Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

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Sally
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Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by Sally » Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:56 pm

Someone posted on another forum about a friend who uses a Prince Lionheart Baby Wipes Warmer as a brooder for wild bird rescues. I decided to try it out for myself, can never have enough brooders! :lol: For those who may only need a brooder once or twice, this is a solution without having to spend a fortune for one. I think this was about $20 at Walmart. All you need then is a small thermometer. One that does temperature and humidity would be ideal, but this one I have just does temps.

The biggest drawback is that it is very difficult to get the temperature where you want it. The warmer itself warms to something like 108, which would cook your babies, so you need layers of padding in the bottom. The rehabilitator had put several inches of toweling and was able to maintain the temp at 94. I had to try many combinations, finally settling on one thick dishtowel, topped by 10 one-third sheets of Bounty paper towels, the ones that can be torn off in thirds. This kept the temp between 92 and 94, which is just about what I want for newly-hatched babies. You will want to do all this long before you need the brooder, as it took hours of fiddling to get it just right.

I leave the small lid open for ventilation, plus I don't close the large lid all the way (mine is very hard to open, so I don't want the hassle every two hours!). The large lid is propped open by the cord of the thermometer probe. I put a small cup like you get at fast food places for ketchup, etc., filled with water for humidity. As the baby gets bigger and I need to lower the temperature, I will just crack the lid some more.

So far, it is working just fine. I am handfeeding an Owl hatchling--it was hatched out by my Societies, but after they squashed a Strawberry baby, I wasn't going to let them have this one! Its parents are fawn hen and split/fawn cock, so this baby could be fawn--it is certainly very light.
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Prince Lionheart Wipes Warmer.
Prince Lionheart Wipes Warmer.
Warmer ready to be set up.
Warmer ready to be set up.
Warmer with dishtowel in bottom.
Warmer with dishtowel in bottom.
Warmer with paper towels on top of dishtowel.
Warmer with paper towels on top of dishtowel.
Brooder all set up and occupied, with small cup of water and thermometer probe.
Brooder all set up and occupied, with small cup of water and thermometer probe.
Brooder in operation, with small lid open, and large lid not quite closed.
Brooder in operation, with small lid open, and large lid not quite closed.
Owl hatchling.
Owl hatchling.
3 Purple Grenadiers, 1 Goldbreast + 1 cat.

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L in Ontario
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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by L in Ontario » Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:55 pm

I remember that other post on the other forum but well done Sally!! The wee guy looks great in there! Best wishes for a Fawn Owl!!
Liz

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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by lovemyfinch » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:04 pm

Thanks for posting this Sally. :D I think I am going to buy one prep it for temps, and then put it away and hope that I never have to use it. =D> [-o<
Janine

shaftails,gouldians,societies,green singers,owls,cubans, and 1 parrotlet
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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by ikhom » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:47 pm

I remember that post. I'm glad it is working for you Sally.
Great pictures. If I need another one, then I will buy it.
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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by cindy » Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:04 pm

Great job Sally...the baby looks good, hope you get your fawn!

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How to Make an Easy Inexpensive Finch Incubator

Post by annague » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:09 pm

I am posting this in breeding because I couldn't see anywhere better to post it. Moderators please move it for me if it is in the wrong spot.

I have a couple of people who have asked me for instructions on making a homemade baby finch incubator. It's very easy and please note that I've used mine very successfully for about 3 years to keep hand-fed babies warm and toasty.

I'm sure there are many variations out there but here are instructions on how to make an incubator with common objects.

You will need:

A. Largish Tupperware type bowl with lid
B. Ice Pick or Sharp-Tip Scissors
C. Smallish Tupperware type bowl (it should be able to fit easily in
the large one with plenty of room to spare)
D. Inexpensive heating pad that does NOT turn off by itself
E. Small, heavy (so it won't turn over) cup -- I use a shot glass
that will sit comfortably beside the small bowl inside the large
bowl
F. Paper Towels or Nesting Material
G. Duct Tape
H. Washcloths
I. Optional: Hydrometer and Thermometer to measure humidity
& temperature. I use a small round one made for amphibians


INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Take the lid of the large bowl and punch several holes in it with
the icepick/scissors so that there is good ventilation. Set aside.

2. Place the large bowl with the bottom in the midst of the
heating pad and secure the pad around the bowl w/the duct
tape. Turn the heating pad onto it's lowest setting -- you
should maintain the heat in the 90's.

3. Put the nesting material (or paper towels) in the middle of
the small bowl and create a soft nest for the chick.
(Remember to provide support on all sides if it is alone and
be sure to place its legs under its hips when you put it
in the bowl so its hip joints will develop properly.)

4. Place the small bowl inside the large bowl. As the chick gets
older you can reduce the heat inside the incubator by
placing washcloths under the small bowl.

5. Fill your small cup with water -- (purified is best) and place
it beside the small bowl inside the large bowl.

6. Place your hydrometer/thermometer inside to monitor
humidity and temperature. This can vary some but
you should always make sure the cup has some water.

7. Place the chick inside the small bowl-nest. Snap on the
lid and you are ready to go.

Remember to change the papertowels or the nesting on a frequent basis as it is soiled.
Anna

Lots of Red Throat Parrot Finches, Forbes, Gouldians, BCCB's, RCCB's, Owls, Societies, and BB Fires. Plus, one wonderful 15 year old son, one wonderful husband and two rotten-to-the-core Border Terriers.

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Re: How to Make an Easy Inexpensive Finch Incubator

Post by dfcauley » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:16 pm

Thanks Anna!!! :lol:
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Re: How to Make an Easy Inexpensive Finch Incubator

Post by bugaboo5 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:48 pm

Hello - Thank you so much for sharing this. =D> I was just wondering if you could clarify though if this was a incubator or a brooder? Would we be able to incubate eggs in your set-up as well as keep babies warm? I'm just curious because I have a hovabator (incubator) from years ago when I used to raise quail that I used for hatching eggs. :) Either way, thank you! This seems very low maintenance and efficient. :D
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Re: How to Make an Easy Inexpensive Finch Incubator

Post by lovemyfinch » Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:50 pm

With the permission of the original poster, we have decided that we will make this a sticky.
There are also other inexpensive ways of making an incubator, including using a diaper warmer. I will try to find that post, I believe that it was Sally's, and try to add it into this one. This is a topic that should be of great interest to anyone who is handfeeding and trying to keep the little tykes warm.
Janine

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Re: How to Make an Easy Inexpensive Finch Incubator

Post by annague » Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:56 pm

Bugaboo, you're right -- this is more of a brooder than an Incubator (although, strangely enough -- I did have a late term egg hatch in it one time!) :shock:

It works very well and is very easy and since I am mechanically challenged I look for simple!
Anna

Lots of Red Throat Parrot Finches, Forbes, Gouldians, BCCB's, RCCB's, Owls, Societies, and BB Fires. Plus, one wonderful 15 year old son, one wonderful husband and two rotten-to-the-core Border Terriers.

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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by Queen_Bee » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:39 am

Very clever! =D> I love these DIY solutions. I'll be storing this one away for future reference.
Jacqui
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2 Owl boys and 2 Red Cheeked Cordon Bleus (on some eggs)
and 6 Masked Grass Finches ... so far!

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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by CosmoJoe » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:05 am

I have been looking for exactly this kind of post; thanks so much!

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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by annague » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:05 pm

On behalf of Sally and myself: You are very welcome!

As a newbie myself I stumbled through the internet desperately looking for information I needed on my finches so I wanted to be able to provide some of that hard-won knowledge to other new finch people in one convenient place. The FF is that place. It also contains unbelievable amounts of other knowledge from very wonderful, experienced finchers who don't mind helping the rest of us along. :)
Anna

Lots of Red Throat Parrot Finches, Forbes, Gouldians, BCCB's, RCCB's, Owls, Societies, and BB Fires. Plus, one wonderful 15 year old son, one wonderful husband and two rotten-to-the-core Border Terriers.

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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by maru » Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:46 pm

Anna, I have just read your post. I have never hand fed, and I didn´t think or doing it, but I have a pair of goulds who have tossed their babies more than once. The last time I was very surprised, since I saw the baby and I put a towel on the floor in case they tossed him maybe I would find him alive, but I was happy because I never saw the baby on the floor. I didn´t want to disturb, because the parents seem so good parents, they almost never left the nest, specially the father. I saw the hen getting out and eating, and I was almost sure the baby was being fed ok. And they had another egg, too, so I thought maybe it had hatched, too. But when finally I saw (after about 5 days after I saw the baby) both parents outside the nest, I took a look inside and the baby was gone! I don´t know what happened. The egg was still there, but I took it out, since I saw there was nothing in it.
So if they put eggs again, I don´t know if I should give them another chance, or try hand-feeding, even when I see it like a very difficult task.
I have several questions, to begin getting prepared in case I decide to do it. Is the heating pad you mention one that is intended for heating baby wipes, like the one in the picture Sally posted? And I don´t think I can find hand feeding formula for finches in Mexico, but I have seen one for parrots. I think I read here somewhere that it might work, what do yo think?
5 lady gouldians

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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by annague » Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:14 pm

Hi Maru,

I would give the gouldians another chance and just watch to make sure they are feeding the little ones. Almost all birds, including gouldians have to have some experience before they get that baby raising and feeding stuff down.

If they don't feed or YOU decide to handfeed a normal heating pad on low or warm (lowest setting) is what I used to make my brooder. Sally also made a brooder using a wipe warmer and hers are the first few posts so you can decide what works best for you and go from there.

If all you can find is for parrots you can use that -- it is probably not the best but should work fine in a pinch. :)

Let me know if you have other questions -- and be sure to keep us on the FF informed!!
Anna

Lots of Red Throat Parrot Finches, Forbes, Gouldians, BCCB's, RCCB's, Owls, Societies, and BB Fires. Plus, one wonderful 15 year old son, one wonderful husband and two rotten-to-the-core Border Terriers.

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