Mama Heating Pad HELP?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by optio100, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. optio100

    optio100 In the Brooder

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    I just hatched a few chickens and quail. I've got the lamp on the chickens, but I quick put together a Mama Heating Pad the best I could for the quail chicks. I know it's supposed to be all the way down, but the quail are so tiny that it's almost impossible to squish it low enough. I think they're on the sides where the heating pad also comes down.
    My worry is two-fold. 1. My remote thermometer says it's 87 degrees, I hope it's warm enough under there.
    2. The quail chicks are not coming out to eat or drink! Should I take away the heating pad in the morning for a while to force them to come out?

    Thanks!
     
    WannaBeHillBilly likes this.
  2. Assuming you're referring to Coturnix quail, which I know about, 87F is a little too low for new quail. I try to keep them about the same temp I keep chicken chicks, about 95F for the first few days, then 90F, then lower as they get older. I really let the actions of the chicks tell me if they're too hot or cold. With the little quail all staying right next to the heat source, that tells you it's too cold. If it were warm enough, they would be exploring their areas for a bit, then coming back to warm up, then zipping out to go eat, drink, explore, or play again after a bit. Quail are REALLY active, generally, faster and busier than chicken chicks by a considerable bit. It sounds like these fellas of yours aren't, and that concerns me.
     
  3. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Crossing the Road

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    Just put the feed close enough to the opening, on one side. The chicks will come out to eat when they feel hunger. Then they will wander back to where they feel the most comfortable. Have water available next to the feed. Remember that in nature,,,,,,,, chicks under mom,,,, they leave the comfort zone of the mom and venture out to where the feed is.
    WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and :welcome
     
    WannaBeHillBilly likes this.
  4. I would also add that there generally isn't any reason not to house the Cots with the chicks, especially when both are very young, and their needs are the same. The one thing I do to keep the Cots safe is use a waterer designed for quail, or fill the chick waterer with marbles!! The one thing you never want to come to see is a drowned quail baby.
     
    WannaBeHillBilly likes this.
  5. The problem with that theory is that Cots very, very seldom brood and hatch their own eggs, so they don't have a mama to get warm from. And a mama is giving them 100+F body temp when brooding babies, as she's generally plucked most of her feathers from her underside, so they can snuggle right up against her skin.

    I'm certain the Cot babies are too cold, or they would be running around like little whirling dervishes at this point if they were warm enough. That's just the way quail are! They either need a heat lamp of their own, or to be moved in with the chicks so they can have the heat lamp, too.
     
    WannaBeHillBilly and cavemanrich like this.
  6. optio100

    optio100 In the Brooder

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    First of all - you guys are the bomb! Answering questions in the middle of the night! I moved them in with the chicken chicks, even thought they are only about 1/5 as big as them. They get different food, though so both feeds are in there. Perked the chickens right up though. One of the cots (new word for me) got in the food dish, and suddenly it became more appealing to the chickens.

    Bad news, though, I have to share with others in my situation - I already killed one of the cots by it getting squished on the side of the heating pad brooder. Very upsetting. Can't tell anyone in the family since they're all against this from the get-go. This business is not for the frail of heart. I feel so badly.

    Another FYI for first-timers. I took the adage about not opening the incubator too seriously, even when there were already chicken chicks ready to get out. When I finally said the heck with it and opened it it was very dry. Again, going against advise, I helped a couple of stalled pips along, not all the way, though. Added water and moist paper towels. We'll see how they come along. So I see a lot of this has to be your judgment in addition to everything else.

    Hope the cots survive with the chicken chicks.
     
  7. They should be fine with each other at least until you can get another heat lamp for the quail brooder. I've had great big Light Brahma chicks and little bitty Banty Cochin chicks in with Coturnix quail chicks, and not had a problem. Once the chicks start growing, they get moved to bigger digs, anyway, so the chicken chicks generally aren't with the Cots more than a week or two. Besides, as fast as the quail grow, they'll be ready for a juvenile home by the time they're 3 weeks old. They can be "crowing" (well, their version of a crow, LOL!) at 6 weeks, and laying at 8 weeks, so they grow REALLY fast, LOL!

    And yes, choosing whether or not to help a chick finish hatching is a VERY difficult decision. I always try to decide whether or not it was something I did - like leaving the door open so long someone gets shrinkwrapped with the egg membrane - and then that helps me decide. Since I was the cause of the shrink-wrap, I feel responsible for the situation enough to help that one a little. If it doesn't seem to be something I caused, I seldom help it... as hard as it is to watch one struggle, that is usually Nature's way of deciding who is strong enough to survive. Often, when I have helped when it wasn't my doing, that chick was always smaller, less healthy, and often died within a few days, anyway, of something called Failure to Thrive.
     
    WannaBeHillBilly and cavemanrich like this.
  8. optio100

    optio100 In the Brooder

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    Well, I eventually separated them by putting the quail in a small box in the bigger tote box. The chicks seem so big and developed already at one day old, believe it or not, and they were definitely pecking at the quail. The temps now read 92/93, but neither the chicks or cots are lumping up under the hottest spot under the lamp, so hopefully it's ok. In fact the cots are sometimes stretching out with their legs extended, like other animals do when they are warm. It's weird, but they get right back up when someone bumps them or steps on them.
    I think the other ones still in the incubator are trying to break out, they're making such a ruckus.
     
    cavemanrich and WannaBeHillBilly like this.
  9. trudyg

    trudyg Songster

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    If you can't get the MHP low enough, can you raise the floor? Maybe fold a towel to set on the floor for them to hop on top of so they can get closer to the heating pad? If you build it up in the center then the outer edges would be open enough for no one to get stuck. Good luck.
     
    cavemanrich likes this.

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