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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    What is your concern with cloth coming into contact with the heating pad? Fire? Isn't the heating pad itself covered with cloth?

    When chicks are very new, they need to have direct contact with the heating pad to derive the full extent of warmth they require at that age, as well as comfort and security. I recommend you read this thread from the very beginning, or at least the first 20 pages. That's where a lot of very useful info resides.
     
  2. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Chicken Obsessed

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    If you can put it directly on your skin, I don't think cloth would be a problem. In fact, the heating pad is covered with some sort of cloth material already isn't is? I see no reason you couldn't stick it in an "easy to wash whenever you want" pillowcase. The important thing is to have a pad with the ability to stay on ALL the time and several heat setting so you can turn it down as the chicks feather out. Many pads have auto turn off after some period. You'll be up night and day (like with a newborn [​IMG] ) turning it back on every 2 hours.

    I'm not sure if the pad could force enough heat through wood, it can be pretty insulating. Most designs I've seen are wire of some sort and its sole purpose is to hold up the pad and make a "lower at the back than the front" shape. There are a lot of pictures of various implementations if you start at the beginning of the thread and read through. There "only" 129 pages [​IMG] but you can scan through just looking for posts with images. There is no one "right" design. I threw mine together using a piece of left over wire shelf and 2 sticks, 4" high at the front, 2" at the back pushed through the sides of a cardboard box. But I only used mine for 2 days until I could put the chicks under a broody hen. If I intended to brood all the way through, I would figure out a way to make the shelf adjustable. 2" and 4" is find for chicks a few days old, but surprisingly, they GROW! [​IMG]

    I got the Sunbeam 2013912 Xpress Heat - the larger one. I can't find anywhere that says what the actual wattage used is. You can find the number 180W thrown around in reviews/answered questions but that is the rating of the controller which means the CONTROLLER can handle 180W and is probably minimally 2x overkill for safety (from burning out the controller and lawsuits, the USA is a litigious country). If someone has a Kill-o-watt meter (measures usage of whatever is plugged into it) we could get an actual answer to the "how many watts does it use" question.
     
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Alrighty, hens and roos - We are all packed, car is ready, and our flight awaits us at 0 Dark Stoopid tomorrow morning. Off for a lovely 7 day Princess Cruise to Alaska. Take good care of each other, and keep on helping one another too! I probably won't get a chance to check in from time to time - internet packages on board the ship are spendy and cell service is sporadic at best.

    See ya all in a week!
     
  4. dpenning

    dpenning Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Have a great time, I LOVE that cruise! We will be spending a week in Ketchikan starting on the 22nd.
     
  5. Jacqdiva

    Jacqdiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am going to be using a reptile heating pad. There is no cover on it. No settings. Being for reptiles I am thinking they have calculated it's ambient temperature effect to be correct. It is meant to go under glass, so today I bought 2 glass cutting boards, with discs in the corners meant for the bench top. My heating pad will be 28x38cm. My glass is 30x34cm. [​IMG] then I just need to mount it on sloping blocks and cover with a little quilt. I will do a test run with thermometer before I use it for chicks. They will be using it for about 2 weeks before they go to the bigger cage with ceramic lamps. Will post pics when everything arrives in the mail including my new brooder.
     
  6. Jacqdiva

    Jacqdiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How much heat will I get from 14 w heat mat? Does anyone know?
     
  7. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member


    Those heat mats are designed to be set up with a thermostat to control the heat.... Believe it or not heating pads have a thermostat built in, for human comfort.

    Your best bet is to set it up and measure the temperature.

    I have watched several builds using reptile heaters like the one you have for converting a refrigerator to an incubator.
    Incubators run a bit higher...

    Just be aware they are designed to go under a substrate.... under sand or gravel which will spread the heat out.

    Not saying it wont work just saying you will need to test and tweak and adjust and find out how best it will work.

    Just thinking out loud here... You might imbed the heater in a layer of pinto beans for heat dispersal... or rice... still could be used over top of a wire frame Rice in bag heater in rice.... pat it even and good to go. as long as your happy with the temperature.

    deb



    deb
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I experimented with a reptile pad....didn't generate enough heat IMO.
    Was too hot for the mealworms and not hot enough for the chicks.
    Wish I had my money back.
     
  9. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Chicken Obsessed

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    If you do decide this will work, WHY move them to a heat lamp at 2 weeks of age?? Actually the question/comment applies to any MHP implementation.

    They need less heat less often the older they get. The controlled heated MHP "cave" is ideal for that since they can decide if they want to be under direct heat or not. Just raise the shelf holding the heat source up to accommodate their larger size. I imagine my hen adjusted her personal heat setting to whatever the chicks needed when they went under but I can assure you, there was NEVER standing head room in there.

    I was REALLY surprised at how little time they spent under her at even 1 week (*) and they were out in the barn where a high of 65F was pretty common. Nowhere near the 90F-95F chicks are supposed to "require" their first week. I know you said ceramic so no light but for anyone else thinking they want to do this with heat lamps: My chicks' "it is light during the day, dark at night" cycle was already set from their first 2 days and 1 night in their MHPB and continues to this day out with the flock, why screw that up?

    * At least during the day, I didn't check at night, it is DARK out there [​IMG]
     
  10. mojavemike1

    mojavemike1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I did a mock setup using my Mama Cave wire dish drainer...

    [​IMG]

    I put 2 ceramic tiles inside...these will absorb heat when the chicks are out, and will give off radiant heat when they return.

    [​IMG]

    I left the thermometer in for 1.1/2 hrs...it measured 94deg inside.

    [​IMG]

    The tiles were placed upside down so the chicks wouldn't do the splits on the shiny surface [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There's no way the chicks would be able to get thru' the slots, as was suggested...the bungee cord holds everything tight , and there's no room to get behind.
    The cave will be resting on pine shavings, so the chicks should be 'snug as a bug in a rug' [​IMG]
     

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