Terrified there will be a power cut!


In the Brooder
Jan 14, 2018
North East of England
Normally there are no power cuts in my area, but recently there have been about 4 in the last month due to a fire in the building that supplies my small town with electricity.

If the power goes off during the day that’s okay, I know ways to keep the chicks warm. But I’m so scared it’ll go off while I’m sleeping, and I’ll wake up to 8 dead chicks.

The brooder is going to be a very large dog crate in the greenhouse, with a sheet over it at night to keep our draughty. We are using an “electric hen” rather than a heat lamp.
Does anyone have any ideas or advice at all? My burglar alarm will go off when the power comes back on but not when it goes off, so I’m scared if it goes off for like an hour I won’t know until after.

Any advice would be appreciated.
We have a very bright led flashlight that plugs into the wall to recharge. It automatically turns on when unplugged or when the power goes out. If you're sensitive to light at night, that might work. I'm not sure where to get one though, we got ours for Christmas years ago.
We more recently got a carbon monoxide detector with a tamper resisitar feature (it alarms when unplugged). I don't know if it would go off in a power outage or if it could tell somehow that it was still plugged in.
How long does the power go out for? How many chicks are you getting? If power comes back on within a couple of hours, might be ok. If they are getting feathers, they are better able to keep warm. If you are getting several chicks, then they can huddle to keep warm (although they can also smother each other if they huddle too tightly). What is the ambient temps where they will be brooded once you get them? Will they be protected from drafts? Provide some more info, including your general location so other can chime in.
The brooder is going to be a very large dog crate in the greenhouse, with a sheet over it at night to keep our draughty.

I would surround the dog crate sides with cardboard 24/7 for awhile. Chick fluff does not help them keep warm very well and is no match for any drafts.
I always worry about power outs & brooder chicks at night too, we get storms that often create tree limbs on power lines. So, we watch the sky & google weather reports, etc. for storm reports. Most importantly, I always keep a large glass bottle of water with lid (heavy enough to not tip over) near the heat lamp side, it retains heat & will give them some warmth to possibly make it through the night til I get there. Best wishes.
Thank you everyone for your advice. I think they’re going to be okay, there will be 8 of them in there and the power has never been off for longer than an hour. I might put a hot water bottle in with them or a glass jar of hot water for the first week or so just in case.

Thanks for all the advice!

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