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

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

  1. flewdcoop

    flewdcoop Out Of The Brooder

    After lurking about this thread I would like to add my thanks ( both to Blooie for posting it here and the person who originated the idea ). It has forced me to reconsider my plans for starting my mini flock.
    My initial plan was to bypass brooding chicks and just buying pullets, now I'm in the process of making a mama heating pad and a brooder area in the coop. Now I don't have to worry about a heat lamp starting a fire...YEAH.
     
  2. odysseychicken

    odysseychicken Out Of The Brooder

    89
    2
    41
    Jul 21, 2015
    They are pretty cute. We refer to them as our five piece nuggets. I do have the towel pulled down over the front. I just had it up so I could take a picture.

    I would like to thank you for the idea. Three days ago I was ready to use a heat lamp and constantly wonder if my house would still be there when I got home from work. But now, no worries and the chicks seem pretty happy. And, it couldn't have been any easier.

    Thanks
     
  3. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    11,674
    6,004
    541
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Blooie, Sophia and Kendra are amazing and you're entitled to feel awesomely proud of them, and besides, what total cuties!

    Am I the only person in the world who simply melts at the sight of tiny, little, delicate baby chick feet? Gosh, I adore them! Odyssey, I just love those baby pics!
     
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    13,532
    9,101
    506
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Doggone it! I don't know how I managed to miss this post and I do apologize! I sure hope this works as well for you as it has for almost everyone else who's tried it. I know I'll never go back to heat lamps and 24/7 light on the chicks. You do know that we require photos here as your membership dues into the Broody Brigade, right?
     
  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    13,532
    9,101
    506
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Just letting you all know that little Sophia got to go home yesterday. She totally rocked this most recent surgery! She has another heart cath scheduled for just before Christmas, and she'll have those just as regularly as she did before. Thanks for your prayers and good thoughts!
     
  6. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Chicken Obsessed

    5,609
    7,132
    471
    Apr 19, 2012
    NW Vermont
    I can think of only few reasons to buy started pullets:
    1. Chick sexing at the hatcheries is ~90% accurate. You can not have a rooster, will not eat your chickens and are concerned you might not be able to find a "Free to good home, must not be eaten" place to send any you get.
    2. #1 plus: You want a breed and/or quality you can't get from the hatcheries.
    3. You want eggs SOON rather than in 5-6 months

    Those little fluff balls are SO cute. And they change week by week. You can watch their personalities develop as they get used to you being the provider of food and TREATS from the get go. And yes, the MHPB is "revolutionary" yet not. I really don't know how the "roast your chicks with a heat lamp 24x7 for 4 weeks" brooding method got to be THE BEST AND ONLY way to raise chicks. Maybe people couldn't find heating pads with the "don't shut off feature". Or maybe since a bazillion MHPs in a large commercial operation would be ridiculous, it was "scaled down" to the home chicken crowd. It is good for the people who sell heat lamp reflectors and the bulbs [​IMG] but unlike a nice heating pad, they are useless when you aren't brooding chicks.

    If the circumstances were such that I was getting my first chickens now, rather than 3 years ago, I would have chosen MHP over "the usual" method. If you have read the entire thread, you know the benefits of a properly set up MHP and the drawbacks (there aren't any near as I can tell). And the benefits (the chicks live and grow) and drawbacks (hard on the birds (though they can't complain), totally unnatural, hard to regulate unless you have a LARGE space) of the heat lamp system.

    If your coop is ready to go, set up the MHP in there. Since these are your only chickens, no need to even make a "brooding pen", just set up the MHP. They will happily explore their environment rather than be chucked into it one day.

    I am SUPPOSED to be getting 4 White Chantecler Pullets for reason #2. Still waiting. Presuming I am ever notified they are ready to be picked up, I will find out how easy/hard/different it is to have chickens that did not grow up here. And how well/not-so-well integration with the nine 3 Y/O hens and seven 17 week old pullets (*) will go. Even though the younger 7 were raised by a broody in the coop with the other hens, the whole pecking order thing happens since they are all now almost adult size and are bigger than the Cubalayas. But even the Cubalayas are trying to hang on to their "superior position". It won't happen. But it has to be easier to change a bit at a time than be thrown into a somewhat static pecking order.


    * All pullets I THINK! One of the White Rocks is sporting more comb and wattles than the other, also more red. But the two birds are the same size so I am HOPING one is just maturing faster than the other and will be the first of the group to lay.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    23,483
    16,845
    686
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
    Odyssey, you get the story book post of the week for your pics, and the description of their response to MHP!!!

    Bruce, your reasons # 1, 2, 3, can in no way hold the candle to having little fluff balls, and watching the daily changes as they move through the clumsy chick to the gangly, ugly teenager, to the sweet shiny feathered pullet! The only thing better than starting chicks is holding a warm 10 day old egglet in your hand, and watching the chick doing the Joy Dance of Life inside!!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  8. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Chicken Obsessed

    5,609
    7,132
    471
    Apr 19, 2012
    NW Vermont
    Well yeah, but as you know, reality with respect to the "no roosters, no eating the chickens" is what it is [​IMG]

    I think the WR that is "more mature" than the other is starting to transition from "clown car horn" to "chicken" noises. Will have to check more closely, it is sometimes hard to know who is "talking" when 16 birds are all "talking" at once.
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    23,483
    16,845
    686
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
    One of my 8 week old pullets sounds like she's loosing her peep when I grab her! I do hope that precocious WR is a pullet!
     
  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    13,532
    9,101
    506
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Ooh, fingers crossed!!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by