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

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

  1. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    You could probably make the portals any time now. Open them when you are out there to supervise, and make sure they know how to use them to get back to safety. Watch them and the older chickens for signs of aggression. Oh and more fights happen around the food and water stations than anywhere else, so adding an extra one of each isn't a bad idea, either. I'll see if I can find @azygous since she introduced me to the portals and I haven't actually used them yet. All I did was prop their door open a bit so they could fit back into their pen but the Bigs couldn't follow, and I had some hiding places in the run in case the Bigs were between them and "home". My chicks were fully integrated by 4 weeks, so I started a little earlier. Good luck!
     
  2. BarredR

    BarredR Out Of The Brooder

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    From what I've read on reviews the sunbeam heat pad is not verry dependable for the price. Lots of reviews say it just stops working.
     
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I had one that I used to incubate several clutches of eggs, then to brood the chicks that were hatched in the last clutch...on almost continually for around three months. Right after that I used it and another, on continuously for 6 wks under my seedling trays. I used them both again this year for the same purpose of warming my seedlings...on this time for a couple of months without ever shutting off.

    I'm convinced they are the most reliable heating pads I've ever owned in my life...and I'm OLD. Very old. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015
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  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    We have had this come up before. As it turned out, the reviews were listed under the wrong heating pad. If you will go back to page 169 in this thread, we talk about it there.

    Like Bee, mine was on continuously for months with nary an issue. I've been very happy with it. And it's the pad used by just about everyone on the thread with no problems reported. I hope that helps!
     
  5. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    On the subject of when to allow chicks access to the rest of the coop or run. I open my portals from their safe pen right at three weeks. That seems to be the magic point where they are old enough to understand the risks involved in mingling with the adult chickens. Before that, baby chicks are more or less oblivious to the danger inherent in being around the big chickens.

    Don't worry. They are FAST! They can out maneuver and outrun the adults.
     
  6. RubyNala97

    RubyNala97 Overrun With Chickens

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    That's actually a good idea too. Instead of making a portal, I could just prop the divider up enough to let them get in and out. You guys are always giving me ideas and making this easy! Thanks!

    This is great to hear! I was thinking about that in the back of my head too. But I got the exact pad you guys recommended so, hoping it holds up!

    Ok, so it doesn't really matter how long the big guys have gotten to see the chicks? Even though my chicks are a little older, I just put them out last week. I'll wait till the weekend and try letting them out when I'll be out there to watch. Thanks for all the advice.
     
  7. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    There you are! I started to look for ya, but then got busy and forgot to keep looking! [​IMG]
     
  8. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Chicken Obsessed

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    Um, I would have started that a few days back since the chicks are coming tomorrow morning EARLY.

    But OK. Figure out what size you want the cave to be. I would choose something divisible by 2" and 4" since that is 2x4 wire fencing [​IMG] You got the big pad, right? The dimensions are (let me check) a convenient 12" x 24". You don't even need a measuring tape [​IMG] I think I would cut the wire 6 of the 4" wide openings and 9 of the 2". That will be a piece 18"x24" so they can have a 6" covered (with something other than the heating pad) porch out front of the heating pad area in the back. That will make more undercover space where they can choose the temperature they want.

    Cut using dykes (diagonal wire cutting pliers) if you have them because you can get close to the welds where the wires cross, less pokey stuff to tape. Stick the pad in an old pillowcase and strap it to the wire frame along the 24" side, this is the back. Bend it into shape with the pad underneath and place something on top (maybe an old towel) to help keep the heat in and the chick poop off the pad. If you have a few old towels, you can just swap them out and wash them as needed.

    As was said, the fussing will be around the food. I think it unlikely the older birds will take after the younger ones "just because". But where there is food to be had, all bets are off. My chickens are stupid about food. If I toss a handful of BOSS or scratch one direction, all the birds run to it. If I then toss some in the opposite ALL the stupid birds run to it, even the ones that have food right in front of them. That is when I've seen my older birds chase out the younger ones. So I just toss it everywhere and it works out. Penelope (a juve EE) was REALLY not into being chased around when it was scratch time and would hang by the barn door. I took to tossing a lot of scratch in front of the coop (it is a converted horse stall near the middle of the barn) and would talk to her quietly on my way out and surreptitiously drop some (like a Hogan's Hero character dropping dirt out of their pants legs from the tunnels they were digging) as I walked past her. Not only did she get some that way, the other birds didn't notice so they didn't rush her AND it kept her from running out of the barn when she should be in. Now she will come to me if I squat down and even eat the ornamental cherries out of my hand. The other EE juves won't do that. Guess she figured out the funky looking chicken is OK.

    Your younger ones will figure it out and find their place. Of course mine only had to squabble among themselves until they were 2 months old and the broody who raised them kicked them to the curb. Before that only 2 of the older birds were allowed to get near them. Even they had to prove themselves to Zorra. One became a "mother's aide" the other is a dufus and Zorra figured out she was just wandering around following her beak. BUT the juves had to integrate themselves with the older birds once Zorra's "brooding" switch went off. She and the "auntie" had kept them together and the other birds stayed away except at night when they went in the coop. The juves kept to their little pack (with Auntie in attendance for a few more weeks) but now they seem to be integrating a bit more during the day. I would say they are still only with other birds maybe 20% of the time though.
     
  9. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Chicken Obsessed

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    I went to bed 2 nights ago feeling fine, woke up at 4 AM for a bathroom trip and my lower back was KILLING me. Still bad at 6:30. Still bad today. I have been using my MHP for a purpose as yet unapproved by Blooie's Brooder Brigade. I have it between my back and a pillow on the couch [​IMG] I'm not using the "stay on feature" though. I'm sure it needs more testing by more people to scientifically determine effectiveness without undue side effects before it can be officially approved for this purpose [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015
  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Gosh, Bruce! First of all, thanks for answering the question about cutting the fencing. I saw it, had to scoot to rescue Kendra, and then didn't get back to answering it. <sigh> Old age. Sorry, KDOGG!

    Now, about that heating pad on your back. How big did you make your frame for it? Did you cover it with something? If you've done those two things, then the Broody Brigade approves the off-label use of said pad. Oh, and the Broody Brigade hopes that whatever happened to your back resolves very soon, mostly for your comfort but also because chick season will be here before we know it and you'll need that pad elsewhere! [​IMG]
     

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