When it comes to egg breeding it is a common misconception that the breeding process finishes as the egg is hatched. This could not be further from the truth. After hatching your egg, the process of proving proper care for your chick is just beginning. This might seem like a redundancy, but it is nonetheless often ignored. The time immediately after hatching is one of the most important stages of development in a chick so it stands to reason that you should have the right products to help you through this stage.
Image credit: backyardchickens.com
Known primarily for their incubators the Brinsea brand also offer a range of accessories and aftercare add-ons for after the incubation process. In this review I will be looking at the Brinsea EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder. For keeping newly hatched chicks at the correct temperature the brooder offers an alternative solution to the standard infrared lamp that is commonly used. As such it is the perfect example to show how your aftercare choices can affect the development of your chicks.
Criteria – What makes a good Brooder
However, as with most other Brinsea products, if you look at the EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder as a long term investment its economy begins to show. Although it is expensive for the immediate purchase the money spent contributes towards features on the brooder that will eventually save you money.
The second criteria to look at is design. This means looking at how the Design of the Brinsea EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder will affect the development of your chicks compared to the infrared option. Obviously the design differences between a lightbulb and a purpose built product are quite numerous.
Not only does the Brinsea EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder have more features but the features that it does share with an infrared bulb are fine tuned to the point where they give the best possible conditions for the development of chicks.
The final criteria for a good aftercare product is its overall effectiveness. In many ways this is a marriage of the first two criteria. By looking at how the design features of the product are able to deliver cost effective solutions to yielding the highest number of well-developed chicks. In this respect the Brinsea EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder has one shortcoming.
Although well designed this brooder has a maximum capacity of 20 chicks. While this probably won’t be a problem for most people if you are looking to breed more than 20 chicks at once you might want to consider other more cost effective solutions.
Now that we have seen what kind of things to expect from a brooder we can take a more detailed look at how the Brinsea EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder delivers these features. The most important of these being the delivery of heat to the chicks. With their industry experience in incubation Brinsea have the knowledge and the technology to produce a heater panel that delivers the correct heat at a consistent rate of distribution.
Moreover, because the Brinsea EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder uses a heated panel rather than a lamp it is able to run at a much lower wattage. This means that it is good for both the environment and your wallet as you will be constantly saving energy whenever the brooder is in use.
Another of the main ways that the Brinsea EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder differs from a lamp is the fact that it has an adjustable design. Where a lamp gives out a constant temperature which the user has to adjust to the right distance to find the right temperature, the Brinsea EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder removes the guesswork by giving having a number of heat settings for use at specific distances.
The importance of this feature is its removal of variables in the brooding process. When breeding chicks, the main cause of failure is through some kind of uncontrolled variable. This could be too much or too little heat or humidity or incorrect contact with the chicks. When using a Brinsea EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder the number of these outside variables is drastically reduced by offering a product that delivers heat consistently and at the right temperature, meaning that there is a much smaller chance of disappointing results.
See Brinsea Eco-Glow 20 Chick Brooder Unboxing video
*Bonus extra feature*
To this end, I would recommend Manna Pro Medicated Chick Starter Crumbs. As they are specially calibrated for chicks from hatching to eight weeks old this feed provides the necessary nutrients to maximise chick growth and prevent any abnormalities in development.
Pros and cons:
The Brinsea EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder clearly offers an altogether different brooding solution to the traditional infrared bulb, so it would be unfair to judge the product without looking at it in terms of its own merits and demerits. As such I have put together a short list of the pros and cons for buying a Brinsea EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder.
- Its cost saving solutions save both energy and money.
- Designed to be easy to use, the Brinsea EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder makes caring for chicks much easier.
- The Brinsea brand offers a wealth of knowledge on breeding and incubation so you never feel lost.
- The prohibitive initial price can seem daunting to some.
- Twenty chick maximum capacity
As a child one of the phrases my mother would always repeat to me was ‘buy nice or buy twice’, meaning that if you spend the extra money and invest in a solid product you will eventually end up saving more money than you would from buying cheaply. Never was this more true in the case of the Brinsea EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder.
By sacrificing a little bit on the initial outlay you will eventually end up saving lots more in the long run. This is not just in terms of money either as the features offered by the Brinsea EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder will minimise your chances of disappointment, leaving you with more time and more happy chicks.