What to do (or not) if the power goes out

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tomato lady, May 19, 2009.

  1. tomato lady

    tomato lady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2009
    Eatonville, WA
    This is my first time with baby chicks. I have 14 of them about 2 ½ weeks old in the chicken coop under a light bulb to keep warm. I have worried about the light bulb burning out or something because our nights are not very warm here in Washington this time of year. Tonight I woke up at midnight to the “or something”. Our power was out! No nice warm bulb for my babies! I waited about an hour and then decided I had to do something. The only thing I could think of was to warm up the van and put them in there in my little dog carrier.

    I got the little animal carrier ready and started up the van and THE LOW FUEL LIGHT WAS ON!!! Who left the van on empty??!! Oops, that would probably be me coming home on the fumes again. Now I not only needed to keep the chicks warm but I needed to get gas ....... nearest station open almost 20 minutes away. I loaded the chicks into the dog carrier and put them in the warm van and took off to get gas. The chicks kept me company with their sweet little peeping. They were warm and happy. When I got home it was nearly 3 a.m. and the lights were back on. Well, at least I have gas for morning.

    Maybe someone can answer this question. How long would the chicks be able to keep warm enough without a light on a 40 degree night? I suspect they would have been just fine if I had just gone back to sleep.

    Viki, the tomato lady
     
  2. firedove

    firedove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2008
    Fitzwilliam NH
    They probably would have been OK for a couple of hours if they were in your house, outside they would get cold very fast unless they had a small space to cram themselves into to keep warm. It's the wrong season for them now, but if you can find them, keeping a couple of "Hot Hands" type heat packs around isn't a bad idea if you have frequent power troubles and young chicks. Just one or two of those in the brooder, wrapped in a towel, with space to get away, does wonders. They actually run hotter than the chicks would normally need, but if they are getting cold they will snuggle up to them for warmth. It's not ideal but those packs do last for 5 to 8 hours depending upon the brand and how cold it is. Best of all they require no electricity.

    If you have a gas stove you could get some hot water bottles and keep water on hand. Then when the power goes out you can just heat some water on the stove to about 100 degrees and pour it into the bags. Place the bags in the brooder and let them snuggle with that.

    Either way it's a quick fix and doesn't require a lot of gas!
     
  3. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

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    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    Wonderful suggestions. Yes the little ones need some heat when its that cold.
     
  4. tomato lady

    tomato lady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2009
    Eatonville, WA
    Thanks for the advice. The hot hands idea sounds great. As for the hot water bottle, we have our own well with an electric pump so when we are out of power we are also out of water.

    My coop is built under the kids old tree fort which is actually not in a tree. It is supported by 4 telephone pole sections set into the ground. The fort's 2 x 8 floor beams act as cieling beams for the coop. There is no blocking between the beams, just chicken wire to keep out critters. This is good for some air circulation but it could cool down quickly. The chicks are in one corner with a light. They are not in a brooder, but just blocked on three sides. When it is warm they run all over the coop which has a dirt floor. They love it, but it would cool down quickly.

    viki
     

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