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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Blooie, Mar 4, 2015.
and welcome to Chicken Math.
Hi all! Kind of excited I found this thread! Just spent a couple days reading it from the start. I'm seriously considering using this method. I get my chicks next weekend! This will be my second time with chicks. My other girls are almost 2 yrs old.
We are building a much bigger (8x12) coop. The plan had been to have the new coop done by the time the chicks were ready to go out.
I see that everyone is putting their chicks into the coops very early on using this method. Because my present coop can not accommodate the new chicks and the big girls mine will probably have to stay in the brooder longer, but I still think this method is so awesome in so many ways.
Now all I have to do is rummage around for supplies to build it
It works just fine inside too. I have 5 week olds still inside, tho I took out the heater at 3 weeks...need to make room in the coop, harvesting some old hens tomorrow.
I agree totally with aart. My first batch started out in the house for a few days as well, just until Ken was back out of the hospital and we could get the brooder set up in the run outside. And ironically it's in the house where you will notice the biggest and best difference about Mama Heating Pad - peace and quiet! They'll go to sleep at night! When they first go under in the evening (or get a little help under the first time or two) you'll hear some soft, contented "churring" sounds until they settle down and go to sleep. After that - not a peep! (pun absolutely intended!)
Have fun with your new chicks!
I got my heating pad.....e. I am thinking about using a metal plate stand for the frame part of it.
Don't think that just because your coop is occupied by big girls that you can't brood babies out there. Got a corner some where? Move the tote, or box, or what ever out there, put a cover over it to keep the hens out, and you're in business. I blocked off a corner, and put a slanted lid over it. The chicks have been there since they were a few days old. New batch will be moving out within a couple of days. I like to keep them inside until they are eating and drinking well, and go under the HP without any prompting. The first couple of days, they kind of get lost and end up on top of it screaming.
My littles are almost 4 weeks old, and I'm tempted to pull their HP. They were in a total panic tonight because I switched them to the big HP and brought in the little HP for the new hatchlings. They were bouncing off the sides of the brooder, trying to get away from the big monster HP! It didn't help matters any that I switched out their 1 qt waterer for a 1 gal. waterer, and put the whole works up on a 1/2 pallet. They don't do change! Silly chickens. Gotta go out to see if they finally settled down.
I agree! Before I built my spare pen I just put hay bales in the coop to section off a place for the chicks, placed a piece of plastic mesh fencing over the top to keep out the big birds and brooded them right there on the deep litter. They all are much easier to integrate and the chicks already used to the flock's calls of alarm, egg cackle, roosting purrs, etc. The flock is already used to the chick's presence in the coop and there is just so much less pecking order issues when they've all lived together since day one.
I let them out of the brooder at 2-3 wks of age to integrate and everything goes quite well. I've only had one issue with this and that is this new rooster...he wants to step on them while at the feeder and I think he does it deliberately. My old rooster just ignored them all.
So I have changed what I am doing at least ten times now, lol. I had an epiphany when I was out feeding the big flock and I saw a tomatoe cage. So instead I will be using a tomatoe cage as the hard part of the shell. I have it cut and everything, just have to wrap some chicken wire around it so it is more solid.
Not sure if the last few comments were directed at me or not. We have a second coop in our enclosed run and we will be using that coop for the babies until they are integrated with the flock.
Great repurpose!!! Love it when folks see the possibilities in scrapping things together. You might need to squash your tunnel a bit to get the HP in contact with the babies while they are still small but can pop it back up as they grow.
Actually I think those were for GldnRose, who was concerned about putting chicks out because of her older birds. Since me, and many other people, have our chicks in separate pens but out in the coop or run, we don't usually have many integration issues....I was just letting GldnRose know that this system works as well indoors as out.
And what a great use for a tomato cage! After all, they don't work that well for holding up heavy tomato plants so they may as well be re-purposed! Just kinda smoosh (technical term) the top down flatter so the heating pad is at the level of chicks. You can arch it back up as they grow!
Oh, I see Bee beat me to the last part! I've been BLOOIED!!