ideas for keeping peeps warm if power goes out?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by TurtleChick, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. TurtleChick

    TurtleChick Songster

    Oct 3, 2007
    Tacoma, WA
    hi all!

    we're expecting a wind storm around here tomorrow and i'm worried about the peeps! at 2 weeks old, they're in the house w/a heat lamp right now - there are 4 of them.

    if the power went out, i'd move them into a smaller brooder (maybe back into their rubbermaid or even something smaller - cat crate or something) which i'd cover for better body heat retention....

    ideas i've got so far:

    hot water bottles (gallon milk jug?) - heated from stove or tap (both are gas, and i feel a little dumb in admitting that i don't know if the ignitor on my burners is electric and whether the hot water heater requires electricity to work...) if i can get hot water.

    building a fire in the fireplace - although this would depend alot on the duration of any outage... we don't really stock up on firewood and alot of what's outside is wet, and obviously i can't keep a fire going at night.

    if we have to, we'll put them in our pockets! but... uh... for obvious poopy reasons, this would be a last resort (and doesn't help at night!!!). [​IMG]

    any more suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!!!

    hopefully i'm being paranoid about nothing...

    think windless thoughts for us!!! [​IMG]
  2. bamagirl68

    bamagirl68 Songster

    Sep 3, 2007
    central alabama
    You can buy those back pads at Wally World (ThermaCare?)that are activated when you tear the seal and stay really warm for hours. I had one under the straw when my new chicks arrived from Meyer's. I thought this was a great idea to keep them warm while in transit. You could keep some on hand just in case. Good luck!
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    You could always put them in your hood in your hoodie and carry them around all day! J/k

    Hot water and thoes heat pads would work. I'm worried about my tractors blowing away again, and the other half of the damaged tree falling on the house.... the first half fell on the garage. [​IMG]
  4. verthandi

    verthandi Songster

    May 18, 2007
    Soda bottles filled with hot water work well. I just cover them with a towel so it isn't too hot for them. You can drain water off your hot water tank(from the bottom of the tank) even if you lose power. Just make sure to shut the power off to the tank. That way you can make sure the tank is refilled with water before the element comes on to reheat it when the power is restored.
  5. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Not a water heater expert, but I'm pretty sure the last major ice storm here when we had no hot water for 4 days, my mom's gas water heater worked just fine...

  6. verthandi

    verthandi Songster

    May 18, 2007
    Quote:Sorry, I didn't write that very well. I meant she could use what hot water was still in the tank. But you are correct the tank will not heat up any more water, just it stays hot for quite some time in the tank.
  7. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    With gas water heater, its no problem getting hot water...we were without power for four days and had to put some hot water bottles on my newborn hatchies and they came thru just fine. One bad thing about it is you hae to get up every two hours to replenish the hot water bottles.
  8. arwmommy

    arwmommy Songster

    Apr 13, 2007
    The thing I did when I took the babies to show and tell was to take a tube sock, fill it with rice, tie a ribbon on the end to close it and put it in the microwave for a minute until it was warm, and throw it in the carrying crate. Those who wanted to be warm huddled near or on top of it, the others left it alone until they wanted a bit more warmth.

    If the power is out and the microwave doesn't work [​IMG] you could heat the dry rice in a pan if you have a gas range, and then pour it into the sock with a funnel.

    Either way, make sure the rice doesn't get too hot. If you are using the microwave, do it in 30 sec. spurts. This is what my massage therapist does with rice or barley filled heat packs, or she even puts massage stones in a crockpot to keep them warm...........mmmmmmmmm..........I need to book a massage........

    Good luck!
  9. I am in the process of experimenting with what it will take to move the chicks to one of my tractors (there is no electricity near the area in which I put my tractors). I have read that birds will eat more when they have to provide their own heat; since these guys basically only stop eating to poop and sleep, I figured they can generate enough heat. So, a-Googling we go....

    I found the idea here:

    Bought the Tekfoil at my local Home Depot, and
    made the "hover" about 12" larger (on all sides) than the cluster my chicks make when they huddle. Tried it out inside their current abode, which is a metal building with no insulation. By 11pm they were all under the "hover", snug as bugs in a rug. At 2am, some were half-in, half-out, so clearly they were getting a little too warm. Another check at 4 am (hey, I was worried about the little buggers and didn't sleep much that night!) showed 3 of 30 actually outside the hover, but right next to it. After that, I didn't worry about them.

    When I move them to the tractor this weekend, I will put a good pad of wood chips on the ground, to keep them from soaking up the cold from the ground, and make sure the hover is correctly sized (they're growing like weeds, drool drool).
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
  10. We lost our power about the same time we got our last batch of chicks. Yes, the wind blew over our tree - ripped out the electric line and smashed our Jeep. That was almost 2 month ago and still no car replacement. The chicks survived nicely - the temps were in the 30's. I broke down this evening and brought our silkie who is setting on two chicks into the house. When I was checking on them (while it was snowing a bit) it wasn't cozy warm under her like it normally is. They are out on the back porch - no heat - but I don't want them to get too used to any heat since they live outdoors. We are expecting baby chicks next week. I'm hoping they survive the postage truck ride from the airport to our town (@2 hours away). I'm hoping it warms up a wee bit and doesn't keep cooling off.

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