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

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

  1. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to the MHP thread!

    I looked that up, it HAS a 2 hour auto off and NO way to override it. Plan to be up every 2 hours for 3-4 weeks or get one that has the "stay on" feature like the Xpressheat:
    http://www.sunbeam.com/sunbeam-site...wvar_002013-511-MASTER_color=burgundy#start=1

    This is one of the reviews:

    "2 hour auto off is a must
    My active kid's many sports activity leaves him with sore muscles quite often. This heating pad helps with that and it's so relaxing that he likes to fall asleep to it. Thank goodness for the auto off feature so that I'm not worried about it."
     
  2. Molpet

    Molpet Overrun With Chickens

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    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
  3. COChix

    COChix Overrun With Chickens

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    Hola folks, been awhile since I posted. I am going to be gearing up for some hatching next month and had a question for all of you that never have your birds in the house. How do you do that? I guess my question is after they hatch how soon until you have them outside. I know everyone is different and has different systems. Blooie, I know you have your birds outside, so maybe you can walk me through the first couple days if their life. I am sure you have a day or two where you observe them before kicking them out into the cold world ? ;)

    I will be setting up my heat pad brooder outside and I am hoping not to have them in the house at all, if possible. Last year I got my heat pad brooder set up around day 7 and was able to move them outside then, thanks to Blooie and others on this awesome thread.
     
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    @aart uses her heating pad flat on an oven rack and it has worked very well for her. I prefer to use a frame because I like the arch in it - brings the pad all the way down the sides as well as across the top. I have chicks who like to snuggle along the sides of it, too. I also like it because it is dark under there, like Mama Hen. There really isn't a wrong way - folks are using it like @aart and others use it like me and get equally good results.

    I just use a bit of fence formed into an arch for the frame. I can raise it, or just smoosh it down closer to the chicks if they need more warmth. For the first few days, they like that heat right at their backs. Yep, chicks can get caught in the wires, although having raised Scout and three batches of chicks I've never had it happen. I think @azygous did have that happen, but honestly with so many wonderful folks using this sometimes the names sorta blur together. @Beekissed puts the heating pad on the INSIDE of the frame and holds it in place with bungee cords - I think @lazy gardener does that too. I do use the Press 'n Seal over the towel if they are in the house for fast and easy cleaning, but when I'm raising the chicks outside I discovered that was just too much work. The beauty of this system is it's total simplicity and I can't see complicating it, so outside now I just wrap the heating pad in an old pillowcase, drape the wrapped heating pad over the frame and then pile the straw over top, around,and under it. I can't remember what page it is but there are pictures of Bee's set up with the heating pad inside the frame. I'll see if I can find it and then edit this post with a link.

    I've never used puppy pads but others have. So I can't answer your question about that. Somebody said they tried them and their chicks pecked it apart, but again I can't remember who. Most folks haven't had any complaints. Me, well, if the chicks are inside on pine shavings I just cover it with paper towels until they learn where their food is so that they aren't trying to eat the shavings. I also use large flake shavings as they are a little less likely to eat 'em. You do have to remember that I no longer keep any chicks in the house past their 24 hour arrival/inspection time. I keep them in the first day to make sure they know how to eat and drink, and that none are suffering from shipping stress, then they go out to the run into their pen.

    On the second page of the thread there is a link to the correct heating pad.

    http://www.amazon.com/Sunbeam-2013-...kmr1&keywords=Sunbeam+x-tra+large+heating+pad

    I found the same one in the smaller size at Walmart. Make sure you look on the box and see that it has a "stay on" function - a setting that you can switch on so the pad doesn't go off every couple of hours. And just recently @henless found a Sunbeam heating pad that can not only stay on, it can turn itself back on in the event of a power outage - I'll be looking into that one! Here's that link:
    http://www.sunbeam.com/pain-relief/...ology-blue/000771-810-000.html#sz=12&start=18

    She tested that "turn back on" function and it worked perfectly.

    There are no real "instructions" for how to do this....just use your common sense and you'll be fine. The beginning pages of the thread are loaded with photos and videos and those will help a lot. Some of the things that have been used for frames are less successful. You won't run into that if you just remember that the chicks need the heat close to their backs that first week or so and use something without a super high arch.


    Remember everyone, that your dues to the Broody Brigade are due when you get your chicks! Those dues are photos....but we do accept videos too!


    As promised, here is the page of the thread with Beekissed's heating pad setup on it!

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/956958/mama-heating-pad-in-the-brooder-picture-heavy-update/450
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Welcome home, CO! Just delighted that you like this system enough to come back and use it again! Yep, I raise my chicks outside and I'm glad of it! No dust, no 24/7 noise.....just peace. The first 24 hours I keep shipped chicks inside just to watch for eating, drinking, and shipping stress, then out they go. The same will apply to my hatched chicks this spring, just to make sure everyone has recovered from the hatch and none have any problems. Chicks I've picked up locally go right out into the run when I get out of the car. They've already been eating and drinking at the feed store, and I sure don't fall for that, "Oh, he was the tiniest one and he looked so sad I just had to get him" syndrome. If they aren't running around like crazy in the bin, clear eyed and hitting the food and water, then some other kind soul can take pity on the weak ones and bring them home. I don't want to sound mean, but I have to be practical and understand that not every chick is destined to be saved, and I'd rather bring home the healthiest ones I can.

    You really don't need any guidance - you've got this down! I know everyone gets tired of hearing this, but common sense is your best friend. I know you've read my article on raising chicks outdoors, so maybe a quick refresher there is all you need. Put them out when YOU'RE comfortable doing so...you know them better than I do. @Ridgerunner puts them out as soon as they are dry and moving well, using a heat lamp out there and it's quite a nice setup!! Me, I just hate heat lamps, period! I think @Beekissed used to put out hers out really quick too, but she much prefers using a broody (and hers are very cooperative!) so she mostly raises chicks that way.
     
  6. Molpet

    Molpet Overrun With Chickens

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    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
  7. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] from San diego..... Love Love Love your user ID.... [​IMG]
     
  8. jmdes

    jmdes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks so much for this thread! I want to try the heating pad method this time. It seems to be such a great idea. I also want to set up the brooder inside a cage, inside the main coop, so that the adult birds can acclimate to the babies (and viceversa) more easily. I love that the red light isn't blasting onto them 24/7... I'm not crazy about spending $36 to buy a new heating pad ( I am SO frugal, aka-CHEAP). hahaha But, I think I want to try this.

    Now I need to convince my hubby to build the cage, and also the frame for the heating pad. Wish me luck.

    Jan (in Colorado)
     
  9. Traceaskew

    Traceaskew Out Of The Brooder

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    I am also using paper towels over the shavings. My arch frame is made with coated chicken wire and I did have 2 chicks get stuck. Scared me to death! So I took the frame out and covered the underside with duct tape. They really like to squeeze themselves into every nook and cranny! I pile the shavings on top and around it, but they always kick them off.
     
  10. COChix

    COChix Overrun With Chickens

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    Ok thanks for the glimpse into a day of chick life at Oleo Acres! Guess some of it depends on when they hatch and the weather here in Colorado. I have some ideas for a brooder In the coop and run set up. Gotta figure out what to use for my mama broody this time, i will be hatching setting 84 eggs total not sure if I will do staggered hatch or load both bators at the same time. I was toying with the idea Of a long metal shelving rack, something similar to Bee and Aart's set ups, but maybe two heating pads involved. I am thinking of a flat platform approach this time due to numbers I am trying to hatch this year. Everything is still up in the air, except what I am gonna hatch. That was the easy part :rolleyes:

    Here is a shot off goggle of the type of rack I speak of, I have several of the shelf parts sitting in our garage. What I like about this is, they were free, they don't have sharp edges, I could easily fit two heating pads on one shelf, I think.;) I think it was great white that did a sheet pan up on supports so I thought I could do something similar with the rack. Just a preliminary idea.

    [​IMG]

    Of course I love this system I have the link to this thread in my signature. I tell anyone I can about it and after seeing our own broody hatch last year after I incubated, I realized how natural this system is and how easy it can be. I love to see everyone's designs and ideas and I have learned a lot. I didn't hesitate to do this again as I swore I will never use another heat lamp, how un-natural! That is my 2 cents. Thanks again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016

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