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.
Lower cost 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 the Brinsea EcoGlow. 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!
Adjustable as heating needs change
No dials to fiddle with--simply plug in the Sweeter Heater and adjust the height on the overhead mount, or mount to a side wall for full-grown hens in winter.
Use in your "big girl" coop in the winter, too!
You can adjust the location of your Sweeter Heater to give your flock just enough heat to take the edge off--without warming them so much that the hens would not be able to cope with the loss of heat should the power suddenly cut out.
Cold weather note: Infrared rays are designed to travel only a short distance, so you will be providing warmth to the birds that can roost directly beneath the heater only. The amount of warmth provided to the birds will be dependent on the distance between the heater and the chickens, 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 information, because infrared heat passes through the air without warming it. Only a solid object will absorb and be warmed by infrared heat. (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.
Brinsea EcoGlow vs. the Sweeter Heater
The Brinsea EcoGlow, like the Sweeter Heater, is an excellent alternative to a 250-watt, infrared heat bulb. There are three important differences between Sweeter Heaters and Brinsea EcoGlows, however.
- EcoGlows max out at 110 degrees F. Sweeter Heaters max out at 185 degrees F.
- EcoGlows have an adjustable stand and don't require being hung or mounted.
- The largest EcoGlow can heat 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 Brinsea EcoGlow, by contrast, is awesome for folks who don't have a good place to hang their heater, who plan to brood fewer than 50 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 five 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.
Size guidelines and specifications
Please bear in mind when choosing your size that ambient temperature, draftiness and hanging height of your Sweeter Heater highly influence the number of chicks you can effectively heat. The "maximum" numbers quoted below are based on a draft-free environment, with an ambient temperature of seventy degrees Fahrenheit, and with the heater hanging 4.5 to 5 inches above the ground. 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.
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
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.