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Brooder Questions!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MeanV2, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. MeanV2

    MeanV2 Songster

    Feb 15, 2013
    Ok! I've been lurking around here for a couple of weeks and decided to join and ask a question. I have a dog heating pad (it was for puppies) It is hard plastic so it should be safe. An hour ago I layed it in the floor, covered it with a towel, and layed a 12" round thermometer on the towel.

    It is now reading 96 degrees F. The pad is 23" X 29". I thought I would build the brooder at least 48" X 23" and put the pad in one end. My question is do I need to supply any other type of heat? Overhead? or not? Just wondering if this will be suffecient. Has anyone else tries this. Thanks for any and all advice! I have 15 chicks coming in mid April, so I have plenty of time to get everything ready :)


  2. bj taylor

    bj taylor Songster

    Oct 28, 2011
    North Central Texas
    i bet your pad will work very well. the temp is a little low though for the very beginning. i had a collection of incandescent bulbs of different wattage. i was keeping mine in the garage. the room temp was variable so a higher watt at night vs during the day. as long as they have no drafts i bet you'll do great.
  3. MeanV2

    MeanV2 Songster

    Feb 15, 2013
    I just checked it again and temp is still reading around 95 to 96 degrees F. I ordered my baby chicks from McMurray so I am hoping for the best! Plans are to keep them in the house for a couple of weeks then move them to the garage, before going to the coop which is almost already complete.

    It is inside of a bigger building with metal walls and concrete floor. I am thinking if the majority think it is necessary I might add this heater in one corner of my brooder http://www.shopthecoop.com/product/ph_small.html

    Also thought about a Ceramic Heat Emitter Infrared Bulb. Please keep the suggestions coming!

  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Too much heat is more dangerous to those chicks than too little though there is a real easy way to get it just right. That pad should work really nicely for that.

    When a broody raises chicks she does not warm up the universe. She provides a warm spot for them to go to when they need to warm up. The rest of their universe can get pretty cool. Think along those principles.

    What I strongly suggest is heat one area so it is warm enough. That 95 degrees will be OK for a few days but it will soon be too warm. That does not matter. Make your brooder big enough and provide good enough ventilation so that the rest will cool down lower than they need. As long as one area is warm enough or even too warm and the rest cools off enough, they will find their comfort zone. You don’t have to stress about keeping the entire brooder one perfect temperature. All you have to worry about is to make sure one small area is warm enough and the far end is too cool.

    What you should find is that the first two or three days they spend most of their time in the warmer area, but very soon they will be playing all over that brooder, including the far really cool areas.

    My 3' x 6' brooder is in my coop. I heat one end and let the rest cool off as it will. I have a draft guard so the wind doesn’t hit them. It’s inside the coop so there is not much breeze anyway. I also have really good ventilation higher up so the far end will cool off. It’s in the mid 40’s for a high today. I don’t know what the temperature is in the far end of my brooder because I don’t care. It’s pretty cool. I put 18 chicks in there Wednesday fresh from the incubator. They have been spending practically all their time under the heat, but I noticed this afternoon some of them are starting to roam around the brooder a little bit. So far they don’t go far or stay away real long, but they have started. Within a couple more days they will be all over that brooder.

    I advocate the stress-free approach. Make one end warm enough. Make sure the far end is too cool. Then let them do all the work.
  5. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Songster

    Jan 18, 2012
    That's an excellent way of putting it. That's been basically my stance as well, but I hadn't thought of that wording before.

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