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First time starting newborn keets in the coop: (2) HEATING (Incubation & Brooding)

by steve, Western Massachusetts, Saturday, July 22, 2017, 12:14 (147 days ago)
edited by steve, Saturday, July 22, 2017, 12:20

I've got 25 keets coming this week in the mail (I'm going to keep about half of them, and sell the others when they get a little older). It's been a while since I've had this situation: My starter order was 6 years ago, and only a dozen. There was no existing adult flock, I kept them in cage with a lightbulb to heat them in a very controlled environment. Since then, most new birds have been hatched and raised DIY by the hens in the coop.

Now, I've got a flock of (15) in an 8x12 shed coop. My plan is to start the keets in the coop on day 1 (well, technically day 3!). I've never done it this way, and I realized as the time approaches that I have a LOT of questions (surprise, surprise coming from me). So, I'm going to break them down into separate topics in several forum posts (and repeat this intro in each one). Here's the second topic, how to keep the keets warm:


HEAT - BRINSEA?

I've got a Brinsea EcoGlow 20 chic warmer - http://www.brinsea.com/p-375-ecoglow-20-chick-brooder.aspx ...It's what I used the last few years when I had few eggs that didn't hatch in nests and finished in the incubator. I know this unit is supposed to be warm enough even though it's doesn't heat to 95 degrees, and it was all I needed for in the cage in my basement, but I'm nervous about using it out in the "wild" of the coop in the yard. The coop is probably pretty warm at night, but New England can also get chilly overall overnight.

Also, now that I look at the Brinsea online, it appears they have started making an EcoGlow 50, and 20 is really just for 20 birds, so I probably can't get away with using it for 20, right? The good thing about the Brinsea is I don't have to constantly monitor the temperature under it like a heat lamp, don't have to worry about it falling and killing the birds or starting a fire, and don't have to keep the flock awake with a bright light on 24/7.

I'm not really psyched about spending another $160 on the 50, or even $80 on another 20. But maybe I need to get a larger unit? If I'm spending the money, I really like the idea of one big unit like the 50, so the entire keet-flock can be in one place if they want; but maybe it's better to have 2 20's, so they can split if up if needed and I can put them in 2 different areas? Does anyone have any thoughts on this? How about on how low to put the top of the unit when they first start?


HEAT LAMP:

Should I just put a heat lamp in there instead? Is it necessary and will the EcoGlow not be enough? If so, I would appreciated any advice anyone has. So far, I've never had any fires or other safety tragedies, and the idea of crushing/cooking the keets and/or god forbid burning down the whole coop is pretty anxiety-provoking. Any other advice about heat and related matters is welcome.


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