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alternative heat?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jojosbunches, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. jojosbunches

    jojosbunches Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm looking for ideas that use little to no electric.

    Our only grid power at the moment is a 10 amp extension cord ran from the meter.

    The rest of our power is wind and solar, but our battery bank can't take another source drawing..

    What would be the smalles wattage bulb that would put out enough heat for a brooder?

    Last year I did things a bit out of the box... I warmed bricks on my Woodstove and kept a warm one In the brooder at all times.. But won't be able to spend the time constantly switching out this year
     
  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pick up a Cochin or silky and let her raise the chicks. No additional heat needed.
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    And she'll raise them without you have to worry about a thing! ;)

    Ct
     
  4. jojosbunches

    jojosbunches Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2013
    Tonkawa, Oklahoma
    I've been trying to find a Cochin hen locally but no luck... Only roos... So silkies around here either...

    A friend ordered me 25 broilers due to be here the 28th so I need to put something together soon
     
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Any mutt hen should also be fine
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I can see you like challenges. 25 meaties in Montana this time of the year with very limited electricity. A wood stove so you probably don’t have really stable heat, sometimes hot and sometimes maybe a bit cool. Those meaties are going to grow fast. They just might outgrow anything you start with. And I don’t know how soon you can put them outside in Montana in late February/early March. I get cold thinking about it.

    I have two ideas for you. I don’t know amperage or wattage for either but you are a self-reliant person, maybe the idea is enough.

    First is to build a hover. Think of a shallow box turned upside down and just high enough that the chicks can get under it and back out. The idea is that hot air rises. The hot air from their body heat and whatever heat source you provide gets trapped so it keep them warm. I don’t think it would take that much heat from you to keep it warm enough. Keep the food and water out from under it and make sure they can cool off if it gets too hot.

    I don’t like this other idea for you as much but it might work. Make a cave with a heating pad. I don’t know how much power a heating pad big enough for 25 meaties would take. Watch out for those automatic shut-offs. They can be a pain in the butt. This thread talks about them.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/956958/mama-heating-pad-in-the-brooder-picture-heavy-update

    Good luck with it.
     
  7. jojosbunches

    jojosbunches Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2013
    Tonkawa, Oklahoma
    I'm actually in Oklahoma now... Luckily they aren't CornishX they are black broilers
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Hover box with a few incandescent bulbs sounds like a good idea.
    Don't think the even the XL heating pad would be big enough for too long and not sure of the amp draw....I could dig it out with the kilawat and check it you want.

    Probably TMI, but some info here that might help?

    Here's my notes on chick heat, hope something in there might help:
    They need to be pretty warm(~85-90F on the brooder floor right under the lamp and 10-20 degrees cooler at the other end of brooder) for the first day or two, especially if they have been shipped, until they get to eating, drinking and moving around well. But after that it's best to keep them as cool as possible for optimal feather growth and quicker acclimation to outside temps. A lot of chick illnesses are attributed to too warm of a brooder. I do think it's a good idea to use a thermometer on the floor of the brooder to check the temps, especially when new at brooding, later I still use it but more out of curiosity than need.

    The best indicator of heat levels is to watch their behavior:
    If they are huddled/piled up right under the lamp and cheeping very loudly, they are too cold.
    If they are spread out on the absolute edges of the brooder as far from the lamp as possible, panting and/or cheeping very loudly, they are too hot.
    If they sleep around the edge of the lamp calmly just next to each other and spend time running all around the brooder they are juuuust right!

    The lamp is best at one end of the brooder with food/water at the other cooler end of the brooder, so they can get away from the heat or be under it as needed. Wattage of 'heat' bulb depends on size of brooder and ambient temperature of room brooder is in. Regular incandescent bulbs can be used, you might not need a 'heat bulb'. You can get red colored incandescent bulbs at a reptile supply source. A dimmer extension cord is an excellent way to adjust the output of the bulb to change the heat without changing the height of the lamp.


    Or you could go with a heat plate, commercially made or DIY: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/pseudo-brooder-heater-plate
     
  9. jojosbunches

    jojosbunches Out Of The Brooder

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    Tonkawa, Oklahoma
    Do you think the heat put out by a 24watt bulb would suffice in a small area...

    I've raised tons of chicks... Like I said last year I was able to raise using only heated bricks... One year I used a small Styrofoam box with hand wArmers in it and did fine but again had to change them out often and am not able to this year
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Boy, I don't know about that....might depend on ambient temps.
    I'd set it up and test it, the need to be pretty warm the first day or two but can then acclimate quickly to lower temps.
    They still need to be able to warm up in a hot spot, but I'm not sure what the minimum temp for that hot spot would be.
     
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