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

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

  1. SunshineAnShade

    SunshineAnShade Out Of The Brooder

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    Yesterday was their first day out in the run. They didn't know what to do when i opened the door. I spent ages just trying to get them outside! Once two were out the rest followed more easily.
    Today they played their first game of keep away with a juicy bug! So funny![VIDEO][​IMG]
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    Its been very hot here and ive had the heating pad set to 5 for the past 3 days and they are doing great. Should I lower it to 4 since its been a week or keep it at 5? Thanks!
     
  2. perilloux5

    perilloux5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Let them decide, if they are not going under then it is probably too hot. They will be your best inclination of whether or not it needs to be adjusted as it varies especially if it is already hot outside.

    Very cute chicks.[​IMG]
     
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I agree. I don't strictly do the "lower it by so much every week" routine, although the setting does get lowered regularly. The chicks are the best thermometer ever. I don't know what you mean by "it's been very hot here" but if you are looking at outside temps in the upper 80s or 90s, they probably aren't spending much time under it anyway. Go ahead and leave it at 5 until they get a little more feathering on them and see how they do. My guess is they'll do just fine, and they'll tell you when it's time to lower it again by staying clear of the cave completely.

    One of the things I like best about this system is that, other than providing lots of photos, the only rule is to let the chicks be in charge. Too warm and they'll avoid the pad, maybe even telling you that they just plain don't need it anymore except on a lower setting just at night. Too cool and they'll huddle and cheep as if they were in distress. If yours are playing outside and doing well, then obviously you've got it!

    Edited to add: They are adorable, by the way! Lucky chicks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015
  4. perilloux5

    perilloux5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2015
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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015
  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Or spaghetti! That's a hoot!
     
  6. MakeshiftAcre

    MakeshiftAcre Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2015
    My attempt at MHP this spring was not a success. The day-old guinea keets seemed to like it... they stayed under quietly in apparent contentment. And. Would. Not. Come. Out. After 24 hours with food and gro-gel untouched and no sign the water had been touched either, I broke. I knew that possibly they would come out when they got hungry enough, but, knowing guineas, it seemed entirely possible that the little featherheads would just sit there and dehydrate they fool selves. So I switched out the MHP for a heat lamp and they started acting like normal keets.

    I do mean to try again if I am lucky enough to get baby ducklings. Ducks are smarter than guineas.

    Some rocks are smarter than guineas.
     
  7. MamaDoolittle

    MamaDoolittle Out Of The Brooder

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    So glad I was directed to this thread! I was troubled by the unnatural 24/7 heat lamp light when I brooded my first 3 chicks several weeks ago. Sadly, we lost one a couple of weeks ago, but with chicken math firmly set in, I'm picking up 2 new babies on Monday. So excited to try the MHP method. I've sectioned off part of the coop, so the babies can see and be seen by my older girls. But with this method I don't have to mess with a heat lamp and then trying to integrate later. Seems so perfect for my situation. Thank you, thank you.
     
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I'm so sorry it didn't work for you, but I'm awfully glad you shared that information. Wonder if there's something about the keets that they just don't "perform" like chicks do. "Some rocks are smarter than guineas".......Love it! I'm happy that you are willing to try again and not give up on the concept. With so many people using it so successfully, there has to be something about it that works! I sure would like to add your name to the list of happy Mama Hens!

    We do have a rule, here, MamaDoolittle....pictures are required! [​IMG]
     
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Another thing to consider...a day old chick, be it a keet, duckling or chick, are still living on their yolk sac for up to 3 days. Oh, they might peck at food and water just to be curious but most day old birds don't eat or drink much of anything at all. This is how hatchery chicks, keets, and ducklings can be shipped all over the country without feed or water and do just fine.

    Next time I'd just wait it out and see what happens. Could be they really needed that warm spot more than they did the feed and water at the time but would have ventured out as their needs changed.
     
  10. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Chicken Obsessed

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    I also wonder if the food and water could have been placed just inside or right at the entrance to the MHPB "cave". If they did need the heat, they could have gotten to the food and water without leaving the cave.
     

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