So, you have an incubator full of eggs and new chicks in the brooder that need heat and your power is now out and you don’t know when it will come back on! Not to mention, you don’t own a generator either! In the wake of Hurricane Sandy I know many of you are in this situation. I’ve been there, not as a result of a hurricane but bad weather nonetheless and it’s a horrible sight to see chicks only days old “piling” because they are cold. Or eggs in your incubator and you’re watching the temp drop by the minute. There is something you can do! It wasn’t that long ago, I was frantically running around trying to figure out how to keep 2 brooders warm and my incubator warm too! Here’s what I did:
1. Fill mason jars with boiling water and wrap them with aluminum foil (the foil helps hold in the heat), then a thin dish towel (the dish towel protects your chicks from getting burned) and place them in brooders and the incubator(s). I am fortunate to have a gas stove, so cooking is not an issue with a power outage. Maybe you have an electric stove, if so, fire up your grill or build a fire in your fire pit, somehow figure out a way that works for you to get boiling water. If there is no way, then simply use the hottest water you can get out of your tap. The temps drop quickly so you must move fast and the hotter the water, the faster you’ll get your temps up again. You will have to continuously monitor your temps so they don’t get too hot and they will fluctuate a lot using this method, but in an emergency, it works.
2. If you’re not too far out in the boonies, hopefully there is a store nearby such as a Wal-Mart or Meijer or hardware store. For about $30-40 you can purchase an electrical car adapter (pictured below). We own 2 of these little lifesavers (during the black out of 2003 we sat and watched tv when there was no power anywhere). This wonderful little gadget allows you to run small appliances off your car battery! You will need to leave your car running most of the time while doing this but when it comes to an emergency, you won’t care! I was able to run lights for both my brooders and my incubator off my car battery until the power came back on! All my chicks and my eggs were saved and our power came back on 16 hours later.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of you who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Be well and stay safe our friends.