Originally Posted by LilyBird
Hi all....I'm new to the idea of having chicks. I got my first chickens at 8-9 weeks old last July. (Yay! We all survived our Canadian winter! LOL)
I'm REALLY intrigued by the idea of creating a mama hen cave for the 3 chicks I plan on getting this weekend. Since I'm in Canada and our weather isn't the warmest yet, I'll be keeping my chicks inside the house for a little while yet. Our garage is cold and dark so I don't want them staying in there...I want them to socialize with us! :) And I love the idea of raising them more naturally with the cycles of the sun. So because they will be in the house, I really don't want to use a heat lamp. I have dogs that if they got curious, could knock a lamp over. (Whereas they couldn't knock over a mama hen cave!! My brooder will be a 50 gal fish tank that we have in our basement. I've read lots of other people have had good luck with them as long as there is adequate ventilation. We will make a frame and wire mesh top for it so there is lots of air circulation.
My question is....can I use the mama hen heating pad cave in a fish tank? I could put it on one end and they would still have plenty of room to roam around. Is there any reason this wouldn't work?? And what kind of bedding is best to use? I have straw or pine shavings available.
And also, if anyone else can answer another question....Could I put my fish tank brooder in front of a window?
Thanks so much!! :)
Lily, while folks do brood in aquariums, when I see it, it scares me, especially when in front of a window. It doesn't take much for that sun to get too strong, and create a hot house effect.
Originally Posted by suchcutenails
Will some of you share the size of your heating pad nests? I have 13 babies. They are now two and three weeks old. They are not spending much time under the pad ~ even at night. Last night they slept in another corner, all huddled together. I have turned the heat down on the pad as low as it goes (as previously suggested). They all act normal and happy! No signs of distress! That is great, but I am hoping to move the whole thing outside into the big coop this weekend, and I am worried about WHY they don't want to be in the nest. Could it be too small as they are growing? I am using one large 12 x 24 heating pad. Thanks again for your help!!!
I had 22 under a 12 x 24 last year, outdoors. They did fine.
Originally Posted by TerryH
Went home to check on the little one. She was under the MHP by herself. Still head down. Still lethargic. She does something really odd also. She scoots backwards with her head on the floor of the brooder. I think she's trying to back up to the others even though they aren't there. Bought Nutridrench and Corrid. Gave her some of both with a syringe. She has eaten. There was food in her crop anyway. I realize it's just a chicken and things happen but I sure would hate to loose her. Something ironic about buying $30 worth of meds for a chicken that I gave $3.25 for a week ago. Did Corrid in the waterer for the rest of the babies just to be safe. Can't believe that I'm this upset over a sick chicken.
Edit: Forgot to say that I'm pretty sure that I have never prayed for a chicken before today but I've checked that one off the bucket list now.
Terry, what you have there is a chick with Vitamin E encephalopathy, or in layman's terms: sometimes described as crazy chick disease. You may be able to cure her by giving her a few doses of Vitamin E (I nick the end off a gel cap, and get a drop of it into the chick by wiping it on her beak, she will hopefully drink it. Selenium is often given along with the vitamin E. If not treated promptly, there will be other systemic issues. You should see immediate improvement after starting the Vitamin E. Disclaimer: I am in no way licensed to give chick medical information. But I can tell you that this did work for my chicks, though he was very advanced by the time I figured out what was going on, so he did have systemic issues later on. Do a thread search for Vit E Enc. And Cr. Ch. Dz. Reading forward, I see that you've done the research. I'd get a bolus of Vit. E into her along with continuing the ND.
Aart: I'm gonna stick my neck out here and suggest that there WAS a predator involved.