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Thinking on the outside brooder.. heating element

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by abcn123s, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. abcn123s

    abcn123s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am convinced that the outside brooder is the way for us to go. We are going to use a spare metal dog crate that I think will be perfect. I was going to attach some hardware cloth or chicken wire around the sides to prevent escapees. As far as the heating element goes, I have read on the heating pad cave solution and I like that. I was wondering though, would a seedling mat (used for sprouting seeds) work in place of the heating pad? My thought is to put it under the chicks instead of on top. Of course the chicks would not be directly on top of it... it would work similar to in floor heat.. any thoughts?
     
  2. RodNTN

    RodNTN Queen of The Coop Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I tried putting my chicks in a homemade brooder in my coop last summer, I lost 4 chicks since it wasn't warm enough. Even though it was hot outside. I wouldn't do the floor heater either. I have never tried it but it seems to risky since they need it to be hot. Around 90 or 95 degrees. As soon as I moved my chicks into my basement they were fine- they all lived after that. Again, they need to be warm.
     
  3. coturnix condos

    coturnix condos Out Of The Brooder

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    I had the same idea because I had seed starting mats laying around. Long story short they didn't work to make the heat cave. They just don't get warm enough and the pulse. The mat turns on gets up to 90 then shuts off for a few min then turns back on. They did however work very well on the floor of the broader. It have the chicks an opportunity to leave the heat lamp area and nap in a cooler area which they did very often ( in that terrible dead chick napping pose). [​IMG]
     
  4. abcn123s

    abcn123s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Southwest Colorado
    LOL! as a newbie to the chicken world, I didn't know they had such a pose! I am glad to have a heads up, thank you.
    I have used the mats often to sprout our seedlings.. and know they stay warm... but not hot to the touch. Also, they are wipeable and flexible as you know so I thought it might be a good solution. So, maybe I will use it on the floor as planned and also use the cave idea to keep the little bundles warm. Thank you for the info. :0)
     
  5. abcn123s

    abcn123s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2016
    Southwest Colorado
    I was curious about keeping them warm enough. Our coop is insulated and we have no basement, so I'm hoping between floor warmth and "heat cave", they will stay warm enough.
     
  6. coturnix condos

    coturnix condos Out Of The Brooder

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    ohh yes it scared the carp out of me the first time I saw them. When they sleep well it looks like they have a broken neck back legs and wings. Picture someone dropping a chick out of a 2 story building and it slaps onto the road. That's what they look like. But when another chick runs into them the pop right up and go along with their business.
     
  7. Kim4810

    Kim4810 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2016
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    Thank you for the heads up on their sleeping pose. I will be getting my first ever small group of chickens in the next month or so. I was thinking about keeping them in their brooder on our covered patio. I will have a heat lamp and make sure nothing can get in at them. I live inland Southern California, so night temperatures right now are about 45. I don't think the garage would be much warmer. I was able to get a very nice large wood box from work, but I don't think it will fit in the door. Will do something else if they are better off in the house. I want tHem to be happy and healthy.
     
  8. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glad I wasn't the only one! Nobody warned me...:th
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Overrun With Chickens

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    Please bear in mind that the principle of most heat sources is to heat chicks from above. They warm themselves by sticking their backs either under or up against a heat source. Seed mats heating from under their feet won't transmit the necessary warming adequate to achieve the objective which is to heat their backs. Think how it is when a broody gathers the chicks under her. She's heating their backs that come into direct contact with her 100F (35C) mostly bare breast. A heating pad set on the highest setting will achieve this. A seed mat will not.

    Having the brooder or even the room the brooder's in very warm in addition to having a heat source is not advisable. Chicks do much better having a cool ambient temperature surrounding the heat source. In fact, chicks raised outdoors fare so much better than indoor brooder raised chicks for many reasons.

    If you haven't already, read my article on the many advantages of raising chicks outdoors. Just scroll down to my signature window below and click on the second link.
     
  10. coturnix condos

    coturnix condos Out Of The Brooder

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    I do believe in the benefits of brooding outdoors and I would love to. How would you transition them. [​IMG] This is my coup I have solid inserts that cover the window to reduce drafts on windy/ snowy days. I had thought of putting the heat lamp in and throwing them in. But they are so small only 3 days old. It goes against everything I was taught growing up on a farm :)
     

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