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

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

  1. MamaDoolittle

    MamaDoolittle Out Of The Brooder

    80
    2
    46
    Jul 23, 2015
    West Michigan
    Trying to get my MHP set up for my chicks arriving on Monday. I just got the heating pad (same one as discussed in this thread). Had a hard time finding one w/o auto shut off. It has the 6 heat settings, so I thought cool. Problem is that after 4 hours it isn't very warm under there. Only about 85 degrees and the pad is still on. I just don't think that will be warm enough for just 2 babies. Comments? Suggestions?
     
  2. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    13,532
    9,101
    506
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    That 85 degrees should be just fine, believe it or not. Early on in this thread azygous asked me what temps were running under the pad. I didn't know because I wasn't counting on some arbitrary magic number, but to satisfy my curiosity I put a wireless thermometer in there to test. It was 69 degrees in the room and 82.9 degrees in the cave. The chicks simply thrived when, according to conventional wisdom, they should have chilled and died at that temperature.

    There are a couple of things you can do if you aren't comfortable with the 85 degrees you are showing. First, and most important, make sure that the back side of the cave is lower than the front. If you are using a wire frame that's a simple matter of pressing down on the back, flattening it a little. The pad should come into contact - or almost in contact - with the chicks' backs. Second, be sure that the cave is totally enclosed at the back and sides, trapping as much heat underneath as possible. If you look back at the first photos I posted in this thread, you can see that the pad and towel drape all the way down on the sides, and the towel drapes over and down the back.

    Try those things, but don't expect temps in that "perfect 95 degree" range. With the cave being totally enclosed except for the awning in the front, they don't need - or want - it to be that hot under there. Remember that I used it for just one chick (Scout) the first time I ever tried it when he was in the house recovering from frostbitten feet at the time. And after he recovered he, his brooder, and his heating pad cave moved back out to the coop and it was below zero out there. Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  3. MamaDoolittle

    MamaDoolittle Out Of The Brooder

    80
    2
    46
    Jul 23, 2015
    West Michigan
    Thanks for talking me off the "ledge." I made some adjustments to the cave and am feeling better. Just a bunch of self-doubt and second guessing going on. [​IMG]
     
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    13,532
    9,101
    506
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    No problem! I had similar concerns before the first time I watched little Scout hobble his way inside and settle right down. You've got this! And I'll give you one last word of advice......

    I get lots of PMs from people doubting this entire "hairbrained scheme", as one fellow put it. I'll tell you what I tell them. If you really aren't comfortable with this, then absolutely, don't do it. Chicks learn a few things in their first few weeks - what to eat, where the warmth is, where to get water, and how stressed out you are. That tension communicates itself right into their little chicken brains and can make them nervous and skittish. It's is no big deal if you just have too many doubts to go ahead and use Mama Heating Pad. Your chicks are what are important and nothing else matters.

    Oh, and pictures! Pictures matter - a lot! :lau
     
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Truly??? Someone called it a hairbrained scheme??? [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] That's a little over dramatic, ain't it? [​IMG] Folks are getting more and more weird out there, I tell ya....scheme? [​IMG]
     
  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    13,532
    9,101
    506
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Yup, absolutely and truly. I believe his entire warning was about how many people's chicks I was going "to be responsible for killing with this idiot, hairbrained scheme." Notice how quickly I bowed to his superior wisdom and gave up on Mama Heating Pad! :D
     
  7. MamaDoolittle

    MamaDoolittle Out Of The Brooder

    80
    2
    46
    Jul 23, 2015
    West Michigan
    I took the leap of faith in myself and set up the babies enclosure complete with MHP. It looks very cozy and I love that my 2 "big" girls (almost 7 weeks) will be able to get used to them. Pictures on Monday when we pick up the babies. Thank you again.
     
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Seems like any time a person climbs out of the box, there are folks screaming dire warnings about them killing something or other. [​IMG] I have that experience every time I talk about certain canning methods...I get the whole botulism, killing of loved ones, leading others astray so that THEY kill their loved ones speech. Makes my butt tired. Today I got the terms "Russian Roulette" and killing of loved ones all in the same over dramatized speech...for a canning method we've used successfully for the past 40 yrs on literally thousands of jars of corn. If that is an example of Russian Roulette, we've been extremely blessed to have dodged that bullet for 40 yrs.

    OR, the method really works and there are no bullets. [​IMG]

    You should have heard the general screaming when I introduced FF to BYC....dire predictions of all the dead birds, dying from mold consumption. All those flocks have yet to die, but we still get the occasional dire warning all the same.

    Where there are bold innovators there will always be a sad, bedraggled, fear ridden mass of people huddled down in a box, viewing them from the safety of their little world, screaming out warnings of things that COULD happen, even though they know nothing of such things because they are still huddled in their box.
     
    2 people like this.
  9. Fire Ant Farm

    Fire Ant Farm Get off my lawn Premium Member

    6,170
    2,457
    346
    May 5, 2015
    South Texas
    You should hear the folks who say there's only one way to raise Cornish Crosses, and that they are just fat lazy lumps that stink and won't run and just want to stuff their faces. Despite really adorable video evidence by folks who have restricted their feed and have them running all over the place foraging and acting like normal chickens. That kind of blind dogmatism gives me hives...[​IMG]

    By the way, I've been meaning to post on this thread - I have the "Keeping Poultry and Rabbits on Scraps" book from the UK (published 1941). They describe in detail how to build a box with dowels and use it essentially just like your mama heating pad... but it's a "Mama Water Bottle". The hot water bottle is overhead resting on dowels in the little cave, and the chicks go in to warm up and to sleep. They would swap out with a fresh hot one when the first would cool off. I thought it sounded like a great idea if you didn't have power to run out to your coop/brooder area.

    - Ant Farm
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    13,532
    9,101
    506
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Gosh, either I didn't know they were that old already or missed it in an earlier post. They most likely won't even need MHP - last year mine were living outside in a snow covered, up insulated coop, temps in the teens and twenties, with no supplement heat of any kind at 5.5 weeks!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by