Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Tips for successful breeding and troubleshooting breeding problems.
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love4finches
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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by love4finches » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:50 pm

It's so interesting to see a post go on for so long. It's such an important one and I actually needed help regarding 3 babies the parents gave up on. I find all your suggestions wonderful but for ease and if you don't have the money (which actually you don't need) using a heating pad and two plastic containers is all you really need to feed and care for the babies. Doing it right now for my fourth day and it is wonderful. Have them on my night stand to I can hear them when hungry.(they are not loud at all when "screaming?" for food. More like a breath noise). So darn cute and enjoying the heck out of this. My first time ever feeding such small birds and have to admit I did lose one but the second one was put in the baby aviary now and doing great and have one left that has no indication that she's even ready to do more than be fed. Will take it slow with her. She seems younger than the other two and I think she is going to be my special girl.

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Javierperezjz
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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by Javierperezjz » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:27 am

All my birds are parent raised, but makes me want to make or get this. This is a great post. Is never a bad idea to have a back up for those chick that the parents don't want to feed.
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finchfunaddict
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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by finchfunaddict » Sat May 04, 2013 3:00 pm

I always give my birds two chances. I guess I just want to encourage them to do it right and on their own. It's very frustrating I know. I have learned i can't save every egg but I try to save every hatchling if possible. I have a friend that uses really tall boxes for his. Making it a little more difficult to toss the gould babies..Not sure what nest or box you are using.
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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by Mocknbird2 » Thu May 16, 2013 5:11 pm

Thank you for sharing this idea! The baby wipe warmer is also super.
I used to use an aquarium heater in a larger container, but it broke and I can no longer find the low watt (25 or less) heater needed.
I've also had a lot of trouble finding a heating pad without auto shut-off. I've looked everywhere I can think of, so if anyone knows where they have the heating pads without the auto shut off, or a safe way to convert the auto shut off kind, I'd appreciate hearing about it.
Thank you again.
annague wrote: 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.
All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men and women to stand by and do nothing.

http://www.finchbreederdatabase.com/php ... php?id=987

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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by robs1970 » Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:45 pm

Sally,
I am really excited to try this brooder. I have a bourke egg getting ready to hatch any day now. I usually use a 10 gal aquarium and a heat lamp. With kitchen towels. This will take up way less space and will be easier to regulate and keep the temp constant.

Thanks,
Rob

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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by Sally » Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:25 pm

It's not always easy to keep the temperature constant, I usually have to prop the top open varying amounts to keep the temp where I want it. One of the best things I love about using the wipes warmer is that I can take it with me. If I have to be gone for the day, I just load up my warmer plus a little bag with my handfeeding supplies, plug the warmer into the cigarette lighter receptacle in my truck, and off I go. Aquariums are great, but not so portable. When the baby gets bigger and doesn't need heat, I have used those plastic critter keepers. Poor babies, I have dragged them with me to meetings, to lunch, running errands--but it sure beats having to be stuck at home because of every 2 hour feedings. :wink:
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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by Smurf » Thu May 29, 2014 4:42 pm

Great read about brooders with loads of creative ideas, i'm thinking about getting 1 of the lionheart warmers, the main issue most seem to be having is regulating the temperature, this could solve the issue :)

http://www.ultimatereef.net/forums/show ... p?t=479021

but will require some electrical knowledge to set up, if it doesn't work out it can always be used to control Birdroom temperature.
Padraic

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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by Sally » Thu May 29, 2014 5:06 pm

It is definitely a problem trying to keep the temperature constant. I tried using a dimmer switch, which did work to a certain extent, but it took me forever to get it just where I needed it to be when I wanted 94F temp. Then each time I needed to lower the temp some, it required so much fussing with it to get it just right, it was almost too much trouble.
3 Purple Grenadiers, 1 Goldbreast + 1 cat.

National Finch & Softbill Society - http://www.nfss.org

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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by lnlovesorange » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:13 pm

url=http://www.finchforum.com/memberlist.ph ... e8f18ead48]Sally[/url] I bought this wipe warmer as a just in case. Was wondering if the one you have here (which btw mine looks almost identical, would give you the brand name but not sure if we can "promote" brands) was wondering if the heat on yours comes from the top? Where i put the clothes & paper towels doesn't get hot. So i was just wondering how i would cool it down, if the heat source is on the top (where if it were the bottom heating , them i could just add extra cloths and paper towels) No biggie , not using it and ;knock on wood, i won't have to. Just if you see this &have any thoughts. Thanks!
Also, anyone else feel free to chime in!

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Sally
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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by Sally » Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:33 pm

It's OK to mention brand names. I have two models, one that heats from the bottom and one that heats from the top, can't remember the brands. The way I have found to regulate the heat on the top-heater model is to prop the top open a bit. I have a small thermometer, so I can open the lid more or less as needed. Not ideal, but it still beats spending a lot of money on something that may never be used.
3 Purple Grenadiers, 1 Goldbreast + 1 cat.

National Finch & Softbill Society - http://www.nfss.org

ac12
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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by ac12 » Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:05 pm

I had somewhat the opposite problem. At max setting I could barely reach 94F, even 92F was a problem. The solution was stupid simple, and came to me as I was staring at the ceiling trying to get to sleep. I put a small wash cloth folded in half over the warmer. That provided enough insulation that reaching 92-94F is no longer a problem.

I still have the same problem that Sally mentioned. I use a dimmer to control the power to the heater, so there is no feedback loop, to regulate the temperature. The problem occurs when the room temperature drops during the night, the brooder does not compensate, and the temp inside the brooder goes down. I'm hoping that the towel on top of the brooder will help hold the heat in, so the inside temp won't drop as much.

BTW, having the brooder just saved one gouldian chick. Getting its body temp up also got it active enough to eat, which kept it from dying. I'm getting ready to move it back to the societies tomorrow.
Gary

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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by Stinch » Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:35 am

You know what weird? When I was hand-raising my baby society finch, he was always hot. Even when he was uncovered! I didn't use a heating pad though, I just kept him in a warmer room, but he was at home in the room... I used to keep him in my computer/video game room. Weird thing is, I didn't have a brooder for him, but I had a brooder for my budgie... Weird isn't it?

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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by ac12 » Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:20 pm

I think I found a way to control the temp in a brooder. This is an electronic thermostat that you can plug the baby wipe warmer into. It monitors the temp inside the brooder, and turns the heater on or off. That is much better than using a light dimmer where I have to manually adjust the dimmer based on the temp inside the brooder. And based on my experience, it is HARD to maintain a particular temp.

What I don't know is how much the temp swing is before it turns on/off, and how long it takes the heater to warm up. I will have to test it once I get it.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/311591494175?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

And it isn't expensive.
I just ordered one.
Just make sure you select US plug, for those of us in US/Canada.
Gary

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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by Sam007 » Fri Apr 29, 2016 4:13 pm

ac12
You can also use these cheap water heater thermostats. There are many youtube videos about how to use them in home made incubator or brooder. http://www.homedepot.com/b/Plumbing-Wat ... olZ1z0u2lo

Homemade Incubator Made With Water Heater Thermostathttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPNsEkMGu5Y
I love Gouldian Finches.

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Re: Inexpensive Brooder You Can Make

Post by ac12 » Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:51 pm

Sam007

That is an interesting link about making an incubator/brooder out of a cooler. Something to think about.

Well the thermostat is in the mail. Now the long wait for it to come from China to the US.
Gary

gouldians (GB,YB,BB), blackbelly firefinches (trying to breed), societies (foster parents).
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