The next stage of my PVC pipe chicken pen construction has not been going as quickly as I thought it might. My new EcoGlow chick brooder (made by Brinsea) was part of the solution for getting just the coop part of the set-up ready for chick inhabitance anyway, despite the sub-freezing outside night time temperatures. I purchased the smaller model brooder, advertised as sufficient for up to 20 chicks because I am currently have 19 chicks.
It was very easy to put together. With my chicks being 4.5 weeks old, the top height seemed best. I was disappointed that the cord for plugging it in had a bulky adapter that kept me from connecting it to the multi-outlet adapter, so I had to pull out another extension cord just for it.
Once it was set up, and I had verified it was emitting heat, I placed 4 different chicks under it. They have been used to the heat lamp, so I thought they might not find the new brooder. I thought if at least a couple of them knew about it, the others might also flock there. One of them, my smallest chick stayed under it for a while. The others left right away. I have seen the smaller chick under it again in the middle of the night, but no other chicks. I may go in and introduce others to it, but the weather will be getting warm soon, so it may just be something I use more with the next batch of chicks I raise.
I still have the heat light set up for now. The brooder does not look nearly large enough for all of the chicks at this age. With the cold, and because they are used to the heat lamp, they get both options for now. The brooder says it will only work properly if the surrounding temperature is at least 50°F. There is also some heat coming from the water heating stone.
It has been so cold for a couple of nights that I also wrapped the coop in blankets to some extent. I concentrated on covering spots where wind could blow in because some strong, icy gusts were predicted. Rope, duct tape, rocks, stumps, and shovels all helped hold it in place. I could barely see the chicks through a crack in the door. They looked cozy, so I would be able to sleep. Call me a crazy chicken lady if you want to.