Heating pad temp?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mrkep, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. mrkep

    mrkep Songster

    Mar 10, 2010
    Richwood , Ohio
    I made a momma's heating pad cave for the chicks we will receive in April. When I turned it on, the temp got to only 80 degrees. The recommendations for heating with a lamp are to maintain 95 for the first week, then reduce it weekly. So do I have a defective pad or will 80 be OK because they will be close together in the cave. I will have this in the coop starting the first week of April so the outside temps shouldn't be terribly cold and it will be away from any drafts.
    wattaya think?
    ButtonquailGirl14 likes this.
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    What will your coldest temps be when you get your chicks? And how many chicks? Try putting our hand in the cave, and press the back of your hand against the pad. Leave your hand there for a few minutes. Comfortably warm? That's what the chick will feel. They will need to have the pad low enough that they can snuggle up under it and get direct contact. What model/brand of pad did you buy and how many different settings does it have? Are you sure it will stay on 24/7. Many of the newer pads have a 2 hour auto shut off. Be sure your pad does not have that feature!
  3. alexa009

    alexa009 Crossing the Road

    Apr 6, 2017
    My Coop
    I would recommend the temperature 90-95 degrees for the first week then reduce the temperature 5 degrees every week.
    ButtonquailGirl14 likes this.
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    The guidelines for light based heat are actually excessive and tend to lead to overheated birds. When using lights I tend to run pretty well below the guidelunes.
    That being said, one has to understand the differences between light based heat and contact heat such as the mama heat pad. Using light based heat you are heating the entire area from above and trying to maintain a steady warm temperature. With the mama heat pad, brooder plates, etc the heat is taken in by the birds by direct contact with the heat source. Think of it like a mother hen - she warms her chicks when they make direct contact with her skin and absorb the warmth from her. She is not heating the entire 2' area around her nor is she maintaining a specific targeted temperature. The space beneath a mommy heat pad is not going to be 90゚ nor should it be. I use direct heat sources in temperatures well below freezing with chicks from the day they arrive. By the end of the 1st week I actually have to turn down the setting of the heat pad to avoid the chicks being too warm
    HCBeck, aart and ButtonquailGirl14 like this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Yes, you can't measure the heat from a pad like you do with a lamp.
    If you use an infrared temp gauge on the surface of the pad it will read 100-120.
    Best to have adjustable legs on the pad rack to adjust the height so the chicks can touch their back to the pad. Adjust the pad to be lower in back than in front so the chicks can find the best spot for their size.
    HCBeck, moniquem and Ol Grey Mare like this.
  6. moniquem

    moniquem Crowing

    Feb 3, 2013
    I plan on only using the MHP for my 5 chicks, is that enough or should I also get a heat lamp?
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    MHP is enough.
    Tho I do have a 100W red reptile bulb I use over the feed/water station during the day for the first couple days...and might be good to have for back up or if you have a chick than needs to be isolated.
    moniquem likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: