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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Rick&Chris, Sep 20, 2018.
Thanks!!! Appreciate all of the info!
Mine started in the coop - in April in MN. It was down in the 20’s - 30’s several nights, 40’s during the day. This was my first year with MHP and I won’t go back to a lamp.
Sometimes weaker chicks just die.
Here are pics of my two MHP:
Cloth side goes down, cardboard up. Adjustable legs to raise or lower as needed.
IIRC both 'under the pad' deaths were unthrifty chicks. I don't believe they got trapped as all 4 sides of my pad rack are open for egress..but they could have been trapped in the pack and/or trampled.
Here is my setup. Childs play pen, repurposed with a thick black rubber mat from Lowe’s for the floor, pee pads to start, will switch to pine shavings in a week or so. I think I should put some pine shavings under the heating pad.
Appreciate your thoughts and input!!
Looks pretty good...wants to see the frame and leg attachment(yes, I'm detail obsessed).
How high is it?
Good place to start for day olds is about 1.5-2" in back and 3" in front, adjust by observation.
I like it!
I'm like @aart how high is it Having it adjustable is the way to go.
I have more questions Do you have your coop and run ready for them?
Do you have electric in your coop? If you have electric in the coop, after a week or so when you are more comfortable and confident caring for your babies (I think most of us have been there being apprehensive with something new like this). Move them to your coop and continue brooding them there. Brooding in the coop, there is no "transition" period, they are already used to their surroundings. If your weather is agreeable and your run is secure for small chicks they can go out in the run for short periods of time while you watch them. This gets them on soil - even tiny babies love to dig and take dust baths!
A bonus to brooding outdoors is no stink or dust in the house! Chicks are incredibly dusty, they will be shedding their fluff and that flies around and sticks to everything, as new feathers come in there is a sheath that is preened off, this is also dusty and sticks to surfaces too.
If all the above it not possible, get some dirt and a plug of sod from your run and put it in the brooder. I use a shallow pan. Providing this exposes them to pathogens they will encounter when they go outside and helps to build the gut, it gives them a little grit (I recommend to add chick grit to the dirt-they WILL eat the dirt, don't freak out) and it fills their need to dig/scratch (they will try to dust bath in the pan).
Above all....have fun with them. Don't sweat it, you've got this!
The wire frame/shelf is 5.5” - I can cut the legs down accordingly - and get another with longer legs, if needed.
My coop will have electric. It should be complete and ready for babies within the next couple of weeks. I was hoping to brood them out there as they get older - I was thinking 4 weeks or so, but sooner would be nice. We live in SE PA, so the weather can be iffy in the fall, sunny and warm one day and cold and rainy (like today) most other days LOL. I would not let them out into the pen without supervision while they are young. Inside is 6’x6’, so plenty of space as they grow (better than the playpen, I think)
Here is another pic of the heating pad set up. Heating pad on the top or the underside of the frame??
Either will work but under is safer, they can get their heads stuck between the wires trying to push up against it. BTDT....it lived but lucky I was there to free it.
I use tiny bungies to hold pad under rack https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/pseudo-brooder-heater-plate.67729/
I would cut off the back legs an inch shorter than the front, then use pieces of wood, or pile bedding, to reduce space between 'floor' and pad. They need to be able to sit with their backs touching the pad.
You have a choice with the frame you have, either cut the legs down or place something under it to raise the chicks Extra padding underneath, a short cardboard box or block of wood covered with your puppy pads would work.
Even though mine is adjustable, I still sometimes pile up shavings underneath and let them just dig it out to what suits them.
I'm kind of tempted to rig up some light chain and make mine hang, be even easier to adjust height. Thinking a length of chain attached to each corner of a rack and then up to an S-hook, could easily make the back ones longer. Of course, my barn brooder has a beam in the top that it would be easy to attach that to, I'd probably just set the rack up on little cups while they're tiny and in the house.
Of course, now we're getting into spending more money than a Premier 1 plate would be, but heck, I already have the heating pad now, might as well...