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Thinking on the outside brooder.. heating element - Page 2

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by coturnix condos View Post


I do believe in the benefits of brooding outdoors and I would love to. How would you transition them. This is my coup I have solid inserts that cover the window to reduce drafts on windy/ snowy days. I had thought of putting the heat lamp in and throwing them in. But they are so small only 3 days old. It goes against everything I was taught growing up on a farm :-)


You need a heat source. What have you chosen? Heating pad system is what I strongly recommend.

 

How about adult chickens? You need to rig a chick safe pen if you have an adult flock also using the coop.

 

You say all drafts have been blocked off. How about dampness? Is it protected from rain or snow flying in a wetting the chicks?

 

If you have electricity to your coop, there's no reason not to rig up your heat source and move the babies in.

post #12 of 18

I also raise my chicks outdoors from the start.  Frankly, I lost more chicks during heat lamp brooding indoors than using Mama Heating Pad and a cave outside.  Granted, those losses might well be chalked up to shipping stress and failure to thrive, but funny that I didn't lose any shipped chicks to stress or FTT when I raised them outside.

 

@azygous is right.....I just don't see heating mats working.  The heat cycles off and on, and they need that warmth at the level of their backs. This should help you visualize what we're saying.  These are my chicks being raised outside in Northern Wyoming.  Temps in the teens and twenties.  Full integration with the rest of the flock by 4 weeks old, because the Bigs and the Littles were always in full sight of each other.  Chicks feathering fast, learning by watching the adult chickens, and totally accustomed to natural day/night cycles.  No lamp, no night light...just contented, healthy chicks growing fast and as naturally as possible.

 

 

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by azygous View Post


You need a heat source. What have you chosen? Heating pad system is what I strongly recommend.

How about adult chickens? You need to rig a chick safe pen if you have an adult flock also using the coop.

You say all drafts have been blocked off. How about dampness? Is it protected from rain or snow flying in a wetting the chicks?

If you have electricity to your coop, there's no reason not to rig up your heat source and move the babies in.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by coturnix condos View Post

it is safe from dampness and I have no other birds at the moment. It is wired for electric. I also have a large aviary attached with a tunnel. I guess the only thing to do is dive in and give it a try. I'm raising quail not chickens if that makes any difference.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by azygous View Post
 

Please bear in mind that the principle of most heat sources is to heat chicks from above. They warm themselves by sticking their backs either under or up against a heat source. Seed mats heating from under their feet won't transmit the necessary warming adequate to achieve the objective which is to heat their backs. Think how it is when a broody gathers the chicks under her. She's heating their backs that come into direct contact with her 100F (35C) mostly bare breast. A heating pad set on the highest setting will achieve this. A seed mat will not.

 

Having the brooder or even the room the brooder's in very warm in addition to having a heat source is not advisable. Chicks do much better having a cool ambient temperature surrounding the heat source. In fact, chicks raised outdoors fare so much better than indoor brooder raised chicks for many reasons.

 

If you haven't already, read my article on the many advantages of raising chicks outdoors. Just scroll down to my signature window below and click on the second link.


Thank you azygous for your helpful information!  I figured the top being heated was a must since that is what we are trying to mimic, the mama keeping her chicks warm.  I didn't know about the ambient temp of the surroundings being cool though; that is why I figured using a heat source on the bottom would work.  I would really like to use this method, since when chicks are born, the mama's don't send them to a tropical boarding school while they grow big enough to join the flock!  That being said, I am totally new to chickens.. If this were kids, I wouldn't bat an eye.. I am extremely comfortable raising up newborns into kiddos LOL... so, a big question I have is this:  What is too low of an ambient room temp to start the day olds in?  Also, I assume that I want to keep a close eye on my windows as to not have too much of a windy cross breeze happening in the coop for the tiny's during the day?  We can get pretty windy here during the springtime.  

post #16 of 18

Many of us brooded our chicks outdoors under the heating pad system when the night temps were below freezing, and the day temps were not above 50F.

 

I doubt it's going to get that cool inside your house. You do not want any drafts on the chicks. Remember, these babies can't retain their body heat yet, and a draft will suck their heat from them faster than they can handle. That's not at all the same as cool ambient temperatures, which won't hurt the chicks as long as they are able to move to their heat source.

 

So, it can be quite cool in the room they're in, but keep any windows closed so there are no drafts.

post #17 of 18
I have my 4 weeks and a half outside in an enclosed area of my coop which is about 8x12, 3 walls and the front has cow wire, they have a low wattage heating bulb, less than 100, since their with my 18 wk ladies, I didn't want to disturb their habits with a lot of light an heat. It's 43 degrees outside and they seem to be adjusting fine. Now I have a few 1 an 2 weeks old chicks that go outside in the daytime and come in the evening. My approach this time is to adjust them slowly especially after my last attempt, losing 15 chicks ranging from a week to 4 was very devastating...
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensownzoo View Post

Glad I wasn't the only one! Nobody warned me...th.gif
my chicks have me some great examples of the "dead chick napping pose"[IMG][IMG]
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