EcoGlowThe EcoGlow chick brooder is designed to be extremely economical to use, especially for small numbers of birds.  A typical heat lamp runs at 250 watts compared with 14 watts for the EcoGlow 20. Considering the brooder is on 24/7, this is an important saving.
 
To get the best use from this low power unit it is important to understand that there is no big margin of ‘spare’ heat and some precautions need to be taken depending on the ambient temperature in the room, and on the age and number of chicks –and the size or species.
 
First, it is better to have the unit on a lower height setting, if in doubt.  The chicks will move away from the EcoGlow if they are too warm.  If brooding very young quail or very small numbers of any small birds, it is a good idea to confine them in a cardboard box at least twice the size of the EcoGlow, but put the brooder against one side of the box so that the birds can only enter on the other side.  This conserves warmth under the brooder but still allows birds to move freely out into the open as they wish.  Another useful trick is to put the whole box on a slab of 1” Styrofoam to reduce heat loss from the bottom. 
 
In an extreme case, it can be useful to remove one end of the EcoGlow so that it rests directly on the floor.  The other end is best at the middle or higher position.  This gives very small birds to option to touch the warm surface or adjust their position for maximum comfort.
 
Because the heat from the black underside of the EcoGlow is largely radiant, measuring the temperature with a thermometer is of little value.  Radiant heat passes through air without warming it. Only a solid object will absorb and be warmed by Radiant heat. So a thermometer will register the air temperature but not the radiant heat and will usually show some 5 to 10°F lower than the effective temperature felt by the chicks.  Always watch the behavior of the birds.  They will naturally huddle together if they are cool.  The more of them, the less external warmth they need.
 
For larger numbers of birds, two to four EcoGlow 20 can be assembled side by side.  Above four units, it is probably better to leave a gap between units for birds to exit freely. The new larger EcoGlow 50 is now also available.