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

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

  1. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Getting ready to embark on unknown territory. Next week my six new chicks arrive. I am planning on installing the heating pad cave in the grow-out pen in the run. There is sand covering the natural clay soil. The heating pad cave will be sitting on top of the sand.

    I'll provide a wooley pad inside the cave for the chicks to sleep on, but should I be concerned with them being on sand during their first week, especially since Alibabba has reported losing a chick to eating sand?
     
  2. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I have absolutely zero experience with sand, azygous, so I wouldn't have a clue. But I am looking forward to seeing your babies in your setup!
     
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

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    Last edited: May 9, 2015
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    We've had such a cold snap here! Could even snow on Mother's Day. I went out to do chores last evening, intending turn the heating pad back up to 3 for the Tinys. I forgot. I know, I'm a baaaad chickie mama. But when I went out this morning they were doing just fine, thank you very much. Two chicks were on the pad for a warm-up, and the others were all over the place. In just the time it took to check feeders and add a little and get the first of the day's eggs, all 8 of them were scratching in the litter, looking to see if they missed anything yesterday. So the cold last night didn't bother them in the slightest. I'm sure at this point I could turn the pad off completely, but those winds coming down off the snow in the mountains are nasty cold! They have a wind block on the north, east and west sides, but when the wind is so strong and swirling around like it has been it's debatable how much help that is. They don't seem to mind - all of the Bigs except the two on the nest, and all of the Littles, were in the run rather than the coop, so I just take my cues from them.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I've brooded 3-4 batches of chicks on sand/PDZ in an indoor brooder and a heating pad on a flat wire rack for heat with no problems......
    ......tho I do use a tote lid with a couple of 2x2's underneath to put the feed and water on for the first week to avoid crop impaction.

    Had a couple minor water spills but it dried up pretty quickly....one more than minor water spill, I just removed the couple scoops of wet sand.
    Sift out the poops every other day or so. At 3 weeks I removed the heating pad and put a shallow cardboard box with pine shavings for them to sleep in.

    Unless your sandy coop area floods, and you keep the poops sifted out, it should be just fine.


    Oops forgot the pic...moving pics :D

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
  6. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    I LUV chick flicks! [​IMG] Those fuzz butts act like they have the world by the tail!

    Thanks for the great tip on the tote lid! I'll use that! When my chicks near the end of their need for heat, I'll transition them and the cave to their coop, which is off the grow out pen and is partitioned with four adult hens living on the other side. Then the little twerps get to learn how to go in and out of their coop. (Gone are the days of refereeing the merging of chicks with adults in the coop. Whudda-pain!)

    A few days after that, the cave disappears and they proceed from that point without any heat.

    Yes, I'll be posting pics! You betcha!
     
  7. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    I would make the brooding area smaller and temporarily put down some thing to cover the sand like leaves or even paper towel those first few days till they figure out what food and water is and where it is. If there was a broody hen in charge she would show them which is good to eat and where it is.

    deb
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
  8. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

     
  9. COChix

    COChix Overrun With Chickens

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    So since we are currently water logged in Colorado and expecting snow tonight and tomorrow night, I have been working on my frame and heating pad set up. Here is my work...

    Please keep in mind the current brooder is a tub and they don't have a ton of room with it in there, but this is for a few days, will shoot to move them into new brooding set up on Monday or Tuesday. All weather dependent.

    Ok so I started with a tomato cage, cut off part of it making a semi circle so to speak. After initially making one I decide that my frame was too big and too long. So I made some adjustments. After making my cuts, I wrapped some chicken wire around it for support and then bent and flattened anything sharp edges with needle nose pliers. I also flattened the design per Blooie and Bee's advice. Then I put it in the tub with some scrap fabric, not yet wrapped in peel and stick. Too them a bit but then they had fun playing king of the hill until they fell asleep in a pile on top. I then transferred them one by one into the cave. They stayed for a bit. It was hot once they all got in so the bigger chicks crawled back on top but the three littlest are sleeping in the middle. I did put a remote thermometer in the cave and took some digital therm readings. It ranged between 90-100 (the highest when they all were in the cave, I also had doubled my fabric initially). I have since put just a single layer of fabric over the cave with the peel n stick covering it, then straw. The temp is right around 90, they had already preferred temps between 88-90 in their brooder by the end of this first week.

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    This is when they all were in the cave for s warm up.
    [​IMG]

    My observations so far, they immediately began climbing on the cave, they learned they could get warm on top or underneath. After they figured it out, the three smallest have stayed in the cave while the rest have been napping on top. They don't seem to care about missing a heat lamp and in fact seemed a bit more active without it. It will be interesting to see what they do tonight at lights out. It will be their first night without the heat lamp. I am sure they will do fine. Last night we had a power outage for a few hours and they chirped a lot at first but then huddled in a pile in the corner. We put a blanket over the brooder to keep them warm. Power came on a few hours later. Blooie thanks again for this idea, I am excited to get their next brooding area set up.
     
  10. Gldnrose

    Gldnrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you both on easing my mind that it'll be fine in the house for longer period also.

    I wish I could could, it's not just for the fact that the big girls are in there, it just isn't big enough. :(
    Now the new coop we are building would be perfect, but that will have to be for any chicks farther in the future.

    I was thinking the same thing! I was just looking at my tomato cages this weekend and was going to start cutting it and putting wire over it. Like was suggested I was going to flatten it a bit so it didn't have such an arch.

    looking good!

    The husband and I just spent our two days off starting on the new coop. It's actually going faster than I thought, but still a lot more to go.
    My husband can't understand why I want to try this method, "the other way works just fine", uggh. I told him I'm just doing it, lol. I do have the whole heating light system from last time, so will keep handy, just in case they don't take to pad method but fingers crossed it'll work beautifully.
     

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