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

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

  1. prayerwheel

    prayerwheel Out Of The Brooder

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    Tee hee hee, membership fee- I will get some pix and happily share! Thanks again for the inspiration !!![​IMG]
     
  2. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    You are so very welcome! I never dreamed when I first started this thread that it would be so well received by so many. After all, it wasn't even my idea in the first place. I figured one or two brave souls might give it a shot, but I also kinda feared that they'd try it and it wouldn't work for them as well as it did for me. Then I'd have the guilt of someone's chicks not making it on my head. But so far everyone has done pretty doggone well with it, which pleases me immensely. The biggest blessing of this thread is the way so many others are quick to jump in and answer questions, offer modifications and share their results.

    So, we'll just wait now for photos! As long as it takes. For whenever you get around to it. Like Yesterday!
     
  3. odysseychicken

    odysseychicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello,

    Quick question. I am pretty much all set up and ready to pick up my chicks tomorrow afternoon. I have pine shavings in my brooder. I have my Mama Heating Pad set up in there and it gets to 93 degrees. I am sure it is fine but I wanted to ask if everyone thinks it is fine on the pine shavings? I don't want a fire hazard. I could take the shavings out and go with paper towels but I don't see that being any less flammable. The way it is set up now is pine shavings on the floor, wire "cave" sitting on the shavings, and my heat pad on top of the "cave". The edges of the heating pad do come in contact with the shavings.

    I have not covered the pad with a towel in Press-n-Seal yet but will do that tonight. One thing I did do was to put a piece of reflectix under the shavings inside the cave to reflect the heat back up. I hope I don't cook them! (Reflectix is basically bubble wrap with a shiny silver foil coating that reflects heat. I had a scrap of it from an old car sun shade that I cut a square out of) Hikers commonly put a piece of this under their sleeping bags to reflect their body heat back up rather than lose it into the ground or their pad.

    Sorry if the pine shaving question has been covered but my eyes were going crossed by page 16 of this thread.

    Thanks
     
  4. prayerwheel

    prayerwheel Out Of The Brooder

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    Odessy, I'm not sure where you live, but I'm in So Cali, and the ambient temps have been very high here. I've actually turned my mama pad down to 2 or 3 during the day and only had it on 6 the first night.
    I'm taking my que from them as they were spending more time either at the cave opening or on the cave " roof", so there has been no need for any supplemental heat i.e. The reflective material you mentioned, and I personally would worry about over heating them. I'd try it without first and if they stay huddled towards the back full time, then you'll know they may need more heat.

    I wondered about the shavings bring flammable too but I suspect the risk would be equal to any wood based product.
    So far so good [​IMG]
    Best of luck for happy healthy Chix [​IMG]
     
  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I raised my chicks outside when it was in the teens and twenties with nothing more the pad and the cave. They don't need the reflective stuff, nor do I think I'd use it. Far too warm. Remember that when they are with a Mama Hen they are getting their heat from her body above them. That's what we're trying to imitate with MHP. So I think the heat reflected back up as well as the heat right above their bodies would indeed cook them. Remember that those campers using it are not being heated by an overhead heat source at the same time like the chicks are.

    As for the pine shavings, I've used both those and straw with great success. No worries at all about the shavings catching fire - actually far less chance with MHP than with a heat lamp, that's for sure! My pad was actually covered with pine shavings at first, then straw when I started brooding outdoors and the chicks loved to snuggle on top of it.

    I hope this answers your questions! And remember, photos photos photos!
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Some people choose to go with paper towel at first, until the chicks are eating well. They will at first, be exploring everything with their beaks. I like to put several layers of paper towels down over the shavings. When the first layer is soiled, I remove it, and there's a fresh layer underneath. Then, I start the chicks out on their chick starter by putting some in a feeder, and also sprinkling some on the paper towel. When they are going to the feeder for their feed, and eating well, I then remove the paper towel.

    If you can use a heating pad on your skin, or on your clothing, I think there's no risk of fire hazard! One thing I did do was use electrical tape to secure the union between the cord and the pad.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. henless

    henless Chillin' With My Peeps

    Update*

    My babies are 4 & 6 weeks old today. They all started roosting at night about 2 weeks ago. I left the mhp on for another week, and no one used it. I removed it this past weekend. The mhp was great for summer brooding. I was able to adjust the temp which is something you can't do with the Premier heat plate.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    They have really grown over the last 4 weeks! I can't wait till those blue eggs start showing up. :)

    @prayerwheel ~ Like the others said, I wouldn't worry about the shavings or straw catching fire with the mhp. It doesn't get near as hot as a heat lamp does. Be sure and use large flake shavings for your chicks. They will peck at everything. If you get the fine shavings, they can ingest it since it's so small.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Looks like MHP was very successful for you too, @henless ! Thanks for sharing your photos. Funny, isn't it, to think that if they were being brooded conventionally they'd still be in a brooder with a heat lamp!

    @prayerwheel LG and henless are right, and I should have mentioned it too but I was focused on the question of fire risk with the heating pad rather than on the chicks and shavings. I put paper towels over the shavings for the first couple of day until I knew that they recognized food and were less likely to try to eat the shavings. I sprinkled food on the paper towels so they'd know what food was at first. Then I just pulled off the paper towels and left the shavings. Yep, they still ate some, but not enough to hurt them and since the shavings were the large flake kind, they didn't keep trying.
     
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  9. prayerwheel

    prayerwheel Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm not 100% confident that my pic will show up here, but hope springs eternal- gotta pay those membership dues [​IMG]
    So this image is obviously ' topless' so you can see the set up. In the right hand corner is the " trampoline" water bowl. I won't use plastic for food or water so my options were limited. I had heard of Chix drowning so I thought to put this series of rubber bands around the stainless bowl so they couldn't. They like standing on it and bouncing and drinking from the top too, it's super cute & looks like they're on a trampoline [​IMG]
    I didn't cover my Yoel with plastic for lack of time but just have to change out the towels as needed.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. KatharinetheGr8

    KatharinetheGr8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chicks are doing well with their Mama Heating Pad! Just wanted to share some pictures!

    [​IMG] All snuggled up on top of their chick cave for a morning nap.

    [​IMG]After I successfully herded them under the chick cave. They don't much go under there but instead explore their surroundings.
     

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