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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    Sure, azygous. It's a Sunbeam X-Press Heat, 12"x15". It will say right on the box that you can turn off the auto-off feature. While the auto-shut off seems silly, daughter says it serves a very good function - if an elderly or otherwise less mobile person lays on the heating pad for too long, they can burn their skin. So it helps prevent that but turning itself off. The problem is trying to find one that doesn't have that feature anymore! I like being able to bypass it for my purposes.

    I went out and checked on the Littles. Got the pee-waddin' scared out of me. As I approached the run, I heard the Bigs but no peeping! I ripped open the door and didn't see a single chick running around in their enclosure. There was no sound at all coming from the cave. With my heart down around my knees, I opened their door, crouched and put my hand under the heating. 15 very warm and very startled chicks scurried out like cockroaches when the light comes on! They survived a night that got down to 23 degrees and did just great. [​IMG]
     
  2. okiemamachick

    okiemamachick Chirping

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    That's great news!
     
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  3. dpenning

    dpenning Crowing

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    LOL! Perhaps they forgot to change their clock for daylight savings. I know many a morning when I want to stay snuggled in bed too!
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    It's very reassuring the system works even below freezing. It's brave of you, Blooie, to practice this heating system on your own chicks and take the risks so we can use it later with no worries like you had to experience this morning.

    Baby chicks remind me of big, fuzzy bugs the way they scurry around with tiny bodies so close to the ground, so your analogy of cockroaches is similar to the way they look to me. But that's where any resemblance ends.
     
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  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

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    Oh, azygous, I'd never practice a new way of doing things on my chicks that might harm them, although I do know what you mean! [​IMG] If for one minute I was afraid anything bad would happen to them using this method, this thread wouldn't even exist! The original video that got me going on this was showing her happy chicks when the temp was 40 degrees. My run is a hoop run, covered in plastic and it's so warm in there that I've had to take my jacket off to work in it this week. And it holds the warmth. The first chick I used this on was Scout. He did so very well, even when we had an unexpected drop to 4 below zero, and that's where my confidence in doing this came from. Frankly, culling him was on the drawing board at least twice, and I knew that getting him back out with the flock would be the best thing for him, so we did that. And it exceeded my wildest expectations.....he thrived!

    Just came in from checking on them and they are all tucked in with visions of whatever snack I toss in there dancing through their little heads. I shined a flashlight in there and tried to take a couple of pictures, but they are so blurry that although I know what I was looking at, it might be tough for others to see. Right now the temp is 45, and we aren't supposed to get as cold tonight. Even the 3 day old chicks are doing well, so I can't complain! If they pull another stunt like they did this morning, I'll be ready! [​IMG]
     
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  6. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Songster

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    Our heating pad came in last night and I quickly made a wire frame for it while the wife wrapped a towel in press-n-seal. Got the whole thing built and installed into the brooder within a few minutes. We put it on power level 3 and worked our way down until it was 80-85 degrees (level 1) and once it was at the proper temp the peeps and ducks all piled in there to warm up. For the first time since we've had the chicks in the house they were dead silent when the lights in the house went out.

    Now we need more chicks!!!
     
  7. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

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    Oh I'm so glad it worked for you as well as it does for me. Sometimes sharing an idea is like recommending a favorite restaurant - sure enough the first time you convince someone to try it that'll be the night the service is deplorable and food mediocre, at best. <sigh> [​IMG]
     
  8. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Songster

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    [​IMG]Right!?

    This morning when I left for work I peeked in there and there was one little duck tail sticking out of the "cave" as they all slept. Usually they are up and peeping at all hours and noisy when I'm leaving for work. I'm beginning to think that having a heat lamp on them all the time really isn't a good idea since they never have any real dark-time to sleep.
     
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  9. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    I'm counting the days until May when I can see for myself the thrills of this heating method! In fact, I'm so completely sold on it and trust it already that I'm recommending it to new chick keeper people who come here for advice.

    It solves so many of the problems commonly associated with brooding chicks. You have the heat lamp inherent dangers of fire, unhealthy heat buildup, and constant exposure to light and difficulty for chicks to find relief from excessive heat. You have the option of moving chicks to the brooder a lot sooner, if not immediately, getting relief from the unpleasant "fall-out" of brooding chicks indoors. And what price do you put on peace of mind?

    The heating pad method is to the heat lamp as a smart phone is to an old fashioned dial phone. Or something.
     
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  10. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Songster

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    azygous I've recommended it a couple of times already to long time chicken owners and I've only had my heating pad "mama" for a day, I like it that much.

    edit: I just thought of this. Since the heating pad idea is (as far as I'm concerned) such an huge advantage over a heat lamp then why isn't there a "chick-brooding-pad" being manufactured by someone? Heck you could create a "hen-cave" with a heating pad or similar element in it and probably sell thousands of them to back yard chicken owners.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
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