plans for a wool hen

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chicknmania, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

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    OK, sooo...does any one have any quick and simple plans to make a wool hen? And how long does it take the chicks to adjust to using it after they have been using a heat lamp? And how does one make sure that the chicks don't suffocate? We have a stuffed "hen" mama that they get under sometimes...so to make her woolly and warmer...what would be best? Wool fabric over her? sheep wool under her? Use imagination? I hope I don't sound dumb here, but I'm sure I'm not the only one, and I need to make one on short notice. WE have four chicks, almost two to three weeks old, in their brooder box. The heat lamp is fine, but I''m just exploring safer options.
     
  2. Mama Bay

    Mama Bay Songster

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    I used the heat lamp indoors in brooder for 1 week then put them out in the coop with wool hen and a shoebox sized huddle box. I put them under the first night and after that they went under themselves... only used it for a few weeks after that because it is summer.
     
  3. Mama Bay

    Mama Bay Songster

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    I just duct taped a cardboard box and made holes and threaded strips of fleece every couple of inches...
     
  4. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

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    OK, I get the idea for the most part. Thanks! I've gotten some ideas from you and some others that I read. Did you use real fleece, (from a sheep)...and they didn't get their claws or anything tangled in it? Or, like fleece fabric?
     
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  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    Folks are using strips of fleece, like sweat shirt material. However if you can get real wool fabric (not yarn) that would be even better as real wool will be warm even if damp. Make the strips long enough so that they go almost all the way to the bedding. If they drag in the bedding, the chicks could easily get tangled in them. Just be sure that what ever you use for frame work can not collapse if they all get on top of it. Chicks LOVE to sit on top of their Mama, whether she be the kind that clucks, or only the kind that provides comfort and warmth. I picked up some Closet Maid shelving at the town mall (ie. town dump) last weekend that has built in feet. That will be great for MHP or wool hens if I don't use it in my canning area.
     
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  6. Mama Bay

    Mama Bay Songster

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    I used some old fleece I had bcausec I knew i was going to throw it away. I plan on making a new one with a crate or laundry basket and real wool from sweaters from the thrift shop for my next one...
     
  7. Mama Bay

    Mama Bay Songster

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    And no they never got tangled. I made my strips pretty wide though... about an inch and a half. At one point they started to sleep with their heads sticking out of the opening because it was getting so warm at night.
     
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  8. Mama Bay

    Mama Bay Songster

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    Also if you are using real wool I suggest felting it first so you dont get loose strings of yarn for them to get tangled in...
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    I find the concept of the wool hen just fascinating as well as revolutionary.

    Here are some of the major points I've taken from the various discussions over the past months:

    -Strips of wool fabric are safer than wool yarn. Chicks get easily tangled in thin strings.
    -The fabric works best if it's actually wool since wool has all the insulation and heat reflective properties that make the wool hen work.
    -The more chicks you are brooding, the better the wool hen works since more chicks are contributing body heat to the effort.

    The principle of the wool hen is to capitalize on the natural body heat chicks produce from consuming food calories. The wool strips both reflect this heat back to the chicks and insulate against the heat dissipating.

    It's a wonderful alternative for folks with undependable power sources or who are living off the grid.
     
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