Reduced fire hazard.
Unlike 250 watt infrared bulbs, Sweeter Heaters radiate heat gently and safely. The temperature stays below 185 degrees, vs 430+ degrees on a traditional heat bulb. (Chicken keepers experience fires every year from heat bulbs!)
Increased energy efficiency.
Sweeter Heaters use only 32 watts (11" x 11" model) to 150 watts (11" x 40" model), depending on the size, versus 250 watts on a traditional heat bulb.
The Sweeter Heater costs less over the long haul.
Using a Sweeter Heater, you'll save from $3-$5 per week on your electricity bill vs. an infrared 250-watt heat bulb. We've calculated the approximate "break even" rates, given continuous use, on each of the four Sweeter Heater sizes:
- 14 weeks for the 11" x 11" model
- 18 weeks for the 11" x 16" model
- 22 weeks for the 11" x 30" model
- 25 weeks for the 11" x 40" model
Also, consider that heat bulbs are delicate and frequently break! You'll find you need to replace them every year or two. Sweeter Heaters, on the other hand, are well-constructed in the USA, and come with a three year warranty against defects in material or workmanship. (You'd have to try pretty darn hard to break one!)
Incredibly happy chicks
In our experience, chicks are by far the happiest with the Sweeter Heater and similar models like the Cozy Coop Heater and these Chick Heating Plates. In fact, when we first switched to the Sweeter Heater, our chicks were so quiet, we thought something was wrong with them! We realized that the bright heat bulb we'd been using agitates them. And it makes sense--wouldn't a glaring red light shining on you day and night agitate you, too? Chicks under a Sweeter Heater are are content all day long, and they sleep peacefully all night long--no loud chirping to keep you awake!
How many chicks fit under the Sweeter Heater?
Please bear in mind when choosing your size that ambient temperature, draftiness and hanging height of your Sweeter Heater all influence the number of chicks you can effectively heat. The "maximum" numbers shown here are based on a draft-free environment, with an ambient temperature of seventy degrees, and with the heater hanging 4.5 to 5 inches off the ground.
- 11" x 11" : 32 watts, 2 lbs, heats a maximum of 22-25 chicks
- 11" x 16" : 50 watts, 4 lbs, heats a maximum of 32-35 chicks
- 11" x 30" : 100 watts, 6 lbs, heats a maximum of 60-65 chicks
- 11" x 40" : 150 watts, 8 lbs, heats a maximum of 80-85 chicks
This said, the draftier the brooder space, the lower the ambient temps, and the higher you hang your Sweeter Heater, the larger size you will need. (Always keep chicks in a low-draft environment, by the way: excessive drafts will kill chicks, no matter how warm you keep their brooder. Even a large cardboard box will suffice to prevent drafts.) In short, our recommendation is that when you're in doubt about the best size to get, play it on the safe side and choose something larger.
Adjustable as heating needs change
No dials to fiddle with--simply plug in the Sweeter Heater and adjust the height with the 6-foot electrical cord, on the overhead mount, or mount to a side wall and your chickens will get as close to it as they need to be.
The Sweeter Heater can be used in winter and for a host of other animals.
If you live in an area where winters are especially cold, your Sweeter Heater can take the edge off for your hens in winter. Read more about whether to heat your chicken coop in winter.
Your Sweeter Heater can provide warmth to any animal directly in front of the heating surface (if mounted sideways) or below (if mounted above). The amount of warmth provided is dependent on the distance between the heater and the animals, plus other factors like drafts and the ambient air temperature. Keep in mind when positioning your heater that a thermometer in the air beneath it will not provide accurate heating information, because the heat from a Sweeter Heater passes through the air without warming it. Only a solid object will absorb and be warmed by it. (If you're not sure if it's working, just watch your flock's behavior! If they're under the heater, it's working.)
Easy to clean
Yes, sometimes you'll find that your hens like to jump atop the (overhead mount) Sweeter Heater and leave a not-so-sweet mess! The good news is that The sealed plastic shell on top of the Sweeter Heater is easy to spray and wipe down.
Chick Heating Plates vs. the Sweeter Heater
Chick Heating Plates, like the Sweeter Heater, are an excellent alternative to a 250-watt, infrared heat bulb. There are three important differences between Sweeter Heaters and Chick Heating Plates, however.
- Chick Heating Plates max out at 125 degrees F. Sweeter Heaters max out at 185 degrees F.
- Chick Heating Plates have an adjustable stand and don't require being hung or mounted.
- The largest Chick Heating Plate can accommodate 40 chicks, but doesn't have enough space underneath to accommodate grown chickens (using it in their coop for winter, for instance), whereas the largest Sweeter Heater can accommodate 100 chicks and grown chickens of all heights.
We recommend the Sweeter Heater overhead mount if you're brooding your chicks in a colder place: porch, garage, barn, basement, or an outdoor structure where 110 degrees won't be enough. If, on the other hand, you only plan to use your Sweeter Heater in a coop during the bitter winter, you might consider the side-mount option as it doesn't require hanging. Keep in mind that it'll need to be mounted relatively close to where your flock roosts in order to be of benefit to them, as even the largest size won't appreciably increase the ambient temperature of a very large volume of air (a large shed, say). The Sweeter Heater comes with chains and three "S" hooks but does not include mounting hardware for the overhead mount unit.
The Chick Heating Plates, by contrast, are awesome for folks who don't have a good place to hang their heater, who plan to brood fewer than 40 chicks inside their house, and who don't intend to use them to heat coops.
Directions for use
Run your Sweeter Heater for a few hours, until the faint "new plastic" smell dissipates, before introducing chicks. It is recommended to start your Sweeter Heater around six inches off the ground. Then, watch your chicks' behavior closely when they first enter their brooder: if they avoid the heat, raise it up. If they huddle underneath it and chirp loudly, lower it. It's as simple as that. Installation instructions.
As with any electric heating device, special precautions must be taken:
- Ensure that the heat surface is open to air and that the heat is allowed to escape & circulate.
- Allow a minimum of 6 inches of air space between the ground surface, bedding, straw hay or any combustible materials.
- Take special precautions to ensure that the unit cannot be allowed to fall with its heating surface enclosed. Severe overheating may occur which could result in combustion.
Made in America! Three Year Warranty
Designed, sourced and assembled in the USA! The mom-and-pop manufacturer is so sure of their product, they offer a three year warranty against defects in material and workmanship. Should you run into any problems, just contact us, and we'll take care of the rest.