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

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

  1. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    Pillow case was getting very dirty very fast and was gross so I finally swapped it out when I changed their shavings today. Decided to just do away with the pillow case thing completely and instead put the pad directly on the wire frame and then put the towel on top of the pad so I can just pull the towel out and put a new one in easier when it gets gross. I think it's a better plan. But I really haven't adjusted anything else this week, besides making the food and water higher. They're all very very active though so def. Need more room so should be moving out tomorrow now that a bigger space is finally cleared and fence almost done. :) today poured rain all day which kind of stunk and chicks were all under MHP both times I checked but then when I came in they came out and stayed out so were out most of the day and now are in bed. They're very cute. And they're starting to go to bed on their own now, though tonight I had to put them under, to their dismay. Last night their food was empty when I checked (it had food earlier but we had gone out briefly and they ate it) so they were cheeping very loudly and I went upstairs to check on them, thinking they were either stuck or didn't know how to get under so turned light on and all were awake and on top of MHP, not even huddled. I figured they were cold until I noticed the empty food. So I refilled it and they all ran over and chowed it down (poor things, first time I've let it get empty, didn't notice) and then I watchrc part of a show with my mom, went back to check on them, thinking they would still be eating (normally when light is on, they wake up) and I look and all are under MHP. Thought I lost them but it was total silence and then I saw a head and knew they were under there. it was so cute, my mom said they're just like a little baby, eat (well she said they want a bottle, the baby not chicks) then they just go right to sleep and it is so true. And I have since taken to checking the food and water every time I go up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
  2. kzas

    kzas Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, all! Haven't posted in a few weeks (chicks + 2 weimaraners +husband + full time job = one busy girl) Anyways, we're in a bit of a panic here. Our chicks have been doing well, but 99% of the time just hang out on top. They're 4 weeks old and have been outside since day 1 so they're pretty well feathered. Tonight, we went to do our nighttime check and they were all piled up in the corner! [​IMG]They are acting like they are trying to get warm, but it's 50 degrees in the coop with MHP available- we tried to give them some encouragement to go in but we got SCOLDED. As soon as we leave, they pile up in the corner. They had been loose in the coop for a few days, so we tried putting the little walls back up to keep them closer to MHP and away from corners. Now they are just all piled against the wall. UGH. Chicks.

    It's thunder storming here- is this throwing them off or are they just trying to be a pain in my butt & make me miss my yoga class?[​IMG]
     
  3. Fire Ant Farm

    Fire Ant Farm Get off my lawn Premium Member

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    OK, so I have a brooder panel, not a MHP (bought it before hearing of this), but all three of my batches of chicks this year preferred to bunch up in a pile on their own for comfort and abandoned heat much earlier than I expected. One batch was large enough (20+), and the ambient temp was warm enough, that I let them be. Current batch of Speckled Sussex is only 5. At about a week old, they started finding a corner to sleep in a pile, rather than under the panel. It was chilly enough where the brooder was that I would move them all to under the panel - they were so piled up I could pick all five up as a little group. Once moved, if it was dark, they slept under it, sometimes half under it (I was afraid they'd get chilled overnight and not be able to find it, which is why I moved them). But at 2.5 to 3 weeks, I just started leaving them alone. It's been chillier lately, so I find them under it during the day some days - they know where it is when they need it. I bet your chicks are just fine. I think they get comfort from sleeping together independent of heat. My 9 week old Naked Necks took an afternoon nap in the corner of their tractor today in a giant pile (and it was 85F) - they just like cuddling.

    Just my opinion - they're probably fine.

    - Ant Farm
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    I also found that mine, (summer chicks) left the cave in favor of a corner pig pile at around 3 weeks. Then, even when they were pig piling at night, they'd run under it for a bit during the day, especially if it was a gloomy day. After a week, IMO, just let them self regulate. I was concerned, but stuck my hand in the middle of the pig pile, and it was toasty warm.
     
  5. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    Mine used to roost on top but then since I put the wire frame in they've been good about going under. Today they were under it a lot during the day because it was pouring rain all day today. Last night they went on their own. Tonight I had to put them under though, much to their dismay. I attribute the problem though due to me rather than them. They are in the bathroom and I don't always turn the light on and off at the same time and tend to just stuff them under then turn it off fast so they don't really have a set bedtime, though I try to go around the same or similar time. I am hoping to move them to the garage though and then they will have more room and.more natural light so no need for the light. They've gotten used to the light though so sometimes are lazy and won't wake up unless i turn it on, especially during the rain ha
     
  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Mine were about the same age when they started exhibiting the same behavior. If you think about it, the reason behind this system is to mimic as closely as possible a broody hen. At this age and size the chicks would no longer fit to bed down under her, and with feathering of their own it would get plenty warm under her anyway. About now she'd be showing them how to roost, and it's likely that many of them would prefer to just huddle together rather than get up there. So it sounds to me like they are doing just fine. :D
     
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  7. Fire Ant Farm

    Fire Ant Farm Get off my lawn Premium Member

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    Oh I have this light issue as well. They have more light than normal day length while growing in the brooder in my mud room, and I have multiple lights on - I turn the brightest one off when I want them to start thinking about going to bed (but the others are still on so they can still see well enough to settle in and not freak out too badly about bedtime). Eventually they make their little chick pile and I shut the other lights off. But I'm bad about timing it regularly (the timer I have doesn't work well). I really should just put it on an alarm and always do it at exactly the same time (I think I'll do that right now). I will wean them toward the shorter day length in the week or two before they go outside...

    (They do begin to wake up when it gets light out even if I forget to turn the light on first thing in the morning - they're always up before me, even when I'm up before dawn.)

    - Ant Farm
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
  8. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    Unfortunately there is only one light in that bathroom on one switch but someone suggested to me to get a lamp and move it further away. I might try something like that. I tried the other night though and after I turned the big light off they just got used to the lamp and stayed up haha i think i waited too long to go back and.turn it off though. But yeah, I might try the multiple lights thing. I try to turn the hall light off but the door is shut so they really don't notice lol
     
  9. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    But oh yeah, mine are usually up well before me too
     
  10. Fire Ant Farm

    Fire Ant Farm Get off my lawn Premium Member

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    That is actually what I did, I had a dim table lamp (that I didn't mind getting covered in chick dander!) and I light it and then turn off the main light. It gives the room a "dusk" level of lighting. I go away for a while (like, an hour or so), and when I come back, they've put themselves to bed... And then I turn off the dim lamp (yes, they'll sometimes stay up if I leave the dim lamp lit all night). BTW, my Speckled Sussex (the ones I'm talking about now) are 4 weeks tomorrow.

    - Ant Farm
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015

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