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

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

  1. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Sad to say I live on a NO CHICKEN island....

    But because of the fear of disease I WILL be incubating and hatching my own. My plan is to start with. Sumatras because they are broody fools. they are considered game birds but they get along well with a high percentage of roos.

    Then I will incubate and hatch guinea Fowl. I will be starting with, Jumbo Guineas, then following up with Royal purple, Lavenders, and If I can find some here in the US some Cinamons, My thoughts will be to boost the size of the various colors with the Jumbos. We will see.

    Then next I want a small flock each of: Wellsummers, Creme Legbars (super blue), OR Ameracaunas. four hens and a roo each.

    I will have the potiential for six partitions in my poultry house. And the ability to add on to it 6 by 24 feet at a time.

    Then there WILL be ducks. Muscovy for meat and Runners for eggs.

    Until I get the flock stabilized there will always be little uns to brood up.

    But not at Grandmas house.

    deb
     
  2. Wild Child

    Wild Child Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This threads really given me a good idea of how I'm going to raise my chicks!
     
  3. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    The chicks are turning 6 weeks old on Monday and have been in the garage since 3 weeks. We got a copp kit from TSC last week on Black Friday and set it up and they've been out a couple days since, not quite every day. They love being outside but still come in every night as it's less secure than it looked plus my brothers put part of the run on backwards so the run's roof (it has one panel that opens) has nothing to latch to lol we're getting the hardware soon to set up the dog kennel though. Anyway, MHP is still on 4 and I guess my question is when should I turn it down? I had it on 6 very briefly when they were in the house until I was informed that was way too high then it was on 3 and when they moved on 4 because it was colder. When they were inside some had runny poop but when they moved out it seemed to stop, I guess cause it was colder. Well today I just noticed it started again. Don't know how long but I don't think it's been long. I assume this means it is once again too hot? They usually don't go under and rather roost on top but when I go out in the morning I notice a couple do still like to be under. I am debating turning it off or down though because tonight is very cold but when outside during the day they do not seem cold. Also they seem to constantly roll the towel backwards lately. Past two days it's been back when i check on them.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Here's my notes on chick heat, hope something in there might help:
    They need to be pretty warm(~85-90F on the brooder floor right under the lamp and 10-20 degrees cooler at the other end of brooder) for the first day or two, especially if they have been shipped, until they get to eating, drinking and moving around well. But after that it's best to keep them as cool as possible for optimal feather growth and quicker integration to outside temps. A lot of chick illnesses are attributed to too warm of a brooder. I do think it's a good idea to use a thermometer on the floor of the brooder to check the temps, especially when new at brooding, later i still use it but more out of curiosity than need.

    The best indicator of heat levels is to watch their behavior:
    If they are huddled/piled up right under the lamp and cheeping very loudly, they are too cold.
    If they are spread out on the absolute edges of the brooder as far from the lamp as possible, panting and/or cheeping very loudly, they are too hot.
    If they sleep around the edge of the lamp calmly just next to each other and spend time running all around the brooder they are juuuust right!

    The lamp is best at one end of the brooder with food/water at the other cooler end of the brooder, so they can get away from the heat or be under it as needed. Wattage of 'heat' bulb depends on size of brooder and ambient temperature of room brooder is in. Regular incandescent bulbs can be used, you might not need a 'heat bulb'. You can get red colored incandescent bulbs at a reptile supply source. A dimmer extension cord is an excellent way to adjust the output of the bulb to change the heat without changing the height of the lamp.


    Or you could go with a heat plate, commercially made or DIY: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/pseudo-brooder-heater-plate
     
  5. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    Thank you very much for the notes! They all seem to be perfectly content, not hot or cold, but I only check on them once or twice lately so I don't know. But I try to take them outside as much as possible and then I can watch them without having to actually go out there since the coop is right off the back deck amd hopefully they will soon be out there permanently one we get the hardware. They don't seem cold and run all over the place just being chickens. Though they do pile on top of each other for a dust bathe xD but so it should be as cold as possible now that they're older is what I'm getting? So I should turn it down then? I may try 3 or 2 but even 4 doesn't seem to make it too toasty under there. How old is old enough to take it out completely? I know I read somewhere that around 4 weeks you can start adding low roosts but I wasn't sure if that meant no heat. Outside the coop has indoor and outdoor roosts and they never go inside but the outdoor roosts are fairly high up and they fly straight up. I may lower them though as only a few fly up. I wonder if it could also be stress though from catching them every day to bring them out and back in? Hopefully soon they can stay out there permanently. Today though they were piled in a corner under the coop rather than going in
     
  6. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

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    Oh and pretty soon I'll probably be needing to get rid of MHP but I loved that idea above with the 2x4s and hardware cloth. Usually with that plate thing it's a shelf from an oven. Next chicks I may try that.
     
  7. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Sing Brightly Premium Member Project Manager

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    Wow. Just wow. I came over here from the incubating w\ friends thread, where everybody has been "egging" me to inubate now, but I was worried about the temps if I had a hatch in mid january! Would the heating pad support young chicks in - 20 temps? Or would they need to be inside, or in a bin with a heatlamp as well and more heating pads?? I'm very interested in this method!
     
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I can think of no good earthly reason to be hatching in January...it's just unnatural. When you go outside of what is natural for birds it leads to all sorts of issues and one of those is worry about little babies trying to survive in temps that severe. Not many babies at all being born at that time of year out in the wild unless they are denned up with their mamas underground.

    I'd not try to brood any chick outside in -20, be it with lamps or HPB. I'm sure folks have done it and do it all the time but why in the world would anyone go to those lengths to get a chicken?
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I would strongly advise against it....especially with an artificial heat source out in the coop in those kind of temps.
    I let a broody hatch out last winter with lows in the negative F's, and the chicks survived just fine....but....I would not do it again.
    There may have been some slight frost bite damage to their feet, and I kept a very close eye on them...but there was little margin for error and feeI was just lucky.
     
  10. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Sing Brightly Premium Member Project Manager

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    Oh don't worry, I'm not going to be hatching in january anyway. Even if I did, I would keep them in the house for a month at least!
    I was just curious to see how much this method works.
    Anyway, even if I was planning, it would take me until around the end of January to build a bator, if I tested for a week and started mid febuary, hatched mid march, then they would go outside mid april.
    The -20 question was kinda null and void, now that I did my math properly... I mis-calculated, sorry..


     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015

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