Raising Chicks Off Grid Without Electricity

When we lived on the grid, raising chicks was easy. Simply set up their brooder, food, water, and plug in the heat lamp. Easy right?

Now that we’re off the grid, we have to think of different ways to accomplish these “easy” things. We have a small solar system, and are always mindful of how much electricity we are using.

When it was time to start thinking of getting chicks, of course the question was, how do we keep them warm without a heat lamp? We probably could use a heat lamp, but we knew there was an alternative way to keep our little feathered cuties warm, and cozy.

We have been without birds since we put our house on the market so we could start our off grid journey. We missed having birds running around. They are so fun to watch, each one had their own little personalities. When we decided to get our first batch of chicks for our new homestead, we couldn’t wait. Goose was excited too! I’m sure he was thinking of chicken nuggets! LOL!

We watch a lot of YouTube, and remembered a video we had seen from Starry Hilder’s Homestead a while ago about raising chicks off grid. It was a simple solution for keeping your chicks warm without electricity. Hot water bottles….yep, it’s that simple.

Now we had a plan. We would keep the brooder next to the wood stove, and fill gallon water/milk jugs with hot water to keep our little feathered friends cozy, and warm. We were still having to start a fire in the mornings, and again before bed due to the temperatures. This was the perfect time to raise our chicks.

If you think about it, the water bottles kind of act like a mamma chicken. The exception would be, the chicks can’t get under the bottles…lol. They will huddle around the bottles. If we tried to move a bottle, they will move with it, it almost looked like they were stuck to it. Very cute! If the water got too cool, the chicks would let us know. We would reheat the water, and they would settle right back down again. It worked out great. The bottles would keep them warm throughout the night. Watch our video to see some cuteness. AND while you’re watching why not subscribe?

Of course, you will need to determine how many bottles you will need. You will need to consider how many chicks you have, how big is your brooder, where you plan on keeping the brooder, and the temperatures. We had 15 chicks, and the brooder was about 2ft by 4ft. We used 3 gallon jugs, and one 1/2 gallon jug for our new little babies. A piece of rigid insulation placed on the top at night to help retain the heat really helped us.

We love learning alternative methods. I like to ask myself, how did they use to do it before the convenience of electricity? There’s got to be another way to do it, it might be a little more work, but sweat equity is worth it.

4 thoughts on “Raising Chicks Off Grid Without Electricity

  1. A home just isn’t complete without chicks & chooks is it, love your chick sitting dog. Good idea with the bottles we use the old actual hot water bottles never thought of using bottles like that, cool, we sat a feather duster upright with ours the chicks loved snuggling into it. Such fun…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great ideas! …and I really wish my dogs would watch my chicks like yours does…. my pups seem to watch them just out of the sheer excitement that they might get to eat them at any given moment. *sigh* I have to be the chicken police around here when we are brooding in the house lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It takes a lot of consistent training. We have a rescue that killed a chicken when she first arrived. With LOTS of training she does great with them now. It’ll be a long time though before we can trust her to be with the birds by herself. We have a video on how we trained our other dog with the chickens.

      Liked by 1 person

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