Heating Pad Safety

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by msquill, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. msquill

    msquill Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 14, 2015
    Hi everyone,

    I'm pretty new here, this is my 2nd post, I think. Two weeks ago, I bought 18 chicks from TSC, I started them off in an indoor brooder. Then, a week ago today, I went back to TSC and bought two ducklings. The ducklings went into the brooder with the chicks. This is my first flock.

    Chicks and ducks are doing well. They spend the majority of their days in the chicken pen outside. I put them outside early in the morning, as soon as the temperature is above 45 deg, and then I bring them inside a few minutes before sunset each night. (Earlier if they start huddling under the heat lamp, or if it rains) In the pen, they have a plastic tote for shelter, and I clamp the heat lamp to a cinder block and aim the lamp into the tote so the chicks have warmth if they need it. They seem pretty happy outside (and pretty miserable in the brooder) so I'm thinking about moving them into their newly build coop, which is right next to the chicken pen.

    The other day I bought a chicken heating pad. The box says it's supposed to be an alternative to the heat lamp, and it seems like a safer option in the chicken coop. Hanging the heat lamp from my wooden chicken coop with chicks that are experimenting with brand new wing feathers seems like a bad idea to me.

    But.. the box also says not to use it with an extension cord. My chicken coop in on the far end of my front yard, and the cord for this chicken heating pad is less than 2 feet long.

    Anybody have any suggestions? Can I use the heating pad with a heavy duty, outdoor extension cord? It would be the same extension cord that I use for the heat lamp in the chicken pen. Is there a safe way to use the heating lamp in the coop?

    Yes the chicks are young, I figure the chicks aren't more than 16 or 14 days old since I've only had them for 2 weeks, and TSC staff said they were about 2 days old when I bought them. (Although, one of the chicks is obviously older than all the others because she has more feathers, and is bigger than all the other chicks.)The ducks have been with me for exactly one week today.

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I think most devices, especially those that produce heat will have the warning not to use an extension cord. That's because they can't predict the gauge of the wire people will use. Extension cords are safe as long as their rated amperage isn't exceeded. What is the wattage/amperage of the heating pad or what brand is it?

    I think your chicks are better off outside. Ducklings can handle cold sooner than chicks also. Ventilation is extremely important.
    In the description of your setup I can't tell what the predator protection is like.
  3. msquill

    msquill Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 14, 2015
    We finished building the chicken coop this past weekend, and it is as secure as we could possibly make it, and has good ventilation.

    I'll check the rating on my extension cord, and the requirements of the chicken heating pad when I get home. I think the chicks will be moving to their new coop tomorrow.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer, I feel better knowing the extension cord should be okay as long as I'm using one rated for what I'm using.

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