For many years it has been an acceptable practice to use heating pads which are intended for human use. Recently the manufacturers have added auto turn off safety precautions to the heating pads. I believe it is impossible to find heating pads which do not have this auto turn off feature. So, the heating pads are no longer a viable option in keeping baby parrots warm. Besides the fact that these heating pads have posed dangers to over heating and under heating parrots for many years.
I have been making and using this type of water brooder to keep my babies warm for many years. I am able to heat up the baby's environment as high as 97-99 degrees and keep the temperature at this constant temperature. The heat that is generated by the fish tank heater can be held in better by covering the tops and sides of the brooder with heavy towels or blankets.
Just born babies should be kept at a constant 96-99 degree temperature until they develop pin feathers and are able to better regulate their temperatures. At this time I slowly lower the temperature to 80-85 degrees. Once feathers begin to appear I lower the temperature each day till they are at room temperature and seem comfortable.
Humidity is also important to development of baby parrots. Depending on the type of baby, I keep the humidity levels at 50 to 75%. I find that caique babies need much more humidity for their development than conures or poicephalus. The way I increase humidity is by putting a bowl of water in the brooder, making sure that the babies can not get into the bowl and drown. If I need to increase humidity higher than what the bowl of water is supplying, then I cover the top of the brooder with a clean damp towel. The towel will need to be re-dampened several times a day. Change the towel to a clean towel often to make sure no bacteria is developing in the towel.
How to make the Brooder:
The supplies you will need:
A 100 Watt Fish Tank Heater with temperature control dial
Aquarium water sealing glue
Two similar sized containers. I used Cambro brand 12 Quart or 1/2 Size containers. (These are used in restaurants)
Some kind of Kennel Pad for the bottom
Thermometer / Humidity Reader
This is how the heater should be attached to the bottom container. To make it easier to drill the hole in the container I fill the container with water and freeze it. This way when I drill the hole in the container I do not splinter or crack the plastic. I then use aquarium water sealing glue to attach the heater to the container and seal it water tight. Make sure the heater is level and not touching the bottom of the container.