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

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

  1. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

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    Okay, I'll be waiting. I sent LazyGardener a PM asking her for help as well. Sounds like you have a plan going and I'm anxious to follow it. Now that you mention it, someone is using a cookie sheet as well, but with so many folks having such great ideas they all run together on me sometimes.
     
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  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    ......or a cookie cooling rack...allows the heat to go thru more.
     
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  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

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    <snap> THAT was what you showed on your thread! Duh, Diane! Thanks, aart.
     
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  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

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    Agreed....I knew there had to be a connection between the lack of insulation under the pad and the coffee can. There is not enough warm air being trapped and the arch in the can is too high for tiny chicks. The bucket is working for monkcat because her chicks are older and taller. Oh, shoot - I did say she was using a flower pot, but she isn't. I need another cup of tea! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
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  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Don't know if this has been pointed out or not, but your chicks really need to have contact with the heating pad in order to stay warm enough....you need the heating pad to be INSIDE whatever you are using as a cave or the material of the cave needs to be open as in wire, netting, etc. so they can get direct contact with the heat source, as they would a mother.

    Here's my setup using a small portion of welded wire fence and using bungee cords to keep the heating pad on the underside of the "mama"....this pic shows the first step in building the mama. Her bones, so to speak.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then I cover that with a trash bag to keep it clean from poo(her skin), then cover that with a flannel pillow case....her feathers.

    [​IMG]

    More feathers....hay.

    [​IMG]

    Then added chicks...you can see them putting their backs up against her warm "belly". You really need that heating pad where they can put their little bodies up against it without the coffee can creating a barrier to that process.

    [​IMG]

    With such a setup they can feel the warmth from mama from underneath and also by standing on top of her....but the bottom is most definitely warmer.

    [​IMG]

    With the wire framing you can adjust the height in less than a second by just pressing down on the middle. The meat chicks in the above pic didn't need the mama to be low to the ground as they don't tolerate heat as well as standard laying type chicks. For regular chicks I position it so they have to duck and crawl a little to get underneath it so that the heat source is closer to their bodies...as they age I just pull that middle portion upward and also turn down the pad a little so they can transition much like a mama hen does for them.

    [​IMG]


    With a coffee can you can't make such adjustments, nor can they have direct access to the heat source....I'd suggest using a different material for your HPM.
     
  7. Dandelioness

    Dandelioness Songster

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    Thank you everybody! I was checking the other suggestions as I modified the setup. The helpfulness of BYC members never ceases to amaze me.

    It did heat up quickly once I changed some things.

    I put some straw over the sand, then put 2x4 scraps under a thin, uninsulated cookie sheet, then the heating pad, then a tri-folded towel, then a bunch of straw. It only took 20 min to heat up to 85. If anything, I'll need to monitor so it doesn't get too hot.

    They are really happy in the resulting cave!

    I had been looking at a round wire setup someone had made, but the wire was obviously more heat permeable than my coffee can. Maybe I could have rolled it up inside the can, but I had already piled up the new structure so I thought I'd see if it heated up that way.

    Thanks again for all the suggestions, everybody!
     
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  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Why yes, it had:
     
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  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

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    The people on this thread never leave anyone hanging! Bee, as always you are a pearl! I think when I'm explaining this I need to do a better job of stressing just what you stressed - bringing that pad down to the chicks and then adjusting it by bending the frame as they grow. I thought I had done that when I initially started the thread. I deliberately make my frame lower in the back than in the front - those that want a little extra heat get it by going to the back of the cave up against the top of the cave, those that are fine with less tend to stay to the front where the pad is a little further away from them. On the other hand I hate to discourage a little innovation and using what's on hand. I would still be using a heat lamp and brooding chicks for 8 weeks the house otherwise if I'd been easily discouraged and dissuaded.

    I also have to be firm enough to say, "That simply will not work" when I know it won't.

    So onward and upward.....Dandilioness, let's see those babies in their new cave! And good for you for being receptive to corrections and suggestions!
     
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  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

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    There could also be too much distance between the inside top of the can and the floor. So here's what I'd do.

    Yep, me too...I just didn't point it out nearly as well or clearly as you two did! I kinda skipped around it but never really hit it! [​IMG]
     

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