Our order from Ideal arrived today. I turned on the heat mat last night so the brooder would be nice and warm. We use a seed starting mat to warm our brooder rather than a heat lamp. That way, if we want, we can turn off the lights at night. Most of the time it works well - as long as it is warm out or we can have a heater on in the room. However, it is overcast and cold here and the extension cord to the heater melted with the last batch (I'll replace it today with a heavier one). SO - the chicks arrived and the brooder was only around 83. At least 3 had that glazed look to them - you know, where they just prop themselves in the corner and wait to die. I knew that I had to warm everyone up fast. Super Broodie to the rescue. My favorite silkie, Biddie has been on some eggs for a couple of weeks (of course, no hers). I'd never done this before but have been tempted. I ran out into the morning drizzle, grabbed Biddie and the eggs and dashed back to the house. I left the eggs in the living room to candle (all of our eggs have been getting cold while the hens are off the nests and lately, biddie was having trouble back up - but that's another story). I carried Biddie back to the sunporch. I could hear the cold chicks peeping two rooms away! So could she. She started that "You just come over here" chirp that mamas give long before she ever saw the babies. Once she did catch sight of the brooder she almost jumped out of my arms into it. I removed the water so just she and the babes were left inside (it's a plastic storage bin/brooder). Almost immediately she was burbling those mama hen noises and stuffing 25 chicks under her as fast as she could. After a bit I put back the food and water - she perked right up - since she hadn't been off her nest in a bit. Now that she's in there with them, the temp is up to 103 - so I took off the fabric cover to cool it down. Everyone is asleep - all are trying to figure out a way to cuddle up to one OLD silkie hen. She is in seventh heaven! I'm thinking about going out and bringing in her broodie daughter to help. She's not on any eggs but obviously broodie. Either that, or I'll put the eggs under her. Oh yes, I candled the eggs and three were good. They are in a small incubator right now while I decide what to do next. I might give them back to their d'uccle mother. We took some pictures of the adoption - I'll post them later when I have some time to put them on photobucket.