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Can a brooder be too big? - Page 2

post #11 of 18

How far is your coop from the house or other building with power? A long extension cord for one heating pad for a month would be feasible.

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
A 20m or so cord would do the trick. Not sure if I like the idea of a power cord going outside for that length of time. I won't be brooding much anyway. Only allowed to keep 6 chickens where I am so limited. I might hatch some for friends that's about it
post #13 of 18

That's very doable. A heating pad does not pull many amps. It's not likely to put much of a strain on the power cord or your circuit breakers.

 

Brooding chicks in the coop is so much more convenient for you, and at four weeks, the chicks are already moved into their coop and no transition is necessary. Since these are the first of your flock, you shouldn't let this opportunity go to waste. Adding chicks later to an adult flock is so much more complicated.

 

It's sort of like starting a new job and the boss giving you three weeks vacation to start off. Wouldn't you take advantage of that?

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'll see if a friend that has snakes has a heating pad or similar spare. Two just pip'ed so they'll be spending a day inside at least even if I can source one.
post #15 of 18

I don't believe those reptile warming pads get warm enough for baby chicks, but I'm ready to be corrected if I'm wrong about that. It needs to be at least 32C inside the "cave" with the heating pad draped over the wire frame, and the chicks' backs need to be able to contact the heating pad. Also, the heating pad has to be able to remain on and not shut off automatically after two hours.

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Everything is going well so far. They can be a bit special and huddle together in a corner or elsewhere away from the heat lamp. Not sure if I should move them or let them work it out, I have moved them previously - figure I need to stop smothering them.

post #17 of 18

If your chicks are avoiding the heat lamp "hot spot" try either a lower wattage like a 100 watt incandescent bulb, or even a 60 watt, or raise the heat lamp.

 

Your days are probably warm enough that a whole lot of extra heat isn't going to be required. If the room, and brooder they're in, is around 32C, the chicks aren't going to have any place to cool off, which can sometimes be a more critical factor than a spot under which to warm up.

 

People get so wrapped up in making sure the brooder is warm enough that they fail to take cool areas into consideration.

post #18 of 18
I have electricity in the coop so I brood out there as soon as they come out of the incubator or arrive in the mail whether it is in the middle of a summer heat wave or below freezing in winter. My brooder is 3 ft x 6 ft (1 m x 2m). Brooding outside brings a special challenge because daily highs and lows can vary so much. Instead of trying to keep the entire brooder the perfect temperature I keep one end warm enough in the coldest temperatures and allow the other end to cool off enough even in the hottest temperatures. In the winter there may be ice in the far end of that brooder but the heated area is warm enough. Even straight out of the incubator I find mine are really good about self-regulating temperature is they have a choice.

If the chicks are huddling at the heat source and never roaming around, they are too cold. If they are lined up as far from the heat source as they can get, they are too hot. As Azygous said, hot can be as dangerous or more so than cool. You adjust the heat by raising or lowering the lamp, changing the bulb wattage, providing a bigger brooder, or providing better ventilation.

With all that said and looking at your photo, I don’t see a problem. They are not lined up as far from the heat source as they can get. They are a comfortable distance away. I think you are doing OK.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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