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

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

  1. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Overrun With Chickens

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    It's 11:40, it is 60 degrees outside and I just went out to check on the Littles. Over on my home thread - my new home thread that is - they are fussing a little bit about the MHP, so I just had to check. Not a sound from the room with the brooder. When I got light into brooder, one chick popped its head out to look at me.
    I put an instant read thermometer under the heating pad (right between the pad and the wire rack) and it is holding 100 degrees. I can't get a good reading at the sleeping level because there are chicks everywhere under there. They all woke up and decided that the light means eat and drink time, so I had all 15 Littles out grabbing a midnight snack. I put my hand in the brooder and my little buddies crawled up on my hand. They are warm to the touch, so definitely warm under there. Happy little guys, peep peep as they eat. Hopefully they go right back to sleep.
    I will be out to check on them first thing in the morning.
     
  2. perilloux5

    perilloux5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's the great thing about the MHP, they learn to sleep at night because they don't have a light shining on them 24/7.:celebrate
     
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Don't worry about the temp inside the cave. Mine were in the house the first days and the temp under the pad on the floor was measuring 82.9 degrees in a 69 degree room. When it was in the teens and twenties outside mine did just fine. If you get readings of 100 on the floor of the cave, they aren't going to stay in it for long. The difference between what we're told they need and what they actually need is because MHP's focus is on warming the chicks directly, not everything around it. I'd even advise that you could come down on the heat a notch but I know you've been waiting for these very special chicks (even if I'm old and can't remember the breed now - I think it started with an "S") Anyway, your chicks are telling you that they are just fine. Sleeping all night and being up all day is what they're supposed to do.
     
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    You are so very welcome! We have a rule here - once those babies are home we need lots of pictures! Looking forward to seeing yours. What are you getting and how many?

    @Sabz Another trailblazer! When I started this thread I knew of two pioneers who had gone before me with this - Beekissed and Patrice Lopatin. I quickly discovered aart's thread after mine started. Then I heard from CrzyChknLady81, who told me she's even sent the frame and pad home with chicks going to new owners. And now I meet you. So I am honored to be part of this new old idea!
     
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  5. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Chicken Obsessed

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    Here is my "should only need it 1 day" MHP setup, using PerchieGirl's wire shelf piece concept. Easy and cheap since I had a left over piece of 18" shelf that is a foot wide. PERFECT for the 12" x 24" MHP! And a cardboard box that is 21" x 24". And lots of wood from which I could make a couple of "rods" to hold the shelf up at 4" in the back and 6" in the front. Yes I know the shelf is rotated 90 degrees, you work with what you have [​IMG]

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    I have the blanket on top to hold the box flaps down. I suppose I could cut them behind the food and water jars. I lined the bottom of the box with paper towels and put the straw mat from the shipping box under MHP to act as a nest.

    And I agree, they sure do seem a lot quieter than I remember my "bathtub babies" 3 years ago. Has to help that they aren't lit all the time. In fact, it is quite dark in the back of the "cave", this was a flash picture.

    Tonight we see if Zorra will shift from "I am hatching 2 plastic eggs" to "I am mothering 7 babies". If not my options are:
    - Try with the broody Faverolles that is hogging a nest box ("relief Mama" #1)
    - Try with the broody Cubalaya that is hogging a nest box ("relief Mama" #2). But she is only 2/3 the size of a regular large fowl. Still if a LF can cover a dozen chicks, I guess Peep can cover 7.
    - Make a better "long term" MHP setup and stick it in the brooding pen I made last week inside the coop. There is a 1/2" hardware cloth cover and a piece of plywood on top of that so the Anconas can access their favored nest box through the hole to the left in the picture:

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    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
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  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Well done, Bruce! Now here's hoping at least on of the broodies will take the babies, but at least you have options if they don't. The quiet is just about my favorite part of this whole setup.....blissful, quiet chicks and they're quiet because they are content.
     
  7. Mims

    Mims Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I currently have 9 3 weeks olds - 7 RIR and 2 Orps of some kind. These have been raised under a heat lamp so far, and I hate it. Can't wait to get my heating pads in tonight, so I can get this made!

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    This is the Orp named Mary Poopins, with Nugget, the tiniest runt of all of them. He is less than half the size of the other RIR, but we love him/her. He definitely pushes his way around, and asserts and inserts himself in the middle of everything. He's also the first to get a bug when I toss them in.

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    Tomorrow I'm getting in day old chicks. 4 Australorps, 4 "Ameraucanas" but I'm sure they're just EE's, 2 Rhode Island Whites, and 2 white Leghorns. I can't wait!
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Aw, they are so doggone cute! Nugget is adorable.....and fiesty! I like that combination.

    I don't know if you planned on taking the 3 weekers off the heat lamp or not, and that's certainly your call to make. If you do, I just don't want you to be surprised if they don't go under Mama Heating Pad. They probably won't at first, and may not ever. They'll spend some time on it and around when they figure out that it's warm, and if the others are as feathered as Mary Poopins seems to be, that should be just fine. They are so close to not needing any heat now that you're almost home free with them anyway.
     
  9. Mims

    Mims Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I left the heat off them this afternoon to see how they reacted. They were fine for a while, but I checked a little while ago, and they were huddled.


    If the bathroom door is open, it gets much cooler in there. If I keep it closed, it's nice and warm and they don't huddle. I think I'll give them a couple more days with the lamp, then they're done with it.

    They have more and more feathers every day. I can't believe how fast they're growing!

    Nugget, Takeoff, and Hobo. Takeoff is the Orp. It like to flap around a lot. Hobo usually had his fluffy down sticking out everywhere. My daughter named them.

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    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
  10. Sabz

    Sabz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually Blooie, I don't do it exactly like you :)
    I don't have any heat pads.. but I do love gardening! lol.
    I use the greenhouse action. So I take a little, dark, box. I put my light just on top of it.
    It heats up (not as much as your heat pads probably) but with the chicks + litter + the really small space, it become quite warm!

    I love trying to recreate the normal life of the animals that I care for. I always ask myself: how would they live if they were wild? What activities would they do?

    I really like hiding bugs (mealworms) in a pile of cut grass. I leave this in the coop and even the really young chicks - 2 days of age - will scratch and search for bugs. It's so cute!

    I think that doing these types of actions give a better, less stressful life to the chickens. Since I am raising meat birds and everyone I know thinks I am cruel for doing this, I make it a point to give the best life I can to the chickens. Also, I kind of hope it makes the meat more tender if they are not stressed all the time hehe. Not sure about this point though.
     
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