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

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

  1. Traceaskew

    Traceaskew Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for all the help...I wish there was a set of instructions so I knew exactly how to do it LOL. I guess I'm going to have to just watch them!

    My next batch coming on Jan 12, I'll get out there sooner!
     
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    There is if you "read" the right manual. [​IMG] How many baby birds do you see out there in the middle of January? None, I'm guessing. Raising chicks during the right season takes a lot of the stress out of the equation.

    That's something you can put down in your learning curve manual as you start your own set of instructions, because those instructions will be stored in your own head and developed there over time as you gain experience.

    1) For easier chick care, choose the time of year when baby birds are normally being born to stage your own mothering of chicks. Makes things easier.

    2) If they are going to be living outside, raise them there from day one, regardless of how cool the temps may be in early spring at night. The sooner they are outdoors, the sooner they start developing the coat for being there. I take mine straight from the incubator~after they are fully dried~out to a real mom or a heating pad mama. No babying them indoors even for 24 hrs. Doesn't happen in the real setting and shouldn't happen in a fake one. If that means you go out and check them often, then so be it....takes work to have healthy animals and this is no different.

    3) Get living quarters established well before you ever order a single chick. That one should probably be rule #1 and bears repeating over and over and over.

    4) Watch the chicks for signs of comfort when managing the heat/brooder...never go by the 5* turn down each week. Each situation is individual and each group of birds are too, so no set temps are considered the rule of thumb.

    5) If you can, it helps to place new chicks under the HP brooder in darkness...they will stay put under there better and won't come out until first light. That gives them several hours to get warmed, get used to that source as their "mama" and they will pop out of there in the morning ready to explore but they will scoot right back in there as soon as they feel a little chilled. You'll be amazed at just how long they can stay out.

    6, 10, 17, 24) Have fun, don't stress it. Just insert this one in the appropriate places as you make your list of instructions. This is supposed to be easy and fun and it can be if one mimics nature as much as possible. It's when we stray far from how God designed this chick brooding to be is when things get complicated and stressful. Stay close to the original design and things stay fun, are much less work and virtually stress free.
     
  3. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Chicken Obsessed

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    Those ARE the instructions [​IMG]

    They are the same instructions you will find for using a heat lamp though those usually include a "do this or your chicks will die" schedule of 95F for a week, 90F for a week, 85F for a week THEN the part about if they are staying away from the bulb they are too hot and if they are huddled under it they are too cold. But in a confined space the WHOLE space will be 95F and there is nowhere for them to get away if they are too hot.

    Assuming you haven't read every one of the 2,200+ posts (what DID you start Blooie? [​IMG] ) in this thread, I will repeat:
    Mine were under the MHP for only 2 days and 1 night before I got them under a broody out in coop. This was early June, the night time temps got into the 50's, daytime in the 60's or higher. There was NO 95F nor even 80F.

    [​IMG]

    They spent more of their day time out than under the broody at 4 days old. 95F required 24x7 my [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    "foraging" at 8 days:

    [​IMG]

    Not under or on the hen, not in anything remotely approaching 90F and running around like chicks should!
     
  4. Traceaskew

    Traceaskew Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for such a thoughtful reply! Yes, I know I broke a few rules :) I got chicks in winter to maximize egg laying this summer, and my coop builder was unfortunately in an accident mid build so it delayed things. I totally agree with everything you're saying, and I'm sure I will look back on this with some cringing when I have more experience :)

    Any advice on how long of a time to keep them in a colder place before the coop? A few hours a day for a week? Thanks again for all the help!
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Traceaskew

    Traceaskew Out Of The Brooder

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    Im crazy enough that I actually have read this whole thread! :) I've learned so much from everyone on here and I'm so grateful this site exists!
     
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    I'd close off a room in the house of any heat if you can and start there. But, if you can't, just move their whole setup to the garage, put your HP on high and monitor how they go. They have a heat source and will acclimate. At least you can watch over them in the garage as they adjust to colder temps.
     
  7. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Chicken Obsessed

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    Good for you! Often one reads a post (not specifically here) that says "I didn't read all the posts" and asks a question that was answered as the topic of the FIRST post or in one soon after. Or like over in the coop thread, you will see people posting their coops, lots of effort went into them and they used chicken wire even though you would likely have a hard time finding a single page on that thread that does not admonish: "chicken wire will not keep predators out, use 1/2" hardware cloth." [​IMG]
     
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    I agree! And also nice to not take offense when someone gives you advice....that happens a lot on here. Folks ask for it then gets mad when you give it. Never have figured that one out.
     
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  9. Traceaskew

    Traceaskew Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok so I just put the brooder in the garage, turned their heating pad up to 6. They happily stayed eating and drinking for a while and then moved under MHP. They're not huddled and they're peeping the normal sound they make when they're just walking around (when they were in the house.) if they were too cold, would they be doing that distress peep?
     
  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Yep, they would. You're going to be nervous as a cat in a room full of rockers for a bit, but let your calm head and your common sense take over. Common sense is your best friend when you are making a change like this - listening to your chicks, checking on them periodically, and letting them do the rest is your best bet!

    You've got this, Trace!
     

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