Originally Posted by CanadianBuckeye
It's coming along. I'm happy with it, but the temporary brooder I built in the coop was a flop (chicks were too cold). I didn't have a roof on it and the heat got sucked straight up. I have 93 3- week old chicks wearing out their welcome in the house, we are having an unseasonably long cold snap (nasty frost again last night, so long currants) and my barn is like an icebox- the heat lamps can't keep up. But this week we're supposed to warm up and I'm looking very forward to putting the chicks out!
I'm behind with all my plans this spring. I don't even have peas planted, but it's been cold and dry so they probably would not have done much anyway.
I have no plans for any critters other than chickens. If anything it would be milk sheep but the world has to pretty much end before I get into that. Chickens are more than enough work, and the dogs. The cat is easy but one of those is lots too.
Glad your coops coming along. Too bad about the brooder though. I decided not to use heat lamps in this brooder and built them a heated cave. I love it!!! It's not a new concept there is a whole thread on the idea http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/956958/mama-heating-pad-in-the-brooder-picture-heavy-update but I used different materials than most folks do.
It is there under the straw.
A few of the 60 babies taking a mid day nap in the cave
I used a scrap of tin siding 4' x 29" and bent it into this shape
Then I taped down a reptile heat rope. http://www.bigappleherp.com/Big-Apple-Flexible-Heat-Ropes I used electrical tape and made sure the rope had good contact with the tin, then I went over it again with Gorilla tape.
You need the thermostat http://www.bigappleherp.com/BAH-1000-Thermostat to control the heat rope, the ability to control the temp is nice.
And covered it with foil insulation. I cut up an old ugly sweater into strips to cover the entry ways at each end.
I set it to maintain a temp of 85 on the floor in the middle. The sides are warmer and if they want more heat they just press their bodies against the tin.
I like the fact that it is only 80 watts.
The heat element is meant for use around animals and in damp environments.
It significantly reduces the risk of fire.
It shuts itself off during the heat of the day AND at night when it is stuffed full of chicks and their little bodies are providing enough heat.
I don't have to worry about them over heating in the middle of the night.
I also like that it gives them a normal day night cycle from the get go.
One more pic of the happy 'lil chicks...