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

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

  1. Fire Ant Farm

    Fire Ant Farm Get off my lawn Premium Member

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    If you do it in mostly dark, they may be sleepy enough not to move out. When I moved mine (5) I was able to move all together in a single pile, and I blocked them from running out for a minute. Once they got over the disorientation of being moved, they were happier under the heat and stayed there.... If your hands are bigger than mine, you may be able to do 8... [​IMG]

    (If they won't stay under, I'd leave them alone and hope for the best...)[​IMG]

    - Ant Farm
     
  2. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    I think my problem is I always go out with the bright flashlight because I can't see and don't want to step on them and then they struggle so much and take so long they all wake up and become aware. I gotta find a better way. The other problem is I was holding the flashlight (on my phone) and couldn't block because I wouldn't be able to see (didn't wanna set it down in poo) and right when i realized I could set it on the wall the battery got too low and the flashlight shut off lol anyway, I did FINALLY manage to get them all under and stay long enough for me to leave and quickly throw screen back over top (didn't wanna spend long perfecting it and wake them back up) but as i eas typing phone.died then i showered, ate, etc. Etc. So yeah, sorry for not.coming back xD once under some started making a bit of noise but i think happy noises. I also turned it up to 4 as it was on 3 apparently and not very warm. I almost turned it to 5, and did for a second, but figured it was too high. It just doesn't feel toasty but oh well, guess they can always touch it. Anyway, hopefully they all stay under tonight or.climb on top as a few tried to do. I think part of the problem was the group mentality thing and like, all my friends are out there so I gotta escape but then once everyone was in it was less scary I think and they realized it was toasty
     
  3. Fire Ant Farm

    Fire Ant Farm Get off my lawn Premium Member

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    Yup - exactly. If I tried one by one, it was like "where are my friends?!", all together and they settled down.

    Funny - mine (now pretty well feathered except heads) have refused to sleep anywhere near it for weeks, but they love to hang out under it during the day... (When it's warmer...) Go figure. I can't quite move them outside yet (housing wise and not quite fully feathered yet), but soon...

    - Ant Farm
     
  4. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    Yeah, they freaked being put in individually but once all in or mostly all in they started to calm down and I think they liked it better.

    But yeah, mine have taken to roosting on top. When I put the actual frame in they were good about going under but then they grew even more. I did notice though one rainy cold day last week they were under it during the day. It is funny how they like it during the day. But yeah, mine are in the garage now so not fully outside but I suppose just as cold or colder. They were in the bathroom but my dad came home today (hip replacement then they broke thigh so diff doc fixed it, been in hospital then rehab a few weeks) so they had to move out. I put somewhat insulation down though. Not real insulation but insulated from the floor. Several contractors bags, thick blanket, more bags on top, cardboard, then the shavings so not so bad. I'm hoping to make them a little pen too for even more room as they don't have a ton of space still. Would cut chicken door. Also hoping to take them outside. They've been too cramped so I can't wait to see them truly happy and able to stretch their wings. And run around. They can stretch fine here and floor space but not much room for running
     
  5. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    So yesterday and today I started letting them eat for a while (big light on all day so stays on) then hanging a flashlight for one hour and sure enough, all are asleep. Last night I checked the timer and went out with 13 minutes left and all but 3 were under and one of those 3 went under while I was out there so I just left the flashlight on and came back at the end of the 13 minutes (well i think a couple minutes after it went off) and sure enough, all others were asleep. Last night I did it at 6:45, lights off 1 hour later. today i just turned it off because my mom had turned it off before so got it all messed up and I gave them time to eat. will start 6:30 from now on or same time. Then would like them to get on actual sun time but at least they know to go to bed when it gets dark. Much better and farrrrr less stressful than chasing them around and catching them and putting them under. Here I just thought they didn't want to go under but apparently I simply wasn't giving them enough time to and/or bathroom was too hot and/or wasn't high enough (I also raised it up when they moved out as they've grown). So glad. They're all so cute. They all tuck under. EEs tend to take the longest lol
     
  6. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    I did have to stuff them all under the first night out though as they were piled in a corner but now they have been going under. This is their third night out there. I really like the hanging the flashlight and giving them an hour "sunset" thing, it seems to really work
     
  7. Fire Ant Farm

    Fire Ant Farm Get off my lawn Premium Member

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    Yeah, I got the idea because of how impressed I was at my older chickens putting themselves to bed outside within about a minute of official sunset time. I figured if they are indoors and I have to artificially light their living space, I should give them the same cues to prepare them for life outside. Works well. I'm also working mine toward true sunset time, though sometimes I drop the ball (e.g., this evening I went to the feed store and got stuck in traffic - their "sunset" time just started, about 2 hours later than I would have liked. Oh well...)

    - Ant Farm
     
  8. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    Yeah, I'm hoping they keep this up. It really is amazing. I figure they should get the same cues too. First few weeks i just turned it off or stuck them under. Really messed them up I think. Never even thought of a sunset time. But now it's colder out there so they all go under. It really is amazing. Some fight it and need the.full hour but so far by the time the hour is up, they are all under and I am sure they will become even faster at it. I would like true sunset but I worry it's too early. I get up fairly late though (lately between 9:30 and 10 or 10:30 but used to be noon, i don't stay up as late now.) but thinking of waking up early so I have the full day to do stuff with or for them then put them to bed. I'm making a pen and.cutting a door in the cardboard so they can go out and stretch their wings, still in the garage but a bit more room. Also gonna start outdoor time. Gave them grit tonight. They're starting to scratch and stuff and have been. Also dust bathing in the grit. It really is amazing how they just instinctually know this stuff even though they have never had a mother to teach them. Need to get working on building the coop though. Anyway, yeah, I was a little late tonight too
     
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    It's so hard to believe that it was just a year ago we were fighting to keep Scout going from day to day. And it was just a year ago that I put him under our first Mama Heating Pad.

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    How much has changed since then! Scout's gone now, but out in the coop are 12 Littles and 8 Tinys, all raised outside under MHP, and all strong, healthy, and many of them are laying, even though the days are cold and the nights are long. So many of you have embraced MHP as a more natural way to raise chicks, and word has spread, thanks to all of you. Beekissed, aart, Patrice Lopatin.....all inspiring and all pioneers.....I am so grateful to you.

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    I've changed a few things since Scout was first tucked under MHP, and since I started this thread. I've simplified the system from towels covered with Press'nSeal to just whatever I had on hand tossed over the pad under the straw. I've relaxed - I'm not checking on them constantly. I let them do their learning by watching the older chickens in the run with them, and quit fretting about a degree here and a degree there. I let them get through their first night, and every night thereafter, without disturbing the sleep they need to grow and thrive. And I enjoyed them - every minute of them - from then until now. Thanks, Scout!
     
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  10. Lavender11

    Lavender11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Our chicks are nearly 3 weeks old. They are doing so well with their heating pad and have so many feathers now. Every time I open the door to their cage they try to get out so today I let them. They're so quick I didn't think I could cope with all nine out so when the first one jumped out I shut the door. They were so upset they weren't all together and the one that was out didn't go more that 10cm away from the cage so I opened it again and it hopped straight back in. I think at the most four came out but they stayed really close to the cage. So much for being eager to get out and go exploring. Being near the end of spring here I think they'll do well getting out on the grass for a little while on nice days so I'm tossing up between letting them go in the bottom of their coop or getting one of those covered pet pens, just on nice days though. I don't have power outside and while I don't worry too much about running an extension cord out the back door under the protective cover of the pergola area I do feel uncomfortable running one out in the unprotected yard so I can't have their heating pad in their coop.
     

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