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

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

  1. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    But, if you want them hand tame, food is your ticket. Even offering them some grit from your hand, grass clippings, even a fistful of soil from your garden. They'll give the "Oh no, it's gonna kill us!" startle response, then they'll come to investigate, and before you know it, they'll be climbing all over your hand to explore the new "thing".
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
  2. COChix

    COChix Overrun With Chickens

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    Well I have had two very different experiences with chicks. Last year was my first ever with chickens, we did the heat lamp, had pasty butts for a bit, didn't take them outside until it was 65 or warmer and they were 4 weeks, etc. Last year they were kept in the building in the back for the first four weeks of their lives. They had some outings to the great outdoors. This year, we hatched from that flock 15 babies day three introduced worms to the babies, day four was fermented feed, day five was grass, day 7 was horizontal nipple water, day 9 the heat pad brooder and by day 14 it was outside to the small coop, where the lowest it got was 36 a few days after moving them. Fast forward to them just turning 5 weeks old and they are all over the run flying from perch to perch, putting themselves away at night (maybe it was just luck the first nightm we will see) and are official fledged from their brooder.

    I wouldn't trade either experience as it has allowed me to hone my chicken keeping skills that often are only learned by doing. If you would have tried to explain the concept of the MHP a year ago it would have seemed somewhat foreign to me as I had no chicken experience. Now I get it and strive to do things as natural as possible for the birds. Our adult flock is very friendly and a few don't want anything to do with you that is just their personality. The baby chicks are less friendly already just being outside, but that is ok as well. They all come running when I come out to feed and that is friendly enough for now. I allow them to explore me as I will sit in the run with them and observe.

    Things I learned from this experience is just how early the babies display chicken behaviors, like scratching. It is a lot different to see them hatch and how quickly they develop compared to receiving them in a box as day old chicks. So when I saw the MHP brooder concept it made complete sense to me and feel that our chicks are further advanced developmentally and feathering for their age because of the MHP. Comparatively to our chicks we had last year at this age, it allows them to be a chicken earlier, just like being with mom. How great is that!
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
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  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    And that pretty much sums it all up! [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  4. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Here's my experience with taming chicks. I corrupt them as early as possible with food. I think it was the second or third day I had them I introduced them to meal worms. They fell in love with me - love at first meal worm. (Their grow-out pen is sand, lot-sa grit)

    I also use a verbal cue whenever I have treats for them. "Bay-bees!" I call, and immediately they line up at attention in a neat parade drill at the gate to their pen.

    I enter and sit down on the ground and they all hop onto my lap and try to pry open my fingers. (Because they think meal worms could be in there. They are usually right.) Sometimes I don't have any treats at all, and they sometimes remain on me, climbing on my legs, feet, arms, shoulders, and one may fall asleep against my neck.

    Sometimes they hop back down and go about their important chick bidness. But they usually are back pretty soon, climbing on my arms, which are fun because they sometimes go up and down, high up like an elevator. They like to launch from there, trying out their wings. But sometimes all four snuggle in close, begin to trill, and then nod off.

    As tame and affectionate as they are, they do not like it when I close my hand around them and pick them up. Sometimes it's necessary like when I have to pry them off my arms and legs so I can get back to my human chores, like feeding the darlings and cleaning up after them.

    To sum up, my chicks are about as tame as chicks can possibly be. But they still screech in complaint if I try to pick them up or off of me. I'm not sure I understand why. I'm down at their level, not reaching down for them from above them. Maybe it's because they're only eighteen days old. Maybe it's because it's just not THEIR idea.
     
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  5. 1hawaiian

    1hawaiian Out Of The Brooder

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    This is a FANTASTIC thread Blooie!!!
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Why, thank you kindly! It's the people on it that have made it so good - everyone is helpful, funny, and we ain't got a mean one in the bunch! Well, I'm kinda mean, but it's my thread so I get privileges! Glad you joined us!
     
  7. 16 paws

    16 paws Chillin' With My Peeps

    My Russian Orloff had a pretty bad eye infection once. This is what I used also and I got it from my feed store. It was in a smaller tube I believe and they told me it was for horses but it would work great. It cleared it up in 2 days. I think it was 23 dollars.
     
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Maybe next batch I'll give this a try. I dunno - I have mixed feelings about it. I do like them to be independent of me, but just once it might be kinda nice to have a chick want to be a buddy for her lifetime. We'll see. But it sure works for you by the looks of the pictures of you sitting in the brooder pen with them. Oh, that's another thing. I have a lot of chickens out there, all ages, all fully integrated, and so clean places to sit are far and few between! [​IMG]
     
  9. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Blooie, I have a cushion I sit on, and it's propped against the fence when not in use so it doesn't get "used".

    I'm considering the nipple watering system. How do you keep it from freezing in, you know, WINTER?
     
  10. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    LOL... there are whole threads on keeping nipple water systems "liquid" in winter...

    deb
     

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