We had a really bad storm hit us last night and every breeder's nightmare came true. Our power went out. Not just for a few minutes, but for eight hours! Luckily, I did not have any eggs in the incubator or really young chicks. Otherwise, we would have had to drag out the generator and hook it up. So I heated water for formula the old fashioned way (on the stove) and fed by the light of candles and a flashlight.
I did have two babies in a brooder that needed to be kept warm. So I decided to try something. The chicks were in a bowl inside the brooder. I placed two hot hands packets a few inches away from the bowl, on the floor of the brooder. Let me say again, the packets were NOT in the bowl with the chicks nor did they have any contact with the bowl that the chicks were in. (I want to be very clear on that point).
The two packets kept the brooder at 87 degrees and the chicks were very comfortable. After four hours, the hot hands packs were still going strong. I exchanged the old ones out with two new ones anyway so I could get some rest and not worry about it. These worked well to provide the little bit of heat that I needed.
A note about the hot hands packs. They get very hot (up to 158 degrees) and should be used with extreme caution. They are decent to use in a pinch to heat the AREA around the chicks. Never put them underneath chicks or where the chicks will have direct contact with them. Even when wrapped in a thick towel or underneath inches of bedding, these small packs can generate enough heat to overheat or even kill your little ones. So be careful!
Speaking of babies. We have two normal green cheek conures still available! We are handfeeding them now and will accept a deposit to hold them until they are weaned. Contact me through my website for more information.