I think i found my MHP solution - can you tell me if this is safe for the chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ChickenHawk12, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. ChickenHawk12

    ChickenHawk12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    I covered the bottom and 2/3 of the way up with plastic sheeting.

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    I found a heating pad that doesn't have auto shutoff. I tied it to the underside of a cookie cooling rack and covered with a towel.

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    I've got the MHP running with a thermometer in there to see if it gets warm enough while the chicks are in the other brooder under the heat lamp.

    Can anyone tell me at what age they won't need this anymore? They are 10 days old now. The temps are in the 30s at night and 50s-60s during the day. That will probably drop about 10-20 degrees over the next month or so. The garage has been in about the 50s at night, which is where they are now, but I would like to put then in the coop when it is safe and healthy for them. I just don't know when that is.
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    The main thing to remember about this brooding method is that you must be able to raise and lower the pad to adjust for the rapid growth of the chicks. And you don't really need the thermometer. You're not trying to heat the cave. The chicks warm themselves by snuggling up against the pad, just like they would with a hen. It's the contact with the pad that warms them, not simply being in the cave. And how stable is that rack? If chicks start jumping, running, and flapping up there, is it going to collapse?
    Two layers of chicken wire bent into an arch would make adjusting the pad height much simpler, and potentially safer.
     
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    @junebuggena is right.....I don't even know what temperature the "cave" part of my setup is, even when I'm brooding outdoors and temps are in the teens and twenties. I'm a little concerned about the stability of your frame and I'd pull that controller up out the way for sure.

    You will find it easier to get answers to your posts if, one you start a thread, you continue with your solutions and questions in that same thread so it's all in place and easier to respond to and follow. [​IMG]
     
  4. ChickenHawk12

    ChickenHawk12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, for Pete's sake. Thank you all for all your help and suggestions. I just can't figure this out. I should have just stuck with the heat lamp. I've spent the better part of 3 days trying things, buying heating pads, returning and buying another. I'm giving up. This is just way more time than I have to spend just to get the chicks out to the coop a few weeks earlier.

    Can anyone give me an idea of what age they can go out there without supplemental heat in the winter and be ok? If they are fully feathered by 6 weeks, is that too young?

    Thanks again for all the help. I should have left well enough alone :-(
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    I think your issue is that you are overthinking and overcomplicating things. You're making it harder than it needs to be. There are two requirements for this method to work. First, is a heating pad that won't automatically turn off. Second is a frame that can be adjusted and won't collapse under the weight of playing chicks.
    You're too focused on the 'cave' aspect, and missed the entire concept of how this method works.
    Mine takes a whole 2 minutes to setup and be ready for chicks.
    [​IMG]
    Bendable piece of spare welded wire for the frame, a simple 3-setting heating pad, and something to cover it to protect it from poo. That's all there is to it.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016
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  6. ChickenHawk12

    ChickenHawk12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're right, I did miss the point until you explained. I thought the whole cave was supposed to get warm. Now I understand, but I'm overthinking it because I don't have anything but chicken wire to use. I already bought a heating pad, I don't want to buy a $30 roll of wire just for one tiny piece. I tried my roasting rack but I don't think it's big enough. And someone commented on the MHP thread that it's not safe to use chicken wire because if more than one chick stands on it it can collapse on the others.
     
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Just take a piece of chicken wire and fold it in half, doubling it up, for your frame.
     
  8. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    And if my chicks out grow the frame, but still aren't quite ready to handle the weather outside, I use a cardboard box with the heating pad on the floor of the brooder.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. ChickenHawk12

    ChickenHawk12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sigh....ok i will give it one more shot. Is it ok to put the heating pad on top of the frame instead of the underside?

    Thanks again for all your help through my frustration!
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Frame-pad-protective cover. In that order, keep it simple.
     

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