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Newbie brooder question

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I only plan on getting 3 or 4 chicks my first go round. will a 22 gallon Rubbermaid be sufficient for the entire brooding process or will I need to upgrade to a larger container before transitioning to the coop?
post #2 of 9

  I have a brooder around that size, and although It's nice, It isn't very big. Since it is cold out, you will need to keep the chicks inside much longer than in the summer (unless you are getting chicks next spring). You will soon find that after the girls are about six-seven weeks old, it will be very crowded in there. I like to transition my chicks from a small brooder to a bigger one when I can (like a rabbit cage to a Rubbermaid tub to the shower) because they revel in the extra space each move. Either way, yes, you will have to get a bigger container before they are ready for outside temps if you use this tub.

  If you try to put them in the coop with a heat lamp after they get to big for their container, please note that they (the lamps) can cause fires and if they suddenly go off (like in a power outage during a storm) your chicks will suffer in the unexpected and severe temperature change.

"With a good set of power tools, some glue and some nails, all things are possible." Me

 

Dragons are a lot like cats. They sleep with one eye open, tail a-twitch, and will rain fiery death down upon you should you disturb them.

Reply

"With a good set of power tools, some glue and some nails, all things are possible." Me

 

Dragons are a lot like cats. They sleep with one eye open, tail a-twitch, and will rain fiery death down upon you should you disturb them.

Reply
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlelune810 View Post

I only plan on getting 3 or 4 chicks my first go round. will a 22 gallon Rubbermaid be sufficient for the entire brooding process or will I need to upgrade to a larger container before transitioning to the coop?

If your chicks will grow up to be large size fowl , like Rhode Island Reds and Sussex ( that is, not a bantam  size chicken) if your chicks are large fowl chicks you will need one sq. ft. per bird till about one month old. Then you will need 1 1/2 -2 sq. ft. per birds till 4 months old. Do not include the space for the feed and waterer when calculating. These sq. ft. measurements are for space for the birds to move around. Try a 96 gallon tub. That should work fine until they are ready to go into the coop. Extra room for the chicks is a good thing. More exercise for them, smile.

 Best,

 Karen


Edited by 3riverschick - 11/6/15 at 9:32pm

Walt Boese strain and Tewart flock of Pure English  Light Sussex

My flock now resides with Farmer Karl in PA.   

  I know he will do well by them. Karl is a knowing poultry man.

RIP Hellbender, my friend. Good friend, good heart, gone too soon.

Reply

Walt Boese strain and Tewart flock of Pure English  Light Sussex

My flock now resides with Farmer Karl in PA.   

  I know he will do well by them. Karl is a knowing poultry man.

RIP Hellbender, my friend. Good friend, good heart, gone too soon.

Reply
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you both. Yes I forgot to mention it will be spring and they will be larger/full size chickens Americauna's or Plymouth rocks or similar size.
post #5 of 9

Then it should be fine, as long as you move them into the coop after six weeks. This means having the coop built in time, a major problem  many chickeneers face. ;) I kept mine indoors in the shower (only at night) until they were almost 13 weeks old, because the coop wasn't finished. 

"With a good set of power tools, some glue and some nails, all things are possible." Me

 

Dragons are a lot like cats. They sleep with one eye open, tail a-twitch, and will rain fiery death down upon you should you disturb them.

Reply

"With a good set of power tools, some glue and some nails, all things are possible." Me

 

Dragons are a lot like cats. They sleep with one eye open, tail a-twitch, and will rain fiery death down upon you should you disturb them.

Reply
post #6 of 9
My chicks are almost 4 weeks old. We are here in Florida where the temps have remained in the 90s-80s. Our winter is very mild obviously and it probably won't even get "cold" until January. Do you think 6 weeks is ok to put them outside in their coop, with this weather? They are RIRs. Thanks smile.png
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ManfreChickens View Post

My chicks are almost 4 weeks old. We are here in Florida where the temps have remained in the 90s-80s. Our winter is very mild obviously and it probably won't even get "cold" until January. Do you think 6 weeks is ok to put them outside in their coop, with this weather? They are RIRs. Thanks smile.png

Ok so I don't even have chickens yet but the Murray McMurray book says that between 4 and 6 weeks of age you can start moving them to their "grown-up" coop as long as they either have their feathers or as long as its not too cold outside. It says to make sure their coop is at about 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. So if It gets colder at night you would want a heat lamp out there but I guess otherwise you should be ok. Maybe someone with more experience can chime in but like I said this comes straight from the book called "Chickens in 5 Minutes a Day" from Murray McMurray Hatchery. Hope this helps.
Edited by littlelune810 - 11/7/15 at 2:51pm
post #8 of 9

I've read that book too. :) MenfreChickens, what are the night time temps? If they are above 60, then your babies should be fine. If your worried, you can always wait a week. :)

"With a good set of power tools, some glue and some nails, all things are possible." Me

 

Dragons are a lot like cats. They sleep with one eye open, tail a-twitch, and will rain fiery death down upon you should you disturb them.

Reply

"With a good set of power tools, some glue and some nails, all things are possible." Me

 

Dragons are a lot like cats. They sleep with one eye open, tail a-twitch, and will rain fiery death down upon you should you disturb them.

Reply
post #9 of 9
Hi there!

Our lows are mid 70s right now at night. The lowest projected temp for the next two weeks is 68.

We've already turned the heat lamp off in the garage for their brooder because they were sleeping away from it and separately because I think it was too warm after they were 3 weeks old.
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