So my 4 buff orpington chicks will be coming home in a couple weeks and I'm testing out the brooder trying the heating pad technique. Ive used hardware cloth but doubled up the sides by cutting a piece larger than the heating pad and folding edges over in order to make the frame firm. I shaped it so that there is an exit on 2 ends, and i shaped it lower on one side than the other so the chicks can grow in it a bit. Given that im only getting 4 chicks i didnt see space as a huge issue. The lower end registers at almost 90 and that is approx an inch from the surface of the pad, so if chicks wanted to nuzzle their backs right up to it it will easily be over 90. The higher end is obviously cooler. I let the pad extend down on the short end of the frame for extra heat on that side.
I used electrical tape to really secure edges of frame and carefully pad any cut edges. I dont think i plan to secure the pad down to the frame (or should i?), if i do i may use large binder clips. I also plan to lie a peice of puppy pad on top to keep from getting the pad messy with poop and pee. That too could be clipped to the frame as well. As far as you can see, is there room for improvement here? Im a first time chicken mommy.