Originally Posted by mamatink7
I've been reading so many things about DE: nesting boxes, dust baths, use in scratch & I'm sure you ladies will add to it of course. Lol. BUT do we really need it? I am running to TSC and they have a mix of it in which I will buy it this week if I need it prior to coop living
Also, about the mama pad. What is the wire rounded to house the chicks and pad made of (chicken wire, hardware wire...)? I saw how large and I'm sure if I end up hatching my own eventually, I could make it larger if need be. How high should I make it and how much weight can the top withstand? As another lady here mentioned her littles like to snuggle on top as well.
Mind you, I MAY do this for the older ones (2.5wks old) into coop brooder while we have a new set of littles & before putting them together when they're the same size and little older-naturally.
Oops apologize for the book, still new here and so many ideas...
Hugs and thx in advance
Nope. Leave the DE right there on the shelf for the next person who hopes that a bag of stuff will take the place of diligence, observation and hands-on chicken care.
Okay, most of your other questions are answered here in the thread at the beginning. I just can't give absolutes when it comes to Mama Heating Pad...folks have a tendency to overthink this and it's really no more difficult than a frame and heating pad and towel. Add chicks, allow to double in size. Some use hardware cloth to form the frame, and they kinda run small dowels from one side to the other to keep it stable. Some use wood side frames with dowels supporting the heating pad. Some use cookie cooling racks, wire shelving, cut down and flattened tomatog cages......whatever they have on hand. I used a scrap of wire fencing to form the cave, and I'll be using the same one again this year. All of the chicks will end up snuggling on top - sometimes from day one, sometimes after the first week or so. I couldn't tell you how much weight the frame will hold. All 15 of mine would get up there at one time and it was fine, all the way up until they were evicted from the brooder pen and integrated with the Bigs. Mostly they just lollygagged up there because it was there...they sure didn't need it at 4 weeks old.
When you form your frame, just have it high enough that the heat is at the level of the chicks' backs. That's where they need it at first. Eyeball it, don't worry about measuring it. If it's too high you can smoosh it down a little flatter - too low and you can pull it up in the center a bit.
I don't know if this will work well for your 2.5 week old chicks, I'm sorry, although it will be perfect for your new ones. Most of the people who have tried to switch to MHP with older chicks have reported that they just didn't take well to it. To be fair, a few did, but most just ignore it. Just don't want you to be surprised.
Originally Posted by Beekissed
Short answer? NO. DE is most definitely not necessary or even beneficial for chicken life.
I'll let Blooie answer the rest of those questions.....they vary from person to person.
Gee, thanks pal!