I'm as excited about employing this "chick cave" brooder heating method as I've been about anything in a long time. I've pre-ordered six chicks from a scheduled May 11 hatch and I need to buy a heating pad.
Right now I have a super cheap, lo-med-hi pad 12" x 14" I use it to warm my feet in bed every night. I think it would be too small for the chicks, even if I could spare it. So, Blooie, what size is the small pad you're using for your chicks?
My plan right now is to brood them in the house for the first two weeks and then move them and their Chick Cave out to their grow-out pen adjacent to the main run where they can have tons of space and freedom and start the merging process with the adult flock. Shortly before they've completed feathering out, I'll transition them and their "cave" to their coop which adjoins the grow-out pen and that will make it easy to wean them off the "cave". I anticipate the most seamless transition in the Azygous flock's history, and I can't wait to start sharing photos of this process.
I have a hunch this thread will rival most of the longest lived threads on BYC. This concept has the potential to revolutionize backyard chicken management, in my opinion .
Hi azygous, I have pre-ordered 6 chicks from a Sept. 6th hatch. I live near Atlanta Ga. I want to use the MHP method, and already bought the Sunbeam 12' x 24' (large). I'm wondering how long that size was big enough for your 6 chicks, and at what age you stopped using it? If they outgrew it did you transition to another heat source while they were still growing? I will probably have to start my chicks inside or on an enclosed porch, unless I come up with a great way to weatherproof my run more. (I'm toying with the idea of wrapping it in Visqueen) Anyway, I have options but mainly wondered how it worked out, size-wise, with 6 chicks, and what to do when/if they get too big for it before they can be out in the coop and run without additional heat. I currently have no chickens - this is my first batch! Thanks for any input! This site is AWESOME!!