Originally Posted by littlecabin
This will be my first post on BYC! I just have a quick question. We'll be receiving 16 day old chicks in the mail this week. We have a brooder outdoors and a run so they can integrate with the big girls kind of early. We plan to use the Mama Pad to in the brooder, but, our temps during the day here in Tennessee get up in the 90s during the day and 70s at night. Should we only use the heat at night? I don't want to roast the babies!
Welcome to BYC! If you're at home that first day or so, you can keep a close eye on them and see if they even need the pad. But as an other reader said, no harm in just leaving it on at a lower setting. You might need to do some night time training, since they won't necessarily associate it with heat, since their whole brooder is "day old chick warm" during the day. My bigger concern might be that they will get overheated during the day. As they can't regulate their temps to stay warm on their own power, I think they have even more of an issue if they get too warm. That's why so many newbies kill their chicks in the little rubbermaid totes with heat lamps. So, especially in your situation, you'll need to monitor closely.
Originally Posted by lalaland
I've been following the thread for awhile, and am just about ready for the 25 chicks coming thursday morning.
1. I read but can't remember or find the post: the printed side of the pad is the hotter side?
2. How far in advance of the chicks arrival do I turn on the mhp? I can do it overnight, or I can do it 3 hours before I get back home with them.
I set a 4'x1' grate up with giant carriage bolts, and put two king sized pads on top lengthwise - a long rectangle. I know it might be better to put the pad on the bottom, but the grate is like a shoebox lid - I thought the 1 inch sides would keep the chicks from trying to squirrel between the pad the grate because they would have to get on top, dig under the hay in order to get trapped.
I"m bringing empty water bottles with me when I pick them up - I can fill the bottles with hot water when I get there as it is predicted to be a bit chilly (low 50's) and the feed store is about an hour or so away.
Lala: If you're putting those chicks in the car, and not slinging them in the bed of a pick up truck, they most likely will be plenty warm in the car if you dress lightly and run the heater. Remember... chicks are packed 25 to a box, and survive several days of shipping without extra heat. When I got my first batch... In Feb. There were only 6 of them. I just cranked the heat, and drove home in a short sleeved shirt. They were fine. (1/2 hour drive) I then wrapped my coat around them to bring them into the house. With my next shipment, I took my heating pad and a converter. Plugged the pad into the cig. lighter, and set it under the chick box. Again, dressed lightly, and used the car heater.
What are you using for a grate? How far apart are the wires on it? I recommend that you wrap the grate and pad in some sort of covering to prevent the chicks from getting stuck in the grate wires, or between pad and grate. This won't matter whether grate is above or below pad. Chicks are absolute genius when it comes to novel ways to commit suicide. Stranglulation and entrapment are two of their favorites!