a lifesaver because it simulates the broody hen. Since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the demand for eggs has outstripped the supply.
While raising chicks for eggs is a great idea when the desire to keep backyard poultry has increased across the country, it isn’t always so when you panic-bought them and face reality when life gets back to normal.
Chickens require lots of attention. The feeling can be overwhelming for a foster parent who has no experience and adequate time. It’s also the best chick brooder heater, whether it is you raise chicks as pets or for educational, food security, or commercial purposes.
It offers you the pedestal to mask unpreparedness and avoid animal cruelty. Brinsea is also a reliable alternative to mother hens who aren’t glad to adopt the baby chickens who aren’t theirs. Not to mention, broody hens aren’t a guarantee to find.
Above all, the best chick heat plate utilizes radiant heat and is safer than heat lamps. You don’t have to worry about the whole place going ablaze when you are away or fast asleep. Besides, it doesn’t overheat. Nor is it rickety, posing real risks of fire outbreak when it falls from suspension. Also, it poses no danger of burning you when you accidentally touch it.
4. Rent A Coop Chick Brooder Heating Plate & Anti-Roost Cone Set
Rent a Coop features a flat, rectangular plate with a 12-inch by 12-inch dimension. On the top lies a pyramid to discourage roosting when babies grow up. Beneath the house like structure, chicks lie, but they must make contact with the heating plate.
Rent a Coop stands eight-inches tall. While the groovy stand isn’t adjustable, the height is! With the help of the grooves, you can pull the plate up and down along it, offering you a flexible option when baby chickens grow.
The best chick brooder heater relies on electricity. Like any other heating plate for chicks, you can find in our chick brooder review, Rent a Coop can shot and catch fire, although not as common as with heat lamps. It is arguably the safest but costliest of options.
Yet, it’s energy-efficient, cutting utility bills by a significant margin. With it, you don’t have to go miles to convince the mother hen who may not have an interest in brooding. Some studies have also shown chicks that the broody hen has raised tend to be more hostile toward people, including the owner unless mama allows.
And so, for anyone who intends to raise poultry as pets, friendliness is a big decider. Rent a Coop, just like any other heating plate, fosters friendship. Chicks can mature as soon as two weeks after hatching!
Rent a Coop conditions the chicks to the normal day/night cycle, enabling weaning and feathering. As glamorous as the best brooder heater sounds, it has a fair share of shortcomings.
For one, pullets and cockerels can outgrow the plate’s size. Also, when temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, Rent a Coop ceases to be effective.
5. Premier Chick Brooder Heating Plate – 12″ x 12″
If you are looking for a safer and more energy-efficient alternative to heat bulbs, then look no further than Premier 540203. No one wants to meet high utility bills, but the 540203 can help you slice it by a profitable margin.
The model features a flat, rectangular heating plate, measuring 12 inches by 12 inches. Premier relies on 22-watt electricity to raise the temperature of its underside, whereby baby chicks snuggle to receive warmth.
Best of all, the height is adjustable to accommodate the growth of the baby chickens. Initially, 20 chicks can lie under the best chick brooder for your money, but as they grow, it will leave out some.
Premier is a great gamble as long as temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Unless you brood indoors, baby chickens face the real danger of experiencing near-freezing conditions in chicken nesting boxes or a coop. Alternatively, you can look for heating plates for an outdoor brooder.
Chick rearing is demanding, but with the model at your side, it should be less of a pain. Premier 540203 is also the costliest of options. However, don’t let upfront costs to discourage you. Given the considerable power savings, Premier is worth every cent for anyone with an investor mindset.
The 540203 is the best chick brooder heater if you want your pullets and cockerels to mature faster with the right heat source than you would expect with other options. For a tool that acclimates the young chickens to the normal day/night cycle, the Premier is a valuable possession to have for any owner who wants to rear them for eggs, meat, pet, or educational purposes.
6. Premier Chick Brooder Heating Plate – 16″ x 24″
When everyone’s at home, you require a source of fascination. Chickens provide that. For many city dwellers, there has never been a better time than the pandemic era to rear poultry. Also, parents have faced pressure from their children to keep them.
It’s little wonder why the demand for day-old chicks has outstripped the supply in the country. But chick-rearing is labor-intensive, and many pet owners are unprepared. Premier 540204 comes in handy as a source of warmth for babies.
The heating plate is flat and rectangular and is 24 inches long and 16 inches wide. It’s big enough to house 50 hatchlings underneath it. It excels at simulating the real thing: broody mother hen.
Where the mother hen fails, Premier excels. The model saves you from the hassles of going to extra lengths to convince mama to raise children for you. Studies have shown that chicks that you have brooded in heating plates are friendlier than ones that mothers raised.
The 540204 is also safer than the heat lamp for raising baby chicks. Just as you would expect of any other heating plate for any box, Premier doesn’t overheat and pose little danger of catching fire. While you can’t rule out the possibility of catching fire, this is extremely rare.
It’s the best bet if you want the baby chickens to wean off of the warmth early. However, Premier isn’t a perfect product. Temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit reveal the model’s soft underbellies.
While survival is 98-99 percent when you do everything correctly, the remaining baby chicks will inevitably outgrow the plate’s size.
7. Rent a Coop Chick Brooder Heating Plate
If you are looking for a replacement for broody hens, then Rent a Coop is a product that should come top of mind. It features a rectangular heating plate, 16-inches wide and 16-inches long. Rent a Coop is an embodiment of the “fake it, till you make it” saying.
While it provides warmth to the baby chickens, it can’t replicate other duties of mother hens like raising chicks and readying them for the coop. It’s not easy to convince a mother hen to brood and raise the chicks. Even when you succeed, hens are unreliable because they choose to do so when it’s most inconvenient.
However, the model conditions them to the natural lighting conditions, enabling the chicks to feather and wean earlier than usual. Overheating should be the least of your concerns. Even when you accidentally make contact with the plate, you won’t burn.
Temperature regulation is top-notch. While it relies on 42-watt electric power to heat the underside, which the chicks must make contact with to get warmth, it poses little risk of short-circuiting catching fire when the electrical system becomes faulty.
But all isn’t glory with Rent a Coop. Temperatures must remain above 50 degrees Fahrenheit for the model to be effective. Else, you will need to make arrangements for heat supply if you operate an outdoor coop.
Also, height is adjustable, as the groovy stand allows you to move the plate up and down to match the baby chicks. Price can potentially blow your budget, but it’s worth it, given the low utility bills you will need to meet to keep the system running.
8. Brinsea TLC-40 Eco Parrot Brooder
Brinsea TLC-40 isn’t just for hapless parrots; it’s a multipurpose incubator that serves other animals, as well. For anyone who looks to start from a clean slate, hatching out your own is the way to go. The TLC-40 will help you attain your goal of pandemic-free habitat.
It’s an artificial incubator that provides conducive conditions for the eggs to develop for successful hatching. Brinsea simulates the regulation of the optimal nest conditions. However, simulation isn’t perfect, as the TLC-40 can’t replicate the shuffling of the mass of the fluffy feathers of the mother hen.
But Brinsea scores big because not all mothers are willing to adopt the eggs. Turkeys are notoriously hapless, so do parrots. The incubator also enables you to prepare the eggs for hatching and candling after a week or so, as egg development isn’t visible during the first five days of incubation.
Thus, candling enables you to remove eggs that won’t fertilize, helping to preserve the fresh batch of fertile eggs from spoiling. The TLC-40 features a lid, which you can open or close to add or remove the egg tray.
In that way, you can maintain the incubator conditions. With the model, you can countercheck to verify that the eggs are fertile, although it can be a bit tricky to ascertain when the egg makeup is dense.
The model comes with a manual, which you can refer to when the chicks have started to position themselves in readiness for hatching. Once the hatching and drying out of the eggs are complete, you can move the hatchlings to the brooder for the chicken breed.
9. Rafter 4B Brooder Box – Standard
This chicken brooding box weighs 15.5-pounds and is 36.4-inches (3-feet) long, 16.6-inches (1.4-feet) wide, and 5.4-inches (0.45-feet) high, enough to handle between two and four chicks. For comfort, experts recommend each chick consumes about two-square-feet, with the area (4.2-square feet) able to accommodate a maximum of four chicks.
It’s a good number to start with, but don’t let tininess and snuggling fool you. Chicks can outgrow brooder size 6-8 weeks after they hatched. And the consequences of overcrowding are feather plucking and toe picking. They are bad habits that the baby will retain throughout its life.
Adolescents are notorious for injuring, bullying, and frustrating their peers. Hence, you will either increase the space to four-square-feet or move the adolescent chicks to a coop. Rafter 4B is a fantastic product, but you will need more of it if you buy so many hatchlings.
For anyone with space and budget issues, it’s not a viable option, as the best chick brooder can set you back by some couple dollars. However, its simplicity and ease of assembly make it a valuable possession.
The Brooder Box is a place to be for the little peeps after they have dried off and fluffed up in the incubator. Rafter 4B shelters the babies, providing warmth and safety from the elements and predators.
The box also allows you to feed, water, and pet the baby chickens. You can also benefit from the friendliness, as the chicks view you as their foster parent. Also, Rafter 4B doesn’t consume much space. However, chicks can escape the 5.4-inch tall box. Experts recommend a depth of at least 12-inches.
10. Rural365 Baby Chick Heat Plate
Rural365 supplies the brooder with a temperature that’s neither too hot nor too cold. Overheating drives the chicken poults out of the brooder and leads to stress. On the other hand, when temperatures aren’t sufficiently warm, the chicks will congregate or overcrowd and may die.
Rural365 is the heater of choice for anyone who aspires to harden the chicks off early in readiness for an outdoor brooder. The 6.3-pound chick heating plate stands 8-inches high and has 18.7-inch by 16.3-inch floor space area.
Up to 35 hatchlings can lie beneath where they must make contact to receive warmth. You can adjust the height up to 8-inches to match the tallness of the baby chickens. But as the cute little things grow taller and older, they will outgrow the plate’s size.
The model comes with a transparent, pyramidal container with a base area that’s a jigsaw fit to the plate. Adolescent poults can hop on top of Rural365. They are old enough to stand on and poop on top, but no one wants to clean messes all the time. The container comes in handy to prevent the unruly behavior of the two-month-old babies.
As an invaluable possession, Rural365 relies on 42-watt power to give out radiant heat that warms its underside. It’s highly unlikely to short-circuit and catch fire. It’s one of the safest options, and it doesn’t overheat.
You can put your hand underneath the plate, which feels barely warm to the touch. Best of all, Rural365 simulates the broody mother hen who may have little interest to brood when it matters most.
Buying Guide: What to Consider When Select Chicken Brooder
It’s not easy to sort out the best chick brooder heater from a market full of options. While the budget and size of the hatchling batch are the foremost factors to consider, there are others.
Ensure the brooder is at least 12-inches deep, experts say. They also recommend you allocate an area of two square feet for each chick. If you bought a batch, calculate its floor (bedding) area and divide it by the space a single poult consumes.
You will get the number a brooder can accommodate. It’s also important to note that when six- to eight-week-old chicks are adolescents. Be sure to allocate the young adults as much space as you would slot to grownups in the coop. It’s usually two-inches.
We can’t stress this enough. Irresponsible use has resulted in fire outbreaks, although heat lamps have borne the brunt of the cases. Even though heating plates are just as reliant on electric power as bulbs, they are a safer alternative for backyard chickens.
They also don’t overheat. Instead, they are barely warm — not too hot to touch. But faulty plates can short-circuit and cause fires.
A brooder heater doesn’t have to be costly. The cheapest alternative is the mother hen herself. However, it can be tricky to convince her to brood the eggs or hatchlings and raise the young ones. The heat lamp isn’t expensive, but the heating plates are pricy.
Artificial incubators are the priciest of them all. While upfront costs are steep, they are well worth the salt, given their safety and convenience. Their only downside is that they may not be able to simulate nature as much as you would like.
Utility bills can skyrocket beyond what your budget can allow. With the mother hen, you don’t need to meet the costs of supplying warmth. On the other hand, bulbs and lamps consume lots of power to give a lower output. They are highly energy-inefficient.
They can rack up electricity costs. And if you have joined the bandwagon of those who advocate heat plates as a more energy-efficient alternative than heat lamps, you are probably on the right side of the debate.
Chicken poults are vulnerable to cold weather. They are unable to regulate their body temperatures. Hence, they need a brooder, which must come with a supply of warmth necessary to keep the hatchlings happy and comfortable.
On top of the shelter, they need food and water. While the mother hen offers the most natural way to brood, she isn’t always reliable. Hatchlings from hatcheries are orphans, and they need a foster parent.
Because of this problem, the market has found a way to simulate the shuffles of the fluffy feathers of mothers, but the solution isn’t perfect. While plenty of solutions are necessarily a good thing, choosing the best chick brooder from the barrage of options isn’t fun.
We hope by coming to this point in this chick brooder review, you have demonstrated the seriousness about making the right decisions.