Rearing chicks is rewarding and fun, but it does come with a few more risks. It's important to provide a safe, warm environment where they have access to water (but cannot drown), are safe from predators, and can access food as well as have space and ventilation. Brood cages or tanks are ideal combined with heatlamps and chick warmers. Care needs to be taken with set ups. Read our guide to understand the differences in equipment required for chicks vs hens.
Brood cages are safe, ventilated units to house your chicks whilst still young. They are designed to hold a heat lamp for warmth. How many chicks you can safely fit in there, depends on the size of the brood. The heatlamp is generally placed in one area so that chicks can move towards or away from the heat source as they need. Our brooders also ensure there is room for a chick drinker and chick feeder. Mesh floors allow for droppings and feed spills to fall through (ideally onto a disposable tray). Circular designs avoid chicks huddling in one corner.
Chick warmer plates simulate warmth from a mother hen and give controllable low-level heat for young chicks. The warmth is from above, so chicks can move in and out from it as they wish. The height is easily adjustable on the corner legs. The temperature-controllable element is totally encased in plastic for safe operation. Optional, clear domed-plastic covers can be bought separately for each size and prevent chicks climbing onto the plate and creating a mess on it. The triangle warmers are made to fit snugly in corners, instead of dominating brood areas. Chicks are very comfortable congregating in corners, and the warmer uses even less energy when placed in a corner. Rheostat controlled temperature regulators are also available separately.
Set up your lamp safely before you bring the chicks home. Set it up very securely. You do NOT want it falling into the pen/brooder and you need to keep it well away from combustible materials - dust, straw, wood shavings etc. If you can, measure the temperature where your chicks are, and adjust as needed
Depending on the heat - you make need to move the lamp closer or further away. You can observe chick behaviour to also gauge what is required. If they are huddling away from the lamp or panting then it is likely too hot for them, or if they are trying to huddle closer or directly in the beam - they are cold. Chicks start to fly at 2 weeks of age so it is very important that the lamp is secure and can't be reached.
We highly recommend choosing a heat lamp with a ceramic fitting and wire cage guard for increased safety.
It's important to protect chicks from falling into the water, where they may drown. Below are some great options:
Chick feeders are essential tools for maintaining the health and growth of young poultry in a brooder pen. Designed for convenience and efficiency, they minimise waste and contamination. Made from durable materials, these feeders ensure longevity and easy cleaning. The raised edges prevent scratching and soiling, promoting good feeding habits. Chick feeders are available in various sizes. Investing in high quality feeders is a wise choice, ensuring the well-being of your chicks and saving time and money in the long run.
Pests and predators come looking for food (especially in spring when they are also rearing their young) and the poultry coop is often at the top of the menu as they look for chicks, eggs, and accessible chook meal. Having chicks in a brooder will protect them, as well as keeping other food sources unattainable - i.e. using an on demand feeder for hens if they are nearby. Electric poultry netting will keep predators and over inquisitive pets away.