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Experience using rocket mass heater to warm a brooder?

 
Liz Hoxie
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Location: Ellisforde, WA
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Has anyone used a RMH to provide heat in a brooder. I'm wondering if there would be enough leftover heat when the fire dies down to get them through the night.
 
thomas rubino
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Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana
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Hi Liz;  I'm sure that this would work. Of course being extra cautious with fire in a hay filled barn would be a top priority. Once the mass heats up it takes many hours to cool off.  I actually plan on doing it myself as soon as I retire. A RMH for keeping chickens warm, and water thawed,  a  warm place for cows to birth instead of a sub zero barn. Pigs and horses would like a warm spot as well.  A batch box might make a better choice than a J tube as the fire is covered and it would need less tending.
 
chad duncan
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Newly hatched chicks have some very specific heat requirements. Too hot and too cold will kill them equally. The best way to brood chicks is to give them a too hot spot that they can move to or away from as they require to self regulate. I suspect the mass would be too hot sometimes and too cold sometimes with no way to regulate themselves.
 
thomas rubino
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The mass has different temps depending on how close to the core you are and how long your rmh has been burning. It takes a while to heat up all that rock. My mass is 14' long, close to the core, surface temps average around 90-115 F  the farthest end of the mass at the same time will have a surface temp from 60-80 F.  New thought ... Chickens poop on everything ... maybe having them on the mass is not such a good idea after all ...  Use the mass to keep the room temperate and a heat lamp for brooding ...
DSCN0738.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSCN0738.JPG]
looking down the mass
 
Liz Hoxie
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Location: Ellisforde, WA
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Thank you. That answers those questions. I could fill books with what I don't know about RMH.
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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This is something I have looked into as well. Your best bet is a massive rmh brooder in a loop rather than your typical doubled back bench type.

The loop creates cool space in the center for the chicks to relax at, and varying degrees of heat along the length of the mass.

The best part is it allows true darkness for the chicks. I've never liked the idea of exposing the chicks to constant lamp radiation. Light in the day and dark at night.
 
chad duncan
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Kyrt Ryder wrote:

The best part is it allows true darkness for the chicks. I've never liked the idea of exposing the chicks to constant lamp radiation. Light in the day and dark at night.


More than the light, heat lamps scare me because of their fire risk in a brooder. I use a heating pad formed into a tunnel. The chicks will enter and leave the tunnel as they need to to self regulate their temperature (the same behaviour as if they were under a real hen and not a 'mama heating pad'). Instead of a 250 watt fire hazard,  I have a 10 watt hearing pad (not sure of the actual wattage of the pad, I forgot,  but it was well under 100). Once I moved to the heating pad,  dog piles stopped immediately.
 
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