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

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

  1. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Thanks for sharing your wisdom of the natural order of broodydom!!
     
  2. chonsey

    chonsey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Found out my Sunbeam heating blanket was made specifically for a one tie deal QVC sale.
     
  3. chonsey

    chonsey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Photo of my mini brooder with small heating pad. Its about @40 deg f. Will be setting up the large heating pad in the big pen(barn)before the Alberta clipper sends subzero temps.
     
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  4. Traceaskew

    Traceaskew Out Of The Brooder

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    Great info, thank you! They've been in the garage for a few days and nights now and are still doing great. I noticed them sleeping on top last couple of nights, so I turned it down a notch. I was going to put them in the coop with the heating pad tomorrow but I just read it could get down to 18 degrees as a low tomorrow night. Anyone have any thoughts? Lol I'm so nervous to put them out there!
     
  5. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    With the heating pad, they should be fine. Just turn it all the way up to the highest setting.
     
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  6. BayBj

    BayBj Out Of The Brooder

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    That is smart and not expensive to do!
     
  7. Binkydl

    Binkydl Out Of The Brooder

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    In the inspiration video posted on the first page of this thread, the woman appears to be using two heating pads. One for the floor and one for the top. Has anyone tried this? Is 6 too hot for them to lay upon all night?
     
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Hi!
    If you're referring to Patrice Lopatin's video where she raising the chicks in a "part greenhouse, part chicken pen", you have very good eyes! There are indeed two heating pad cords visible in the video. But what she has done, because she has lots of chicks as well as some bigger turkey poults in there, is make her cave longer. She's butted two pads end to end, then covered them with the straw. Other than that video I don't see another that shows two pads. I only use one pad.

    Having a pad on the floor and another over them would be entirely too hot. You want to replicate a broody hen as closely as possible with this system, and when she's taking care of chicks she covers them for warmth. The key is to make your frame taller in the front than in the back, and in the beginning keep it as close to the chicks' backs as possible. The pad and their body warmth will warm up the surface they are laying on quite nicely. I raise chicks outdoors in the run using this method and haven't lost a chick or had a sick one yet. Her's a link to how I do that.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors

    I'm so sold on this method, and so are many others! I hope you will consider it for raising your chicks when the time comes. And you know, if you decide that it's just not for you, that's okay too! If there was only one way to raise chickens, this entire web site could be read in half an hour! [​IMG]
     
  9. Binkydl

    Binkydl Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote: Thanks for the reply. So I did a test run of my brooder empty. My husband put in two digital thermometers. I can't get to 95 degrees in my mudroom (in rainy San Diego) with a sole heating pad on top. I'm wondering since some people use reptile warmers on the bottom with lights on top if a lower temp heating pad on the bottom will get me there. Or should I not worry about the temps too much as long as the mudroom's screen door is covered. I'd love your opinion.

    Has anyone else measured the temperatures or is that just too fussy? I can appreciate wanting the strong to survive but I'm a first time worried, helicopter, mom. ;-)

    Thank you! -B.
     
  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I don't worry about what a thermometer says - I go by the chicks themselves. If they're cheeping a distressed sounding cheep and piling up, I know I need to either lower the frame a bit or turn up the heat a bit. If they are running all over the place, eating, drinking, and pooping, they are just fine.

    Very early in the thread, @azygous wondered about the temperature under the pad. So I rigged up a wireless digital thermometer in there. The room the chicks were in was 69 degrees. Under Mama Heating Pad it was 82.5. The chicks were quiet, content, and thriving. So that conventional temperature chart can go right out the window with this system. You aren't heating the entire area - just the little area under the pad, just like with a Mama Hen. If they get chilly, they pop underneath or on top. The rest of the time they are out exploring, learning, and feathering out well due to the fact that they are exposed to varying temps, like naturally raised chicks. If you've ever seen a broody with her chicks, they actually spend very little time directly under her, even in freezing temps. If you have yours reading 92 right now, and figuring that their own combined body heat will raise that a bit more, you could actually come down a bit on the temperature.

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