MHP Construction ideas needed

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Rick&Chris, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. Rick&Chris

    Rick&Chris Songster

    I’ve done some research on the MHP method and found lots of great information on this site! We are trying to get set up for our babies that are coming next week. I’ve seen some recommendations to put hte pad over the chicks and others about leaving it on the floor of the cage for them to sit on. My question about leaving the heating pad flat on the bottom of the cage, what setting would you leave it on (High, medium or low)? I’m afraid to burn their little feet and bodies.

    Or should I just construct something to go over their heads on an angle (although it only gets to 89 degrees underneath on the high setting). My husband wants to do the heat lamp but I am fearful of a fire! We are using an old baby play pen as a brooder. I purchased a black rubber mat at Lowe’s for the bottom.

    Appreciate your input!!
  2. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

    Apr 13, 2016
    NC IL
    Over their heads is better. 89 under it will do if they aren't in a cold drafty room, plus they are supposed to be able to physically touch it, so I don't feel like it would need to be any warmer.
    janiedoe and puffypoo22 like this.
  3. Farmgirl1878

    Farmgirl1878 Songster

    Mar 17, 2017
    Piketon, Ohio
    You can use a couple of coat hangers to bend into a frame that will hold the heating pad up and make a little “cave” for your babies. Just search thru some of the posts here for more details. Personally, I prefer to use a heating plate like this one: You can set it up and not have to worry about it being too hot or cold and they loooooove to perch on the top from about day three on! I cover the top (yellow part) of mine with self-stick Saran Wrap to keep the mess to a minimum.
    Pork Pie and janiedoe like this.
  4. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    I made mine by using Glad Press & Seal (I don't think there's a good substitute for this - don't use regular plastic wrap!) to attach the heating pad to a piece of welded wire about the same size as the heat pad. Then I used zip ties to zip tie the corners of the wire "frame" to a wire dish shelf.

    Because of the sizing of everything the heat pad ended up hanging down in a slightly U shape, so I never had to adjust the height. The chicks could press all the way under it when they were small, and then further from the center once they got larger, and then on top of the U. I don't have the greatest photo of mine but it's on the left here. I later added a piece of cardboard on top, zip tied in place, to make sure none of the chicks would get their legs caught in the wire shelf.

    RainSong.LMT, Wyorp Rock and janiedoe like this.
  5. Rick&Chris

    Rick&Chris Songster

    I have a similar wire frame/shelf. How high from the ground is yours? Mine is approx 6“ but I can shorten it. Max I get is 89 degrees on the floor under the ‘heater roof’.
    janiedoe likes this.
  6. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    The wire shelf I used is 5" tall. Rather than cutting it down or lowering it you could also mound up the bedding under it. I never took temp readings off my heating pad (and the settings were just low-med-high) but the chicks were obviously getting enough heat since they did just fine.
    Rick&Chris, janiedoe and puffypoo22 like this.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  8. jolenesdad

    jolenesdad Crowing

    Apr 12, 2015
    Montgomery, TX
    I don’t know much about the MHP but I tried an eco glow this last batch. What I would say is tell your husband not to worry. Everyone says it, and you’ll see it this time, chicks don’t need the heat we give them typically from a heat lamp.

    I’m in TX so it was still fairly warm, and some days downright hot, but 70 at night. I converted a rabbit hutch to an open-air brooder outside on my porch, put in the eco glow, and they never once used it. They still huddle together at night like they did the first night and I took it out after a week. If it’s not drafty, they’ll be beyond comfortable at 89 under the pad.

    I worried for one night and then felt so much more peace of mind that I wasn’t leaving a heat lamp unattended.
    Rick&Chris and janiedoe like this.
  9. staceyj

    staceyj Enabler

    Jan 1, 2017
    Coastal NC
    My Coop
    460CAF57-663F-4F64-A40E-F6B0CC3A9F02.png How about a cooling rack with legs?
    Here’s an example because I don’t feel like climbing up on a chair to get mine down and take a picture. Lol.
  10. Rick&Chris

    Rick&Chris Songster

    Thanks all! I was concerned that 89-ish degrees would not be warm enough. I have a wire shelf that you use under a sink (similar to the drying rack that Stacey posted). I’ll mount the heating pad on the bottom and build up the bedding, as suggested.

    Thanks again! So excited for my little girls to come next week!!
    TomZilla43 and staceyj like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: