can i trust the chicks to find the best way to use the MHP?

jaslyman

Chirping
Mar 12, 2016
55
25
76
Hi all!

We have six four-week old chicks, who moved into our unheated garage a week ago from the inside of our house. They've been using the MHP their whole lives... but when they moved to the garage, it's a different brooder with a different setup for the heating pad. Somewhere in my prior posts, there's a picture, but it's basically an angled wire shelf with the heating pad on top. height at the back is probably just 3'' or so.

The night-time temps have been low 30's, but we've got some upper 20's coming soon. Here's my question: pretty much every night since moving into the garage, when i go out to check on them after dark, they're huddled up on top of the MHP. I gently pick them up and move them underneath and then settle in and stay there for the night. But do i need to? Can I trust them to figure it out on there own?

I do wonder if they learned to sleep on top when they were inside, since the room was warm enough and they didn't need the extra heat.....

I realize I'm probably overthinking this, but any advice would be welcome...

jason
 

Spartan22

Crowing
Sep 2, 2014
3,672
3,521
452
NE Ohio
At 4 wks old they rather perch huddle together than go under the mama heater. It’s basically the chicken instinct to sleep higher for their protection and away from their poop while sleeping, You can probably tip the heater on it’s side and put a perch in front of it if you are concern about the temp being too cold, in couple more week or so they will be fully feathered and they will not need heat at all.
 

blackdog043

Crowing
Feb 19, 2017
2,401
4,135
416
SE PA
it's basically an angled wire shelf with the heating pad on top. height at the back is probably just 3'' or so

My 3 week old chick's are in my coop with low 30's at night. I use a cooling rack with the pad on top, it's about 5 inches high and they go under at night only now. Yours might be to low @ 3 inches in the back. Not knowing the front height of yours, I would raise the whole shelf up to 5 - 6 inches. Also at 4 weeks, they might start just staying on top, even with the cooler temps. What is your pad set on 1 - 6 ? Mine is on 2 now.
 

jaslyman

Chirping
Mar 12, 2016
55
25
76
My 3 week old chick's are in my coop with low 30's at night. I use a cooling rack with the pad on top, it's about 5 inches high and they go under at night only now. Yours might be to low @ 3 inches in the back. Not knowing the front height of yours, I would raise the whole shelf up to 5 - 6 inches. Also at 4 weeks, they might start just staying on top, even with the cooler temps. What is your pad set on 1 - 6 ? Mine is on 2 now.

Thanks for the reply. The front height is probably 4-5" or so. My heating pad only has low/med/high and it's on high. But a thermometer I've got underneath it only stays around 60 or so, so I don't think it's too hot....
 

jaslyman

Chirping
Mar 12, 2016
55
25
76
At 4 wks old they rather perch huddle together than go under the mama heater. It’s basically the chicken instinct to sleep higher for their protection and away from their poop while sleeping, You can probably tip the heater on it’s side and put a perch in front of it if you are concern about the temp being too cold, in couple more week or so they will be fully feathered and they will not need heat at all.

Great info - thank you! This AM when I checked on them, they were back on top again, so I think I need to quit worrying about them and let them figure it out on their own!
 

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