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

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

  1. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Hi,
    Last season I raised 42 chicks on our enclosed front porch last season in brooders. Never again. It was a smelly mess. Chicks do not belong in the house. They only keep their down for a short time. Then they start to get feathers. The down comes off them as a fine dust. It covers everything. It looks like regular household dust but it isn't. It's literally chick down. Very unsanitary. It can't be cleaned by just dusting like regular household dust. It just blows it round if you try. It needs to be carefully wiped up with cleaning liquid on a damp cloth and then wiped again with a dry cloth. Otherwise your house basically has the germs of a chicken coop. I think sometimes folk think chicks are like puppies and kittens. They aren't Because of the dust issue. Your dad is just trying to keep his house sanitary for his family.
    You can successfully brood these chicks in the garage. No problem. How many do you have? You just need some electricity and you are good to go. You need 1 sq. ft. per chick. There are several kinds of brooders you can make easily. It depends on how many chicks you have? All are simple and inexpensive and have been used successfully for many years by a lot of people.
    Best Regards,
    Karen
     
  2. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Also, I wanted them in the house but my family is insisting garage. Do you think they'll be okay? I was thinking either the main floor or the second level. The concrete may be cold hence the second level but the second level temperature fluctuates, it gets veryyyy hot in summer and veryyyy cold winter. I still have no clue what to use for the brooder either. We bought pine shavings today for the floor but I don't know how to contain them. Thinking a large kiddy pool or two with some sort of walls around the sides to contain them and protect from drafts. Or just some sort of fencing without the kiddy pool and linoleum on the floor or something.

    My dad seems to think that chickens smell awful and he doesn't want the barn (top of garage) smelling like a coop, etc. And.wanted them on the lower level because the concrete is easy to clean. But he said in a kiddy pool upstairs would be okay. He seems to think that we would just put the chicks directly on the garage floor lol
    -------------
    Put them on the bottom level. Easy to clean. Go to Dollar General and buy a tarp. Put it on the concrete floor and put the chips on top about 4-6 inches deep.
    It will help keep the concrete cleaner. Then you can bleach it when you are done. After the 42 chicks got too old for the brooders, I raised them in the garage on concrete. It worked well. If you do not have to worry about varmints getting to the chicks, go to the grocery and pick up one of those triple thick watermelon corrals. They are 15 sq. ft. put the tarp down and set the corral on it. add 4-6 inches f chips. make a chicken wire or hardware cloth top for it. Use duct tape and line the edges of the wire op so you don't scratch your arms when you lift it. Make a platform for each waterer and feeder and set them up high enough so the chicks don't kick chips into the waterer and feeder.
    There will probably be a hole at each corner down low. Cover them with something solid to prevent drafts. In this plan you would want heat coming down from the top, I think. If you have varmints around then you want to put the chicks in a plastic tub or a wooden box . There are lots of plans here on BYC and the folk on this thread also now how to make them.
    Best,
    Karen
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  3. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    Thank you so much for all your help!! The bleaching after is exactly what he wanted to do and it makes sense. I am thinking though that I may put a piece of cardboard or.blanket or something too as I'm paranoid about them being cold hah I never even thought of a watermelon thing though, that's a great idea. Unfortunately though I think we do have varmints. I'm not sure how many or whether it's a problem but I know we have mice out there. We are picking up pallets tomorrow for the coop and there are a ridiculous amount of them so I'm wondering if we could possibly pick up some extra ones and make a brooder out of it? Or with the spare wood in the garage.
     
  4. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    Posted a video of the garage amd some pictures of the pools in this thread i started.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1036083/brooder

    I should also clarify though that this kiddy pool is actually huge and not the typical tiny pool. I may still go with a pallet or hardware cloth idea but I think people may have been thinking it was a small pool.
     
  5. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Chicken Obsessed

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    Start them out in the coop unless you really just can't stand to not visit with the cute little fluffies ALL THE TIME (which is perfectly normal).

    You don't want chicks navigating the ramp. Can you make a removable 1/2" hardware cloth screen and put it in during the day with the big side door open? Then they can see the outside world and have light and fresh air. You might need to block off the nest boxes until they are big enough to get back in the coop part if they go/fall into the nest boxes. It won't take too long, my now 19 week old birds were flying up 2 feet at 2 weeks of age.

    Also, add more cleats to the ramp - 3" spacing even for adult birds. And elevate the end, it is pretty steep.

    I raised a dozen chicks in a bathtub in the house 3 years ago. They went outside to the coop when they were 3 weeks old and couldn't get back into the tub from the floor though they had no problem getting out.

    I have NO idea what this smelly mess thing is all about. Mess? Yes, you have to clean up often, they aren't dogs trained to go outside. The bathroom was HOT (due to the heat lamp) bit it didn't stinkl. I also have no idea about the chick dander or any of the other concerns. Dusting regular dust does nothing more that throw it back into the air so it can land somewhere else. I don't see where "chicken dust" is any different.

    The smell thing might have more to do with how many, in what size space, and how often it is cleaned.
     
  6. napdognewfie

    napdognewfie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well said. :)
     
  7. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    I thought I'd have a few months? :O they'll probably outgrow the brooder fast though and even if not, you're probably right that the coop will take longer. Especially since my dad's getting hip surgery the day they hatch and will probably be out a while so it really is probably more.limited time than I'm thinking though. But fortunately we're building it with pallets now so I think it will maybe take less time. We're going to pick up the pallets tomorrow after my dad's work so maybe we can start building this week. I forget though, is it possible to build entirely from pallet wood or will I have to use plywood on the floor?

    And that is true about calming his concerns about the smell (btw is it true?).

    And ahh, I was afraid of that. They used to hide dog food in the ski boots too lol and in fact, I'm glad you mentioned the mice again because I stuck my cat out there earlier today and I completely forgot she was out there!! Whoops!! I feel so dreadful! :O probably about time to bring her in haha unless I should leave her overnight to do some hunting?
     
  8. napdognewfie

    napdognewfie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Make sure she has water and a litter pan or it could get ugly. Lol
     
  9. gjamesi

    gjamesi Out Of The Brooder

    No problem , I guess you can't tell but that is a slip cover on the heating pad and that is what the press and seal is stuck to, It's replaceable.
    But I will be removing it before its next use.
    Thanks [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  10. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    Good point! I put her dry food out there (which probably defeats the purpose xD though she's been getting wet food lately so rarely eats it now anyway) but completely forgot water and litter box haha I ended up bringing her in though (and boy was she glad! And begging for another can) but tomorrow I may put her back out there or invest in some traps or a true barn cat or something.
     

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