We're getting our first batch of chicks next week but unfortunately I'll be away for three weeks. My wife is getting started by herself, and knows less about these things than I do. My current brooder set up is a wire dog kennel lined with cardboard on the sides. I'm using the brinsea heater. Could someone help me with a few questions?
1. I have two options to keep them: The basement and the shed. Normally they'd be in the shed, but it gets down to 30 degrees here some nights and I'm concerned the brinsea might not be warm enough for them?
2. Should I line the floor of the brooder with pine shavings and/or newspaper? If so, is that safe for the brinsea? I wouldn't want to put paper or shavings against or under the heater and burn my house down while I'm away. Will it get hot enough to ignite anything? It doesn't seem to get that hot.
3. Should I put the back of the brinsea against the cardboard walls? Some directions say to eliminate drafts.
4. What else am I missing?
My primary concern is not burning down the house.