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

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

  1. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    37,816
    12,108
    686
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    You could have the light installed and ready and use it during the day, especially the first few days.
    Adjust things per their behaviors.
     
  2. Traceaskew

    Traceaskew Out Of The Brooder

    90
    5
    48
    Nov 30, 2015
    Maryland
    Ok, question for you seasoned MHP users: how often do you turn down the heat? My chicks are a bit over 2 weeks and are still in my house because my coop is being delivered this weekend. I started them on 6 (I have the sunbeam heating pad) and they're now on 4. When I move them outside, it'll be pretty cold. 30s-40s in day, possibly 20s or below at night. Any ideas what temp I should set it at when I move them into the coop? And how often should I turn it down?

    They don't spend much time under it these days but it's 68 degrees in my house.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    37,816
    12,108
    686
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I'd be cracking the window open in the room to cool it down, or move the brooder to a colder room, to harden them off for going outside.

    That's a huge drastic change in ambient temp.
     
  4. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Chicken Obsessed

    5,071
    4,819
    401
    Apr 19, 2012
    NW Vermont
    Confusing. The only reference I find to a Sunbeam S85A is an electric blanket.
     
  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    13,436
    8,491
    506
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    I agree with hardening them off a bit. That's a pretty drastic change. Although I raise chicks outside from day one even in the teens and twenties, they haven't been in the house for a couple of weeks first - they are out immediately after a 24 hour observation period for shipping stress. When they go out, the pad is at 6 at first.

    As far as when to turn the heat down on your heating pad, that depends entirely on the chicks. There are no really hard and fast timelines with MHP - the chicks will let you know if they're too cold and they'll let you know when you can turn it down. I imagine at 2 weeks old they are still sleeping under it at night, or at least on top of it. I know that in the beginning, especially the first time folks use this, they look for a timetable on managing the heat, like they've learned from heat lamps - 95 the first week, 90 the second, etc. That doesn't apply with MHP. So I'd leave your pad at 4, with the chicks in a cooler room, and watch them, adjusting as necessary.

    Not the cut-and-dried answer you were looking for, I know, but this system is based on what the chicks need rather than a rigid formula.
     
  6. Traceaskew

    Traceaskew Out Of The Brooder

    90
    5
    48
    Nov 30, 2015
    Maryland
    Ok, thank you for the advice. I'll try moving them somewhere colder...maybe the garage? Or would it do, to put them on my deck for a couple hours a day?
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    37,816
    12,108
    686
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    The garage would be good...as long as your not running cars in there.
    Would be out of wind......you may have to harden them off from house to garage tho too....depends on ambient temps.

    Watch their behaviors for too cold.
     
  8. Traceaskew

    Traceaskew Out Of The Brooder

    90
    5
    48
    Nov 30, 2015
    Maryland

    When you say harden off, do you mean putting them out there for short periods of time at first? And when I do that, should the heating pad be on the highest setting?
     
  9. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    11,158
    4,971
    501
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    "Hardening off" is the same as acclimating. You want to keep a heat source while choosing to place the chicks in a cooler environment such as your garage or outdoors. Then you gradually reduce the amount of heat by judging their heat needs by their behavior.

    As chicks feather out, their heat needs decrease, and you'll be able to see them spending less time under the heat lamp or inside a heating pad cave. That's your cue to use a smaller wattage bulb in the lamp or reduce the setting on the heat pad.

    It's not an exact science, lots of leeway in temp control, and you can't really go wrong as long as you watch what the chicks are doing in regard to their heat source.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    37,816
    12,108
    686
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Exactly...thanks azy.

    Keeping the chicks in cooler temps from the get go helps them feather out faster and tolerate cooler temps.
    When going from brooder in the house to garage to coop at a few weeks old, it's a little trickier.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by