The first few weeks of a chicken’s life are the most critical. The best chicken brooders provide chicks with the necessary conditions to thrive. Brooders for tiny chicks should provide adequate warmth, protection, and shelter from the elements. The brooder should also be a suitable place that has bedding, chick feed, and water.
Summary Table of the Top 8 Chicken Brooders and Heat Lamps
Brooders and Heat Lamps for Chickens
The heat lamp is one of the most vital pieces of equipment in every chicken brooder. This heat source creates a warm, cozy environment just like a brooding mother hen would provide. This keeps the chicks feeling safe and protected, as well as helping them to grow well. Some of the most popular types of brooding heat sources are heating plates. However, heat lamps are also suitable sources of heat for chicks to thrive.
It can be challenging to find the best brooder for your little balls of chirping fluff. You may be looking for a brooding enclosure that includes a heating plate or pad. Or, you may just need to buy a high-quality heat source for your existing brooder.
We have sourced that top eight chicken brooders that are currently for sale. We compare these products to help you choose the perfect brooder to raise your chicks—from hatching until they start laying. You will also find out what essential features to look for when buying a chicken brooder.
In-Depth Comparison of Chicken Brooders and Heat Lamps
To help you make an informed choice when it comes to buying a chicken brooder, we’ve examined heat pads, heat lamps, and brooding enclosures. Because high-quality brooders are crucial for your chicks’ health, we’ve made sure to pick only the best ones currently on sale.
1. Brinsea Ecoglow 20 Safety 600 Brooder for Chicks
The Brinsea Ecoglow brooder is perfect for keeping newly-hatched chicks warm. The underside of the brooding tray provides even temperatures and is suitable for keeping up to 20 chicks. As the chicks grow, you can adjust the height of the plate in line with their growth. There are many advantages to heating trays. For example, they don’t produce light so that they won’t interfere with chicks’ sleep patterns. Also, they have low energy consumption, and they are very cost-effective.
The durable plastic is easy to clean. Brinsea also produces larger heating trays for brooders with up to 50 chicks.
- Temperature control and radiant heat only heats the chicks, not the air
- Chicks can safely touch the heat source without any risk of burning
- Adjustable height
- Simple design with easy-to-clean, durable plastic
- Not that easy to set up
- It’s difficult to adjust the height
2. Farm Innovators Model 3700 Baby Chick Starter Home Kit
This high-quality chicken brooder is just a brooding enclosure, without any heating elements. The chick starter kit is easy to set up and ideal for keeping up to 15 poultry chicks. However, if you have more chicks, you can buy multiple pens and join them together to create a large brooder. The durable design is washable and reusable and folds flat for storage when you don’t need it.
The brooding enclosure has an adjustable stand to hang a heating lamp to keep chicks warm.
- Easy to set up and ideal for keeping chicks indoors until they are a few weeks old
- The brooder folds away to store when not in use
- 15 chicks will quickly outgrow the brooder
- No heat lamp included
- Only suitable for use in a house as the plastic panels don’t protect chicks from predators
3. Incubator Warehouse Vrooder Chicken Brooder
This chicken brooder by Incubator Warehouse is one of the most practical heating plates on the market. The simple design means that it’s easy to adjust the brooder’s height. Low electricity use means that the brooder is efficient to run and uses less energy than traditional heating lamps. One of the great things with this heating plate is that it has an opening at the top. This lets you watch your chicks as they huddle together under the plate for warmth.
The “Vrooder” simulates a mother hen’s warmth for up to 30 chicks. If you have got a larger brood, you can purchase additional units
- 40 watts with a built-in thermostat
- Dust and water-resistant
- The opening in the heat plate allows for observation and prevents chicks in the middle from suffocating
- Reasonably priced
- Not many reviews on Amazon to give a fair, overall review of this chicken brooder
4. K&H Pet Products Thermo-Peep Heated Pad
This heating pad by K&H Pet Products is a heating solution for chicks up to a few weeks old. The pad can be placed under bedding or vertically to keep chicks in the brooder warm. This energy-efficient heat source for chicks uses 25 watts of energy, and a thermostat controls the temperature. The unit only heats up when chicks sit on it. The cord is also protected to prevent chicks from pecking through it. It is easy to mount the pad wherever you need a heat source for your chicks.
- Low energy consumption
- Easy to mount vertically or horizontally
- Thermostat controlled, you can switch it on and leave it
- MET safety listed
- Users say that heat from the pad is minimal and not sufficient for chicks
- Not as practical as mounted heating pads
5. Chick Season Warm & Playful Brooder Home
This chick brooder is an ideal solution to raise baby poultry birds from hatching until they are four weeks old. The brooder enclosure is adjustable to suit the needs of your chicks. The perimeter is made from washable plastic panels that can fold away when not needed. It only takes a few minutes to set up this brooding station.
Along with the enclosure, you get a 105-watt heating lamp and adjustable stand to help keep your chicks warm and cozy. This package also comes complete with a roost boost to keep chicks occupied and strengthen their grip.
- Easy to set up and ideal for keeping a few chicks
- Comes complete with heat lamp and adjustable stand
- Has a roost boost for chicks to perch
- Some users say that the materials are cheap and substandard
- There are better heating solutions on the market than red heat bulbs
6. Harris Farms Chick Nursery with Brooder Lamp Stand
This chick brooding enclosure from Harris Farms contains six plastic panels that can be made into a rectangle or hexagon shape. The brooder is easy to assemble, disassemble, wash, fold, and store. The size of the brooder is suitable for up to 15 chicks until they are a few weeks old. The telescopic stand holds a heat lamp to provide adequate heat for healthy chicks.
The Harris Farms chick brooder is a good fit for beginners. However, if you plan on raising chickens year after year, it is best to invest in something sturdier.
- The simple design is perfect for keeping a few chicks
- Telescopic stand to hold LED or red heat lamps
- Mixed reviews on Amazon
- Many users say that, if you have the time, it’s better to make your own brooding enclosure
7. Acogedor Pet Heat LED Lamp
If you are looking for an energy-efficient heat lamp for your brooder, then Acogedor produces this LED lamp. Specially designed for keeping chicken brooders warm, the LED light provides soft lighting so as not to disturb chicks’ sleep. The LED brooder lamp has high heat efficiency with temperature control to help chicks thrive.
Warm air creates the heat from the lamp and the manufacturers claim it has a high heating efficiency with an even temperature distribution.
- LED lighting is energy efficient
- Three temperature modes
- Suitable to heat up to 1 m2
- Poor reviews on Amazon
- Users say that the heat is not enough to keep chicks warm
8. Evergreen Pet Supplies Infrared Heat Lamp Bulb for Chickens
Red heat lamps are the most common types of brooder heating lamps. Evergreen produces top-quality lamps to help keep brooders at the right temperature. The infrared heat and light don’t disturb chicks’ sleep patterns. Although there are many infrared brooder lamps on the market, the manufacturers claim that these lamps have the best lifespan of similar products.
The heat lamps are also suitable for an array of other animals such as amphibians, tortoises, geckos, snakes, and any type of poultry chick.
- Helps to keep chicks warm and healthy
- The infrared lighting doesn’t interfere with sleep
- Pack of two infrared heat spot lamps
- Some users say that the lamp burn out fairly quickly
- There are better brooder heat solutions on the market than infrared heat lamps
What to Consider When Choosing a Brooder
The first few weeks of a chick’s life are crucial to its survival. That is why it’s vital to get conditions right in the brooder. How can you set up the ideal brooder to help keep baby chickens happy, content, and healthy? Here are a few tips.
Temperature range of Brooder
Chicks need a temperature-controlled environment to thrive. Most breeders recommend keeping the brooder’s temperature around 95°F (35°C) for the first week. After that, you can reduce the heat by 5°F per week. Some of the best brooders have thermostat-controlled heating pads to keep chicks at just the right temperature. Usually, if chicks that are huddled closely together and chirping loudly, it’s a sign that you need to turn the heat up.
Size required for the number of chickens
As a general rule, brooders should give each chick about 1-sq. ft. of space. The brooder needs to be at least 1 ft. high to prevent chicks from escaping. However, chicks grow quickly under ideal conditions. So, if a brooder enclosure says it’s for up to 15 chicks, that will be the maximum number for chicks. However, in a week or two, you may find that chicks have outgrown their brooder.
Safety of the Chicken Brooder
When it comes to brooder safety, the heating source creates the most significant risk. Infrared heat lamps can get very hot and even melt the lamp’s casings. That is why it is best to invest in a high-quality heating plate such as Brinsea EcoGlow brooders.
Different sorts of Brooders
There are many different types of brooders on the market. However, all brooders—no matter the design—have a few things in common. Brooders should have a perimeter to keep chicks safe, a heat source to mimic the warmth from the mother hen, and offer protection from predators. Besides, brooders need to have bedding and have a regular supply of water and chick starter feed.
How to Clean Out the Chicken Brooder
Keeping your brooder spotlessly clean is vital for the health of your chicks. Parasites in chick poop are the leading cause of disease among broods of chicks. Regular brooder cleaning also makes sure the enclosure doesn’t start to stink. Depending on the number of chicks you have, you may need to clean the brooder every few days. As the chicks grow, you’ll have to clean more often.
Making a Final Decision
When it comes to buying the best type of brooder, most experts recommend having a secure enclosure with a reliable heating source. The best kinds of heat sources are heating plates or pads that the chicks can huddle under. This way, the chicks feel warm and at home, which helps them grow into healthy adult chickens.