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

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

  1. maybaby45

    maybaby45 Out Of The Brooder

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    oK I can't use the multiquote for some reason. Thanks Blooie, Beekissed, and aart for the responses. I'm building a hoop coop this weekend and will put them in there at least during the day, probably at night when I'm sure they know where MHP is. Thing is I think they use her now mostly as a roost. They are 9 days old and I've got them down to 4 at night and no one is complaining. I think the temp difference between the house is 7 degrees plus the outside humidity. I guess I'll try it and if they are complaining outside I will turn it up but I figure they will complain about the night time noises and newness also.
     
  2. COChix

    COChix Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi, one thing I noticed is the first night with the MHP ours were quiet and singing a lot when they were in the cave.

    Well, I have stopped putting our littles into the cave at night since they pile on the side, I figured when and if they get cold enough they will go in. Well last night was the first night at around 8:30 that they all were in the cave ready for night! I guess the 40 degree temps yesterday and the expected cold (35 overnight) they figured it out!

    On a side note on the tomatoe cage, I notice as ours are growing they are flattening it more and more. I had to reshape it yesterday to make it taller so they all could fit under there. I am considering switching the tomatoe cage out for the metal rack I wanted to use. The rack is more sturdy construction and is taller.

    @Blooie Did you guys get any snow up north? It called for snow overnight here but we got lucky and it has just been wet.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
  3. maybaby45

    maybaby45 Out Of The Brooder

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    I used a wire rack with mine and put folded up towels under it so they could get close to the heat. Glad I did since all 9 like to nap on top and a few are already big chicks! My black ones are out growing the RIR who was always the largest.
     
  4. COChix

    COChix Overrun With Chickens

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    I swapped out the tomatoe cage for the wire rack. Seems like a lot more space, I can see why you and others like aart & bee have used this type of design.
    [​IMG]
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    Thanks again to all you trail blazers.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. BarredCometLaced

    BarredCometLaced Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chicks are coming next week, and I really look forward to using Mama Heating Pad with them. The heating pad that we have does not have auto turnoff, that is, it will not turn itself off after x-hours. I am worried that the pad does not get hot enough. What should be the temperature of the pad itself, and what should the temperature read under the pad?
     
  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Start it on high and watch the chicks, They'll tell you if it's too warm. If they stay to the front of the cave where it's higher and cooler, then it might be bit warm. If they huddle in a small ball of fluff and feet in one spot right up against the pad and do a lot of complaint peeping, they are too cold. That old "must be 95 degrees the first week then lower by 5 degrees each week until the chickens die of old age" stuff is one of the reasons folks like this system so much - we can ignore it! Keep it simple, and you'll be happy using it. With my heating pad on 6 (high) the temperature under the cave was 82.9 degrees, far below what the experts tell us it should be. The chicks were perfectly content and grew like crazy. Just be sure that the cave is low enough at first to bring the heating pad to about the level of their backs. You can raise the frame or turn down the pad if you see that they aren't happy under there. Conversely if they are too cool, just pressing down on the center of the frame lowers it a touch, usually all you need to start hearing that contented trilling they do. I think the reason I prefer the Sunbeam X-press heat pad is because of the small changes I can make in the temperature with the digital control, from 6 down to 1.

    Oh, and don't expect them to be under it all of the time - they won't be. Once they know where the warm spot is, they'll head under there if they need it. Pictures, of course, are always more than welcome!! Good luck!
     
  7. BarredCometLaced

    BarredCometLaced Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much! Should I be worried if the hardware cloth frame gets too hot? Will it burn the?
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    The frame won't get too hot. If it does, your pad is not appropriate. Some of the older models are definitely not appropriate for this use. Case in point: hubby sustained a nice big second degree burn on his back last winter from using our old heating pad. It would have killed a chick if a chick got stuck under it.

    It should feel just comfortably warm to your hand.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    x2 I should have mentioned that and I didn't, so I'm really glad lazy gardener has my back! Thanks, my friend! In some of the older pads, the heating elements have gotten brittle. That causes them to conduct the electricity a little differently - and sometimes that means hotter. And then some of them were just designed to be hotter than we now know is good for us. That's why the newer Sunbeams most of us use are so doggone good.

    Again, watch your chicks. They are your best guide.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    The surface of my heating pad (brand new sunbeam and a much older one also) on the highest setting measured about 110F.......
    .......the rack it sat on was about 101...the floor under the pad was about 85.

    Key, IMO, is the height of the pad, I like adjustable legs on the pad rack, the chicks back should juusssst be able to touch it at first......
    .....that's what they do under a real mama. As they get older that's not as critical
     

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