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

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

  1. RubyNala97

    RubyNala97 Overrun With Chickens

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    I used the press and seal to wrap the heating pad under the frame like the photo of Bees'. ( I just laid the pad under and wrapped up the whole frame to hold it in place). I've used a very thin towel and it's all wrapped up. Let's see what the temps reach in an hour. :fl
    [​IMG]
    Maybe hay on top would help insulate more?? I don't usually use hay with newborns?
     
  2. RubyNala97

    RubyNala97 Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm sorry to keep posting. But it worked!! I'm at 95 degrees!! So happy and excited to try this method with my current hatch!! I look forward to updating on how the chicks do. I was one of those that was nervous to deviate off the "red light" road and try the unknown!
     
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    They are so cute! Glad MHP is working well for them - and you!


    It does look a little too high. They like that pad right at their backs for the first week or so. Can you smoosh it down a little? Don't worry about what the thermometer says. Mine read 82.9 under there and the chicks did just fantastic! Watch them - they'll tell you what they want. Like your setup!
     
  4. RLynch

    RLynch New Egg

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    I love this idea but I have a question. Wouldn't the heating pad work better if it were the floor of the cave since heat rises? You could always use towels to cover the top and hold the heat in. I am guessing that the pad on top is what attracts the chicks to climbing up there?
     
  5. Fuzzymilo

    Fuzzymilo Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi guys! I'm thinking about using this method for the chicks I'm getting in a few days and I'm wondering how tall your frames are. I bought a kitchen pantry shelf at Bed Bath and Beyond that is 5 1/2 inches tall and I'm wondering if that's too tall.
     
  6. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    The natural instinct of chicks is to scoot under Momma. if you watch a hen with chicks out in the yard... They will gett a little cool and head for those dark feathers... Momma hen will fluff out while they warm up... so its natural for them to want heat from the top....

    But you are absolutely right about the heat rising... But the idea of the heating pad being overhead is to supply warmth in a manner that they crave...

    deb
     
  7. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    if its too tall just build up the area underneath with a flat piece of wood or something similar and put the bedding on it... Then when they get bigger you just pull the wood out.

    deb
     
  8. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Oh and BTW..... [​IMG] from the San Diego High desert
     
  9. RubyNala97

    RubyNala97 Overrun With Chickens

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    I was having this issue earlier today while setting it up. Great advice!! Wish I had thought of that!! You guys have thought of everything! Love it!
     
  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Perchie girl is right - logic leads us to believe that the chicks are going on top of the pad because of the heat rising but actually, it's warmer down inside the cave than it is on the top. So once they start outgrowing their need for so much heat, they spend more and more time on top of it than underneath. I found that especially apparent when I brooded my chicks outside this year.....they'd snuggle down on top or scattered all around it and catch naps or tussle or just surveying their domain. But once it got dark and cooled off, they scooted underneath and settled in for the night. They love to sit on top of a broody hen too, and ride around, so this system mimics natural that contact as closely as possible. They choose their comfort zone, and they choose where to find that sweet spot.


    Keep an eye on that 95 degrees, RubyNala, and watch the chicks. That seems a little warmer than what I've always showed under my heating pad. Could be a variance in where the temps were read or a difference in thermometers, but mine was at 82.9 when they were just a few days old and they loved it. But let your chicks tell you - if they keep coming out from under and huddling up together instead it's too warm. Just pop it down one notch and then keep an eye on them for a bit and see if their behavior changes. Are you brooding indoors or out - can't remember if you said or not. I kept my pad on 6 for a couple of weeks, just because they were brooded outdoors in the run and the temps were in the teens and twenties, with a whopping snow storm and a power outage tossed in to keep it interesting! But as the temps are running right now here, if I was brooding another batch I'd start them at 5 and turn down if I needed to. They don't get as chilled running around the brooder when it's warmer so they don't need as intense a warmup.

    Edited to add: I've never wrapped the entire cave in Press 'n Seal - I just did the top of the towel. If it really gets hot, you might try that - maybe the Press 'n Seal is holding in too much heat and not allowing any to escape naturally through the fabric. Perchie, aart, azygous, Beekissed, am I blowing smoke or could having the entire assembly wrapped overheat things - especially the pad itself?
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2015

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