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 Premium Member

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  2. segeine

    segeine Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Blooie! I'm going to deal with it tomorrow, at any rate - I don't want to be messing around in there now, after the couple of days they have had. I think the babies need some peace and quiet.

    --Segeine
     
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    You are so welcome. Yeah, I wouldn't mess with them anymore either. That's how it was when the Tinys arrived. They were pretty stressed out from their 2 day trip turning into 4 days that all I did was settle them in the brooder and let them relax. No pictures, no messing around near them, just letting them adjust. Smart decision on your part.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Oh bummer!! I had that happen once too, just it's head was stuck between the rack wires and luckily didn't hurt it.
    I used a rack with narrower spacing next time.

    You might use something like 1/2" hardware cloth wired tight to your armature to prevent 'push throughs' from underneath.
    If it's not low enough to firmly touch their backs they will 'root' up to make contact.

    Had a chicks head get tangled in a broodys feathers this winter, feathers were tangled into a loop on the breast and chicks head was stuck in the loop.
    Had to cut it loose from broody then bring it inside to cut loop of feathers from around chicks neck.
     
  5. segeine

    segeine Out Of The Brooder

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    It looks like everyone survived the night, even little "gimpy" - who is still a tiny bit lame, but I think she'll be fine. It does make me a little uneasy that I can't see them like in the ordinary kind of brooder. If I hadn't gotten a flashlight to look under Mama, I would have never noticed that gimpy was stuck in her underwires. i do still like the concept, though. I do think I'm gong to do the "pad slung under" method instead, though. Finding the chick stuck was scary.

    --Segeine
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Knowing the penchant that chicks have for committing suicide, I completely enclosed my HP in fabric. Made the wire frame, set the HP on top, put the whole thing inside a pillow case, folding the case to wrap snugly around on all 4 sides, then used painter's tape to wrap completely around in multiple locations, being sure to bind any fabric overlaps securely so the little boogers couldn't worm their way in between the folds. Where the cord comes out, I slit the case, used electrical tape to secure the fitting between the pad and the cord, and then, just for good measure, ran a couple of courses of tape around the ragged edges of the hole.

    I've been doing some thinking about my MHP set up for multiple ages. My older chicks don't need it now, but I just know that if I put the tinies in with a MHP, there will be some turf wars, and some tinies may get squished. So, I may just divide the brooder, giving the tinies room to come and go at will, but blocking the littles from the MHP side.

    But, for those of you with multi-ages who still need the MHP, here's an idea: make it 2 level, with the bottom level built in the traditional fashion, but, put an excluder along the front that would allow the tinies in the lower level, but exclude the bigger chicks. Then, the upper level could have extra bedding at the sides, and the whole affair could be covered with a box to help retain heat at the upper level. You'd have to play around with heat settings, and put some extra ventilation holes in the box, just for safety, but it could double your brooding capacity. I think if I was going to do it this way, I'd build a frame, to be sure the MHP didn't shift and end up squishing some tinies.
     
  7. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    My new chicks, now 3 days old, survived the night, too, in spite of their idiot chickmama getting up in the middle of the night to check on some sudden loud chirping, thought they might need a notch more heat, and turned OFF the heating pad.

    This morning the poor little things were in a tight knot under one corner of their very cool heating pad, trying to keep each other warm. It's a darned good thing the house stayed around 75 during most of the night. The brave little girls weren't even chirping in complaint, unless they were too weak from being cold to chirp. They seem to have recovered enough to play a slow game of keep away with a miller moth, though.

    The warning label on this system needs to read, "Must be smart enough to operate heating pad."[​IMG]
     
  8. perilloux5

    perilloux5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for sharing, I needed a good laugh this morning.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I needed that warning too! I was outside a few weeks ago and decided that since it was so warm out in the run (the greenhouse plastic was still on then) I'd turn off the pad and give the elements a rest. By then the pad had been on continuously for almost a month. I remembered to turn it back on before I came in the house. So I'm putzing around the house and suddenly thought, "Did I turn off the 'auto off'?" Grabbed a flashlight and ran back out there. Nope. Forgot to disable that darn switch.

    LG, if you build that chick condo I'd sure like to see pictures. I'm trying to visualize what you're describing and my visualizer hasn't had enough coffee yet!

    @aart - I thought Scout was the only chick with trouble finding tendencies! That chick found more ways to put himself in danger than any chick ever should! But to get tangled in the broody's feathers beats all Scout ever did hands down!

    @segeine I got a good laugh reading your post this morning, although there is nothing humorous in the subject matter. But I read it wrong the first time. What I read was, "If I hadn't gotten a flashlight to look under Mama, I would have never noticed that gimpy was stuck in her underwear!" Oh, me! Pass the coffee!
     
  10. monkcat

    monkcat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, chicken math has started. Found a lone little silkie (btw, looking for more silkies) and two Dominiques that I had wanted but couldn't find when we got our original batch. So, I've got the setup going in the big water trough inside for these kiddos until I'm sure they're not going to cause disease on my established crew. And they need a little size for hanging with the big girls, I imagine (and looks like one roo). The big girls are sleeping in a pile in the coop. They are starting to get on roost periodically during the day but aren't sleeping up there yet. They are an estimated 5 & 6 weeks old, so I think it's close.

    This trio is so different. They are so quiet and really freak me out! They are much more subdued and quiet and I frequently think I'm about to find dead chicks. So far, so good though. Got them Tuesday. They were exhausted I imagine from living with bright lights and the long ride home. After putting them under the MHP, they slept for hours with minimal water sips upon arrival and almost no food. Couldn't get them to eat more than a bite or two. They were falling asleep standing up. They slept all night through and I really didn't know if they would make it. Went in yesterday morning expecting the worst and they were up and eating. Without chirping though. So weird. They don't hang out with the HP as much, but it is much warmer now in that room. Will find them nestled in the litter together away from it. Not as active, though they are eating, drinking and pooping fine. Just quiet. Don't know what to make of them. They are estimated to be 1.5 to 2 weeks old.

    Some improvement in activity today, but I still think they are awfully quiet for chicks. They do appear bright eyed, eating and drinking well and great healthy looking poops. I lowered the temp on the heating pad down to 2 as it is very warm here. They alternate between going to and from it and crashing in the leaves.

    [​IMG]

    Any input into weird chick behavior welcome!
     

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