Originally Posted by emorems0
I brought home 6 chicks (meaties) last night, it was an unexpected arrival, but good practice before we have 40 coming next week. A local chicken mama works at a hatchery and these guys accidentally missed shipment and were supposed to be culled, instead she brought them to my house ;)
Last night I just threw MHP together hap hazard. I put the hp on the underside of my wire frame with a bungee but it didn't seem very secure because my bungees were a bit too loose. I also didn't like that they could expose the wire frame on top when the towel shifts around.
So tis morning I set it up properly, I wrapped the hp with a one of those silver mylar blankets and attached it to the top of the wire frame. I also attached a towel on top and bottom so they'd have something soft on their backs.
Here's the question... they seem to prefer the top to the underneath and when I stick my hand in there it feels warmer on top too. I assume it's because on top they are right against the HP and underneath they are separated by the wire frame. I'm planning on moving them outside tomorrow (don't worry they aren't getting any artificial light inside) and I want to make sure they can get warm enough.
Do people normally put the hp on the top or the underside of the wire frame?
I suppose if I put the HP on the underside of the frame I can just put a piece of cardboard on top of the frame to keep the chicks legs from falling through the wire frame. I just thought I saw most pictures with the pad on top of the frame. *I also worry about the pad sagging in the middle over time if is underneath since there is just one bungee on each end.
Also, is it correct to wrap the mylar blanket around the MHP, or is that trapping the heat inside the blanket? I didn't quite understand how that was supposed to work.
***I DO have pictures, but I need to get them from my phone.
I don't think I'd use the mylar blanket. Some have but with varying results but it seems to me it takes more fiddling. That said, @azygous may come by and beat me over the head with a heating pad. I think she's the one who either did it or planned to do it, can't remember which now and I'm old. QUite often chicks seem to prefer the top to being underneath, and that's usually not a problem. But it's usually about a week before they start doing that so I'm wondering if you can press your frame down to get the heat a little lower. Also the mylar might be reflecting the heat in a way you didn't anticipate.
@Beekissed and several others put the heating pad on the inside of the frame, using bungee cords just as you did. Then they put the entire assembly inside an old pillowcase. Me, I just drape the pad over it and then a towel over that (if they're inside, which I really don't do anymore) or a towel and then the straw when they're outside. I haven't had any issues with the frame bowing in the center, and I've used it for Scout, then 2 other batches of chicks and when these hatch I'll be using it again. But it's a good, sturdy piece of fencing.
@Redufresne the only concern I have with the plant hanger is that it might be very difficult to get that heat down just at the chicks' backs, since it's so high in the center. Can you flatten it out somewhat? Oh, and welcome to BYC!