How to use a Brooder Heating Plate for baby chicks.

Back to blog
Using a brooder heating plate helps maintain healthy chicks!

Caring for baby chicks requires meticulous attention to their well-being, and one fundamental aspect of this care is providing the right warmth through a reliable brooder heater. As a poultry enthusiast or someone new to the world of chicken keeping, understanding the significance of choosing the right heating solution is crucial. Brooder heating plates have become a popular choice for poultry enthusiasts due to their safety and efficiency compared to traditional heat lamps. Whether you're seeking enhanced safety, energy efficiency, or versatility, the right brooder heater plays a pivotal role in creating a secure and nurturing environment for your feathered companions

How to safely operate a brooder heating plate for baby chicks:

Ensuring the safety of your chicks involves more than just setting up the plate heater. Consider leaving a light on at night to help chicks find their way back under the plate, fostering a secure environment.

In overhead brooders, adjust the height of one side higher and the other lower to mimic a natural setting. For specialized plate heaters like the Farmight Chick Brooder Heater Plate and the Brinsea EcoGlow, it's essential to position the chicks so that their heads barely brush the heat plate. These heaters are designed to emulate the warmth provided by a mother hen, offering a nurturing environment for your chicks to thrive.

How to monitor the temperature of a brooder heating plate:

Unlike traditional heat lamps that warm the surrounding environment, brooder plate heaters focus their heat directly on the chicks. As a result, using a thermometer at ground level is not sufficient. Instead, employ a wire thermometer taped to the plate to accurately measure the temperature. Regularly check and adjust the height of the plate to ensure it falls within the manufacturer's recommended range.

Most plate heaters operate within the temperature range of 105-115 degrees Fahrenheit, but it's crucial to consult the manufacturer's instructions for specific details. Notably, heaters like the Sweeter Heater may operate at higher temperatures, requiring careful placement above the chicks.

Cold snap strategies: Using a heater plate for adult chickens: 

Plate heaters also prove invaluable during winter cold snaps for safeguarding adult chickens. Their targeted heat distribution is effective in providing warmth and ensuring the well-being of your flock. However, it's crucial to implement additional measures for optimal comfort for individual flock members. Verify that the coop setup is well-insulated to retain heat, and consider adding extra bedding to enhance insulation and comfort for your adult chickens.

Which are the best Heater Plates to buy?

Now that we've delved into the world of plate brooder heaters and understood their significance in providing a secure and efficient environment for chick care, let's highlight some of our favorite options and what sets them apart. Each of these heaters, including the Sweeter Heater, Farmight Chick Brooder Heater Plate, Cozy Coop Heater, and Brinsea EcoGlow Safety 600, brings unique features that contribute to the well-being of your chicks. From reduced fire hazards to energy efficiency and adjustable settings, these favorites offer a range of benefits that cater to various poultry care needs. Let's explore what makes them stand out and how they can elevate your chick-raising experience.

My Pet Chicken sells the best brooder heater plates to care for your baby chicks.

1. Sweeter Heater

The Sweeter Heater stands out as a safe and energy-efficient option for both baby chicks and adult chickens. Key features include:

  • Reduced Fire Hazard: Unlike traditional heat lamps, the Sweeter Heater significantly reduce the risk of fire hazards.
  • Energy Efficiency: Using only 32 to 150 watts, Sweeter Heaters are more energy-efficient compared to 250-watt heat bulbs.
  • Versatility: With four sizes and two mounting options, Sweeter Heaters cater to various brooding needs.

Size and Capacity:

  • 11" x 11": 32 watts, 2 lbs, heats 22-25 chicks
  • 11" x 16": 50 watts, 4 lbs, heats 32-35 chicks
  • 11" x 30": 100 watts, 6 lbs, heats 60-65 chicks
  • 11" x 40": 150 watts, 8 lbs, heats 80-85 chicks

Additional Considerations:

  • Adjustable Height: Sweeter Heaters are adjustable to accommodate changing heating needs.
  • Easy to Clean: The sealed plastic shell is easy to clean, ensuring a hygienic environment for your chicks.
  • Incredibly Happy Chicks: Chicks under Sweeter Heaters are content and quiet, promoting a stress-free environment.

Cost Savings:

Using Sweeter Heaters can result in significant cost savings over time, both in electricity bills and the longevity of the product.

2. Farmight Chick Brooder Heater Plate

Farmight Chick Brooder Heater Plates offer a safer alternative to traditional heat lamps, mimicking the warmth of a mother hen's wings. Key features include:

  • Size Options: Available in three sizes to accommodate different brooding needs.
  • Adjustable Height: The heating plate is height-adjustable to cater to the chicks' growth.
  • Watts per Hour Usage: Ranges from 15 watts for the small heater to 60 watts for the large heater.

Tips for Usage:

  • Adjust the height to provide optimal warmth for chicks.
  • Use a nightlight to guide chicks back to the heater during the night.

3. Cozy Coop Heater

The Cozy Coop Heater is a versatile low-wattage option suitable for winter use. Key features include:

  • Direct Warmth: Provides warmth only where needed, avoiding unnecessary heating of space.
  • Stability: Wide "feet" ensure stability, and a heat-sensitive sticker indicates when the unit is on.
  • Low Electricity Consumption: Uses around 85 watts, offering cost savings.

Usage Recommendations:

  • Suitable for brooding up to 8 full-size or 10 bantam birds.
  • Not designed to heat an entire room but provides warmth to animals near it.

4. Brinsea EcoGlow Safety 600

The Brinsea EcoGlow Safety 600 is an economical and safe heater designed for up to 20 chicks. Key features include:

  • Low-Wattage: Uses only 12 watts, minimizing electricity consumption.
  • Adjustable Height: The heater's height can be adjusted as chicks grow.
  • Mimics Natural Environment: Creates a dark and secure environment, reducing noise among chicks.


  • Not suitable for ambient temperatures below the 60s.
  • Ideal for brooding up to 20 chicks but not recommended for heating the coop in winter.


Brooder plate heaters emerge as a revolutionary solution for chick care, offering enhanced safety features and efficient heat distribution. By diligently following manufacturer guidelines, employing proper setup techniques, and vigilant temperature monitoring, you can establish a nurturing environment for your chicks to thrive.

Bid farewell to the fire hazards associated with traditional heat lamps and embrace the warmth and safety provided by plate brooder heaters in your poultry care journey. Prioritizing safety, energy efficiency, and ease of use allows you to make an informed decision, ensuring the utmost comfort and safety for your feathered friends.


I was very interested in the heat plates for brooding chicks when they first came out. By now I am back to using a red heat lamp – it is so much easier.
Unlike with the heat plate, you
1) don’t need to worry if there is enough room under it and if it is at just the right height, etc. Just hang it at one end of the brooder, watch chicks intermittently to make sure they are comfortable, done. After a week hang it a bit higher, making sure the light still only hits one end of the brooder, so chicks can pick their comfort level. No extra night light needed. No worry that chicks get stuck in corners, all those things. Just make sure to hang it securely, with two chains, one attached to the hanging wire, the other to the loop of the clamp. If one fails, the other will still hold. Also have a wire mesh or grate lid on the brooder and hang the lamp above the lid so it couldn’t possibly fall into the bedding. Did you know that the heat plates are supposed to be 4“ (or was it 6“?) above the bedding, according to the manufacturers? Because of fire danger? That is too high for tiny chicks.
I also bought a sweeter heater – never could get it to stop reeking of plastic while running and I ran it outside for days, continuously. I would not want to breathe that in. Good old red lamp it is! (also, I can see from afar if it is still working, unlike the plates).
My Pet Chicken:
We’re pleased to hear that you’ve had success with a heat lamp, but it’s crucial to note that heat plates are significantly safer and more natural for chicks. We’ve experienced the devastating effects of a coop fire firsthand, losing an entire flock and risk to home and family. This incident underscores the importance of prioritizing safety. Height settings and heat output for heat plates can vary by manufacturer, so it’s essential to consult specific manufacturer instructions for brooding chicks. Additionally, heat plates utilize radiant heat technology, which means traditional temperature measurement with a thermometer may not be sufficient.

Stephanie Steck-Benthin

Over 146*F, 4” off the floor at suggested angle for 24 hours.

Lucille Rodgers

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.