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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Blooie, Mar 4, 2015.
Where did you get the rack?
I got a rack very similar to that one at Walmart. Was like $7, it is an expandable kitchen rack i think the name was, its 2 pieces, though i am only using 1 piece of it.
Here is a link to a short video I made this morning for my setup.
Great setup! The straw you put under the cave does a pretty good job of bringing the chicks closer to the heating pad, which is exactly what you want to do. I'd never seen that thingy (technical term) with the nipples attached like that - where did you find that? Those are some flat out cute little chicks!!
I'm not sure that I'd use a light with it, but I understand that with it being your first time you'd be a little apprehensive. Mine had nothing but the heating pad out in their pen in the run, and it was int the teens and twenties. One of the things I love the most about the MHP system is that they learn from day one what a day/night cycle is because when the sun goes down and it starts getting dark, they head for bed and stay there all night.
I'm so looking forward to seeing your next video! And I really appreciate that you took the time to make it and share it here.
That "thingy" is the Brighttap chicken waterer. http://www.chickenwaterer.com/BriteTap-Chicken-Poultry-Waterer-p/bt100.htm
I went with the bright tap so that I could use an insulated cooler. So far so good. Will see how I like it and how it holds up as time goes by.
I am only using the light during the day, and in fact I only used it for about 5 hours today and then I switched it out with a regular energy efficient bulb for lighting purposes only. My goal was really just to keep them warm and happy while they settled into the brooder. I got confidence to shut it off after they were using the mamma heating pad for awhile.
My setup is in my garage, and there is only 1 small window on a side door so it stays pretty dark in there. I slowly shut down the lights as dusk came to simulate night time approaching. Now the lights are off and there isnt a peep to be heard. Will see how they are in the morning!
Isn't it fun to watch them? It's as close to a broody hen as you can get! Thanks for the info on the Brighttap waterer. Once I read the name it clicked with what you said in the video and I remembered reading about it someplace once before.
Deb, you are so good to me - and what's even more amazing is that you understand me!
I also have a heating pad without an automatic shut off. It also only has three heat settings (high, medium, and low). I have two chicks using it (not a lot of extra body heat) and it still worked like a charm. Their first two weeks I left it on high, third week switched it to medium and fourth week to low. That's _not_ a formula. It's just what they let me know they needed by how much time the spent on vs under the heating pad. They're just now in their fourth week and only go under at night. My girls are in an unheated garage and nigh time temps in this location result in the garage dropping to about 45 degrees at night.
In short, don't worry about what temperature it gets under the pad. If it's working, it's warm enough. They'll spend more time under it if they need warmth and more time outside of it if they don't. Easy peasy.
My "Fluffy Tennis Balls" - the kids say they've graduated from Golf Balls (at least some of them have) are just over a week old and doing great! I shut off the light a couple of days ago - hubby insisted they have it at first - and removed one of the towels from Mama. They were snuggling on top of or next to Mama before I took off the towel, but tonight they are all inside. It's gotten colder the last couple of days, so that makes sense. They are still in the dining room, as I'm having a predator problem - a Marten got 2 of my ladies - and I don't want them outside until I get rid of it.
We had chick mayhem this afternoon, I took one of them out for a few minutes and it was sitting with me, but it got startled and scurried away. It took about 10 minutes to catch it! If anyone had been watching, I'm sure they'd have been rolling on the floor laughing at us. Next time, I'll use the little corral we had for the Ladies' people time when they were babies.
Now there's a video I'd have paid to see!