Setting Up Your Outdoor Chick Brooder

We were recently in the market for a new outdoor chicken coop and outdoor chick brooder so, we decided to try out the Portable Backyard Chicken Coop from Lehman’s! We really enjoy this coop as our outdoor chick brooder. It also works amazingly well as a rabbit hutch and for just a couple of chickens as a breeding pen. This chicken coop can easily fit 2 backyard chickens, or 12+ chicks as a chick brooder. It could also fit a couple of rabbits if you were to choose to use it as a rabbit hutch. Here’s how we used the Lehman’s chicken coop to set up our outdoor chick brooder.

Read the Post

The Sloggers Apron | My New Favorite Homestead Tool

Let me first start by saying, I am not an apron kind of girl. Even in the kitchen, I only wear an apron when I know the job is going to be extra messy. I’ve never been that “girly girl”—I was a tom-boy my entire life. But, I do have my elegant moments.

So needless to say, when Sloggers recently approached me about reviewing a new product line, I wasn’t necessarily sure I would be the best fit for the review. But, I decided to do it and see if I enjoyed it.

….and I am SO GLAD that I did.
horrible iphone photos


So let me tell you about this amazing new tool on my homestead. The mere fact that I now wear it, daily, should tell you something. The only things I typically use daily are my knife (for straw bales and bags), my boots, and my sweatshirt pockets. Not going to lie. I’m a very simple person who can make very simple things work on a regular basis.

However, I constantly found myself needing somewhere to “put” things. And that includes my cell phone, the house phone (for safety purposes when outside by myself), something to carry down herbs and treats in, and even those big egg hauls where the sweatshirt isn’t big enough.

In walked the Sloggers brand new heavy duty apron, and I’ve been sold ever since. It is truly heavy duty. I have already been jumped on by the dog, pooped on by chickens, smashed some eggs on it when I dropped one. I even left my knife and garden shears slightly open in one of the pockets only to find that it didn’t rip the inside of it to pieces.

The best part is that it’s not just great for the animals and coop, it’s great for gardening, washing the dog, farmer’s market day to stuff all those dollars in—you name it, it can do it.

So what are my favorite things about the apron?
It’s Made in the USA
That’s right. Just like Sloggers boots and every product they offer, this apron is made completely in the USA. Including the material that it is made with.
It Really Is Heavy Duty
Sloggers certainly delivered on their promise. Not only is it sturdy and functionally built, it’s also heavy duty without being stiff and rough. This apron can be used on even the dirtiest and toughest of farms and homesteads.
The Pockets Are Extremely Deep
And therefore, I can fit just about anything into them without worrying that my things will get lost, crushed, or fall out. I mean, seriously, I can’t get over these pockets.
The Neck and Waist Straps Are Adjustable
I have used many aprons that just don’t fit me well because they don’t have adjustable straps and ties. Needless to say, I am a vertically challenged person—aka, I’m short. But this apron doesn’t feel extremely long or bulky on me because I’m able to make it shorter with the neck strap. I am also not the skinniest person in the world, even though I have lost quite a bit of weight over the past year.  So this apron made me feel more comfortable knowing I could adjust height and width very easily.
It’s Adorable
And there is no denying it. Something that is this functional normally lacks the cuteness factor. But a simple denim (and I hear they might be working on more patterns!) work apron, versus a plastic or rubber one, is much more girly in my opinion.
If you’re like me and looking for something to keep you organized while tending to your homestead and farm animals, I highly recommend this product that was just launched online! If you would have asked me 3 weeks ago if a homestead apron was necessary, I would have laughed in your face.

Not this week, my friends.

I’m not sure how I lived without it up to this point!

{Product Review} Brinsea Ecoglow 50

Nothing ever goes as planned, that is inevitable. We have established that multiple times on this blog. I think you’ve gotten the point, but I just thought I would reiterate, once again.

We had planned to have several large batches of Icelandic chicks this Spring and Summer, but between predator attacks and everything else going on here, we had to take a step back from breeding Icelandics this year. In the meantime, I had been dying to try the Brinsea Products Inc. Ecoglow. We brood inside during the Winter months, and I did have a small batch of Icies due. Brinsea was kind enough to send us not one, but TWO of their Ecoglow50 brooders. Little did I know, I wouldn’t be able to use both of them this year, but maybe next. I hope!

Things were crazy around here and the last thing I wanted to do was deal with chicks. But more so, I had absolutely no desire to mess with a heat lamp in the middle of Winter while we were out and about. I had enough on my plate worrying about the woodstove, add a heat lamp to it? No thanks.

The Brinsea brooders came just in time — 2 days before hatch day. There was an instant sigh of relief and out of the box the brooder came.

It. was. huge.

Brinsea listened to my request and sent me their largest brooders, which would completely come in handy for 40+ chicks. Unfortunately, I only had a dozen chicks in my incubator at the time. The big hatches were not due until this Summer. But, none-the-less, I was going to try this baby out! I couldn’t wait.

So now, it’s time for the Pros and Cons. Yes, there are both. As with any product, nothing is perfect. But that doesn’t mean we don’t love the product. We LOVE this product. But I offered to give an honest review of the product, and I will do just that (as with any product review).

The Pros:

  • I didn’t have to worry about a heat lamp catching my house on fire. With that said, we have never even had a “close call”. We have always screwed the heat lamp to a secure area in our basement. At the same time, there was always that “fear”.
  • It was easy to assemble. I really didn’t even have to read the directions, but I did anyway. It was easy and painless. My style!
  • The chicks loved it. It gave them that feeling of security that they needed, and they only had a heat source when necessary. It didn’t “fry” them with harsh heat, and they weren’t bothered by being under a light all day every day. This was really important to me, and I felt much better about it!
  • It is easy to clean. Really really easy to clean. With a warm cloth and some white vinegar, I was able to clean it up and sterilize it in a jiffy.
  • It is adjustable, making the heat adjustments less stressful on the chicks. As the chicks grew, the brooder grew. Whenever I would clean their tub out, I would slightly adjust the brooder so that it was raised a bit more. The process of taking them off of the heat lamp was more stressful than raising the brooder over the course of a couple of weeks.
  • The power cord is really long. YES, thank the Lord. Honestly, as simple as this seems, it was my favorite feature. We all know that our chick brooding tubs and containers are never conveniently located near a plug. That’s always how it seems to go! I was able to plug the Brinsea brooder in a plug no where near their brooding tub. I was doing a little happy dance, because I absolutely loathe extension cords.
  • It can easily fit 50 or more chicks. It was way too big for my mere 12, but it would definitely be a life saver with large hatches that we had planned this year.

The Cons:

  • I couldn’t see the chicks. And that’s just a personal preference. I like to be able to see the chicks, and for my chicks to see me when I am walking around and doing chores near them. However, the first 48 hrs of a chicks life are extremely fragile. If I wanted to make sure they were all healthy and happy, I had to pull the brooder up off of them, which sent them into crazy mode, which they eventually got over.
  • I couldn’t tell if they were warm enough. While I rid myself of the worry that the heat lamp would burn my house down, I gained the new fear that my chicks weren’t warm enough. Clearly, they all survived, which means they were warm enough. Their behavior ensured that they were happy. But it is hard to measure temperatures with the EcoGlow because the temp needs to be taken at the closest level to the brooder (top). The concept is that the chicks feel some heat off of the brooder, but the bulk of the heat comes from direct contact, which is also known as radiant heat. Therefore….my next issue….
  • I couldn’t tell if the brooder was low or high enough. I know, now I just sound like a ditz. But I didn’t want them to be uncomfortable. After a few days, I got the hang of it. So this isn’t really a “con”, but just something to not stress about. You’ll get it!
  • It can’t be used in cold temperatures. The EcoGlow is not sufficient if the room you are brooding them in gets below 50 degrees. It cannot be used in temps below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that it also cannot be used outdoors in unpredictable weather — be it Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter. In VA, our Spring days might be in the 80’s, but we’ve had Spring nights (and some Summer nights) get well into the 40’s. This also means that it can’t be used in our basement during the Summer months, because our basement gets quite cold (close to 50 at ground level on concrete) when the woodstove is not going. This is a big issue, and honestly the only deal breaker for us, because many times we brood outdoors with large batches of chicks, or indoors in the Summer. This is simply user specific, because of the way we run things here. I will be extremely excited and the first on the list should Brinsea come out with an outdoor brooder.
Ultimately, I love the product. I would love it even more if I would have thought about getting the EcoGlow20 instead of the 50s, but no one can predict the future!
The Brinsea EcoGlow (whether the 20 or the 50) is perfect for the backyard chicken keeper and homesteader. It’s the perfect addition (and a must have) for those who keep those precious babies in bathtubs, their laundry room, or even in their bedroom (don’t laugh, I know some of you do it!) as they grow.
For those of us who run things differently or prefer outdoor brooders, this might not be the product for us. I will continue to use my brooder in the Winter and Spring months — that is a given! But when hatching in the Summer and Fall, or when brooding outdoors, this just isn’t an option for us to use.
I hope that you will consider using the product, however, if it suits your lifestyle. Brinsea truly has created something spectacular here, and I highly recommend it! The chicks seemed happier, overall. And I was much happier that I didn’t have to worry about my house burning down from a heat lamp this Winter.
Want to add the EcoGlow to your list of things to buy? 
Make sure you use code FEWELLHATCH to get 10% off of your order on the Brinsea Website!!

Free UPS Shipping on all Footwear at Tractor Supply. Online Only. Shop Now!


follow me @amy.fewell

Copyright © 2018 · Theme by 17th Avenue

Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.