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

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

  1. Grimm

    Grimm Out Of The Brooder

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    The week before our heat lamp chicks were to go outside to the coop I switched from a heat lamp to a CFL bulb on a timer. They had light during the day and darkness at night. My husband thought I was nuts but it worked!
     
  2. maybaby45

    maybaby45 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2015
    It's so warm here already that I've got MHP down to 2 and my girls are only 2 weeks old today. A peek in the brooder a few minutes ago showed them all around MHP but not under. As the room cools tonight I suspect they will go under. I hope to move them outside this week and keep MHP at 2 or 3 and check on them before bed and adjust accordingly.

    As for my hoop coop I'm having problems with the ends. What do you put on the ends to fit so that they don't have gaps? I'm having problems cutting the hardware cloth to fit without gaps and killing my hands. The chicken wire is no problem but the hardware cloth is giving me fits!
     
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I'm having trouble visualizing what you are asking, sorry. When you say "gaps", where do you mean? I know you said on the ends, but do you mean on the open side where there isn't any cattle panel, like to close it up? Can you show me a picture so I can help you better?
     
  4. Drewnkat

    Drewnkat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just before my batch of chicks hatched out this week, I stopped by WalMart to look for heating pads. They only had the regular size, not the "king" size, but I still made it work!


    I bought the heating pad for about $29, one corner of a cheap vinyl shower curtain liner for $0.96, and used duct tape and press n' seal to put it all together. If the shower curtain piece gets too ratty, I can just snip off another strip.
    For the framework, I cut a piece of hardware cloth, cushioned the edges with duct tape, and attached it to two scrap pieces of 2x4.

    The baby chicks LOVE "Mama" and spend a lot of time napping under there. Then when the lights come on in the morning, they all run out to see what treats may have appeared in the feeder.

    I really don't see myself ever paying a hundred bucks for the fancy ones. Especially not since this is working so amazingly well! Thank you all for your helpful and informative contributions to this topic. Your experiences were the key to being able to put this together and make it work.
     
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  5. BarredCometLaced

    BarredCometLaced Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hahaha, I was planning on it, but I broke my scissors cutting the cardboard! I have not got around to fishing out the x-acto knife yet, but will be on it. Thanks!
     
  6. katbriar

    katbriar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've taken to using a bread knife to cut cardboard. Works really well, and I'm much less likely to cut myself with the sawing motion than the pushing one with an x acto knife.

    Just a suggestion!
     
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  7. maybaby45

    maybaby45 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2015
    I'll have to get a picture in the morning. At the ends where the door is I am putting hardware cloth from the ground up. I'm cutting the HC to fit the curve the cattle panels make and I'm having a hard time getting a good fit between the HC and cattle panel. There is a gap usually at the edge of the ground.
     
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I'm so glad that you've tried this. It's amazingly simple, and yet it's so effective - and safe!! On other threads I keep reading posts from people who are stressing about heat lamps, controlling temperatures, and worrying about their chicks being ready to go outside, even when night time temps are in the 60s and 70s and the little darlings are close to point of lay already! Well, that's an exaggeration, but you know what I mean.

    And that's where I was last year - riddled with guilt because I just couldn't tolerate the 22 chicks I had in the house for one more minute. I evicted them to the coop on April 1st when they were 5.5 weeks old, and I did the heat lamp thing, the wireless thermometer thing and getting up all night to go out and check on them thing. I ended up taking out the heat lamp on the third day because they weren't anywhere near it or using it during the night anyway! That night it snowed, and we got our last snowfall on June 6th. They were just fine, and that's when I realized that all of this fussing wasn't for them - it was for me. I thought that in order to be a "good chicken mama" I had to do things the traditional way, when all along the chicks couldn't have cared less. That's when I found Patrice Lopatin's video and read about Beekissed incubating eggs and raising chicks this way. This year - no noise and dust in the house, no heat lamp to keep raising and lowering, and absolutely no stress. All I had to do was feed and water them and watch them grow and learn to be chickens! And unlike last year, I have thoroughly enjoyed all three batches of chicks.

    Oops, got to get off my soapbox - I guess by now I don't have to convince anyone on this thread that I'm not crazy for doing it this way, do I? To have so many people think, "There has to be a better way" then actually try it is what Patrice Lopatin, Beekissed, aart, and CrzyChcknLady81 worked so hard to break ground for. You guys have all made such a contribution to people who will be embracing the idea of raising chicks as naturally as possible, and to each other with your innovations and modifications - like shower curtains, shelving for a frame - so many ideas! Every time someone thanks me, I think, "You're welcome - but you are the one who took the chance on something totally different!"
     
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  9. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    make a pattern and cover the ends with plywood... just drill holes in the plywood and stitch it on with wire... Then make your frames for doors and screw them on... after that cut the hole for the door.

    To safe money one sheet of plywood can do the job... Split it down the middle so you have two two feet by eight foot pieces.... Stand inside and have someone hole the panel up to the wire then trace the arch with a sharpie... C clamp them to gether and cut both at the same time with a saber saw... Drill holes ever six inches or so along the arch use a quarter inch drill bit and go inside the arch about a good half inch... Now you can wire the wood to the cattle panel along the arch... you will have two arched pieces left over you can use those for other projects. Now you can build your framework for the back of the coop.... using straight cut pieces of hardware cloth.

    Plywood is very strong and only needs to have support if you think its going to warp. painting it on both sides while its still flat will help keep it from warping.

    I would draw a sketch but I am very tired right now... getting ready for a nap.

    deb
     
  10. maybaby45

    maybaby45 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2015
    OK I will do that tomorrow! I have plywood so all I have to do is trace and cut. Thanks! I was trying to do wire but I'd feel better about plywood any way. I may evict those chicks tomorrow night!

    Thanks so so much!
     

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