Mama Heating Pad in the Brooder (Picture Heavy) - UPDATE

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Blooie, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Facial massages! Oh yes! Even my bad-tempered GLW Irene grudgingly endures having her cheeks and ears stroked. My other somewhat standoffish hen, Geobett, a Speckled Sussex, will shut her eyes and go completely limp.

    Even the babies, especially Strawberry the Cream Legbar, adores having my fat, swollen finger stroke her tiny face and she always falls asleep during it.

    I would say that, besides food, facial massages are the most corrupting exercise you can engage in to endear yourself to your chickens.
     
  2. katbriar

    katbriar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Henless- I have a sunbeam brand heating pad that does not have an auto off feature. I ordered it through their website. Customer service was really great helping me find that feature in a large size.
     
  3. katbriar

    katbriar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Azygous- your pens are wonderful- well-planned, cleverly made, and so tidy!
     
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    The Sunbeam X-Press Heat pad that I use has a button on it that allows me to turn off the "auto off" feature. When I see that little red light on the dial read "Stay On", I know I've remembered to turn off the auto-off. As for power loss - well, there's not much you can do about that no matter what heating system your'e using. If the power goes out, the heat goes off. The advantage to the heat lamp is that when power is restored, the heat comes right back on. With the heating pad,you have to turn it back on and remember to disable the "auto off" feature again..

    We lost power during a bad spring snow storm when my last batch of chicks was just a few day old. They were being brooded outside in the run. The power loss came during the night while we were sleeping and it was the power coming back on that woke my husband. He said two words, "The chicks!" With no idea how long the power had been out, we got dressed and hustled out there. Winds were in excess of 60mph and the snow was coming down sideways! All 8 chicks were under their cave. The extra insulation of the towel and the thick layer of straw on top of and all around the cave kept them safe. The cave retained enough heat to keep them warm until we turned the pad back on. We went back to bed, and when we woke up later and checked the chicks, they were happily crowding around the feeder. If they'd had a heat lamp out there, the temperature in the brooder pen would have dropped immediately to dangerous levels, and since the light heats the entire space around the chicks their entire area would have been cold. The heating pad heats the chicks and the cave. So while the area around them was cold, their spot was still a little warm. The X-Press heat heating pad comes up to temperature in 30 seconds.

    So while inconvenient, a power outage with the setup I was using was not the tragedy it could have been.
     
  5. henless

    henless Chillin' With My Peeps

    It stays on all the time? I wonder if during a power outage, when the lights come back on, if the pad would "still be on" or if you would have to turn it on again?

    I'll have to check out their website and see what I can find out. Thanks bunches katbriar!!!

    Can you post the one you bought so that I will know what I'm looking for?

    That is what I'm concerned with. I'm not worried about a power outage when I'm home, it's when I'm away or at work, specially when the chicks are really little.

    Take yesterday, our power went out for about 3 min or so. It came right back on, but I had to reset the clocks and such. If I had the heating pad, it would have gone off and stayed off all day if I had been gone. That is my only concern with the heating pad. Two or three hours without heat would be ok, since the pad would retain heat set up as a cave, but all day with no heat wouldn't work.

    Thanks to katbriar, I may have found a solution!

    I love my Premier heat plate, but when it goes out or if I need more than one, I'd rather go with a cheaper version. :)
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I think the other thing you need to keep in mind using a heating pad for heat is that after the first week, they really don't use it that much. It's hard to get used to that. The tendency is to want to shove those chicks under the heat when folks see them out in the open, snuggling for a bit. The first reaction is to get them back under that heat. But by the second week, they spend more time around it and on it than they do under it. Chicks do surprisingly well without heat, and that's a concept that is so hard for people to understand. But watch a hen with her chicks. They'll spend most of their time running around her, not under her. Chicks will sometimes get separated from mom and they'll huddle together with each other to warm up until she finds them and covers them, and that can be some time! I think the cave retains heat longer than even an Premier heat plate, simply because it's closed all the way around, except in the front where there is a little awning for them to scoot inside, and insulated with the folded towel. Since mine are outside from the start, they also have the straw that's packed under, on top of, and all around the cave. So I worry far less with the heating pad cave during a possible power outage, especially having had my chicks thrive though a few hours of driving snow and wind outside in an open pen than I do any other system. The entire premise of this is to duplicate Mama as closely as possible, and that means the stuff that we aren't normally used to doing.

    Yep, you do have the hassle of remembering to turn it back on if you lose power. But they can do very well for a few hours, which takes it from a panic situation to an easily resolvable one. This old lady will never, ever brood chicks in the house again, and I'll never rely on anything else for keeping them warm and safe again, either. But I do agree, that's it's not for everyone. If you aren't comfortable, then I would certainly advise against using it.
     
  7. dyorto

    dyorto Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have anything like the wire dog crate stuff. Any other ideas to form a cave?
     
  8. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    a wire shelf

    some welded wire mesh

    chicken wire

    one of those stacking letter sorters... May have to be raised up a little

    two planks of wood with dowels connecting them Dowels support the heating pad

    barbeque grill grate

    Roasting pan Rack

    Tomato cage split and gently folded out

    Go to the thrift store you can get most of those things there for 50 cents
    tomato cage new i think is about two bucks.

    deb
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Oh and Welcome to BYC [​IMG] from the San Diego High desert
     
  10. COChix

    COChix Overrun With Chickens

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    I used a wire shelf rack and also another style storage rack that attaches under a shelf, but turned upside down.

    Our's are now sleeping in a pile in the nest box of their coop.
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    I sat in my Bronco chair in the run yesterday and I had visitors. They are super friendly and enjoy snuggles.
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    @azygous love the portals! Can you post an up close picture of the hinge? I am a visual person and having a hard time "seeing" it. I want to do something similar and was trying to figure our a way to make a hole in the wiring.
     

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