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New chicks coming 1/11. Brooding outside

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi there. I read up on Blooie's MHP brooding method and I'm definitely going to go that route. I will have 10 chicks, and will be brooding in my garage. There's no heat in there but it never really gets below 35 or 40. On the absolute coldest days. I plan to have them in there from day one. I really don't want them in the house if I can avoid it. I have a very large dog crate big enough for a big lab or shepherd. Can I use that with the heating pad cave inside? Is it too big to start out with? When can they go to the coop in the brooder?
post #2 of 7

They can probably go in the coop right away. It likely isn't any colder than the garage. As long as you have a warm enough spot, the space should be large so they can get to a cool space. That's just like a mother hen. She doesn't warm all ambient air. She provides a hot spot where they can warm up but most of the day they are running around in the cold.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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post #3 of 7

I do mine in the coop. They have an area that is always warm, they can easily get to it when needed. They have done well.

post #4 of 7

Please let us know where you are located. But assuming you live in a moderate climate zone, I would skip brooding in the garage and set up the heating pad system right in your coop.

 

I brooded two batches of chicks this past year right in my run using the heating pad system. Not the coop, but out in the enclosed run. My babies had a large safe pen from day one in which to grow and develop. The temps for the first batch ranged from 30s F at night to the 50s F during the day. They did splendidly.

 

Are these ten chicks going to be the start of your flock or do you have adult chickens, too?  Regardless, you can still brood in your coop. The advantage of brooding in the coop is that the chicks will grow up there and will be able to avoid the stress of transitioning from the garage to the coop later. It will make life so much easier as they develop. I had to transition my chicks from the run to the coop when they were five weeks old. I didn't brood in there because the coop is much too small.

 

So, brood the chicks where they will be living and be done with it.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by azygous View Post

Please let us know where you are located. But assuming you live in a moderate climate zone, I would skip brooding in the garage and set up the heating pad system right in your coop.

I brooded two batches of chicks this past year right in my run using the heating pad system. Not the coop, but out in the enclosed run. My babies had a large safe pen from day one in which to grow and develop. The temps for the first batch ranged from 30s F at night to the 50s F during the day. They did splendidly.

Are these ten chicks going to be the start of your flock or do you have adult chickens, too?  Regardless, you can still brood in your coop. The advantage of brooding in the coop is that the chicks will grow up there and will be able to avoid the stress of transitioning from the garage to the coop later. It will make life so much easier as they develop. I had to transition my chicks from the run to the coop when they were five weeks old. I didn't brood in there because the coop is much too small.

So, brood the chicks where they will be living and be done with it.

Thank your your reply! I live in Maryland. Our winters are kind of all over the place. Sometimes they're snowy and cold and then you have years like this one, where its 65 in Dec! Either way, we don't have many nights below 25 or so and average coldest days are just at or below freezing. Oh I almost forgot, these are my first chickens!
Edited by Traceaskew - 12/8/15 at 7:09am
post #6 of 7

Then you have every reason to brood in your coop. Go for it!

post #7 of 7
My brooder in the coop is 3’ x 6’. I’ve put chicks in there straight from the brooder when the outside temperature was below freezing. I know how you sometimes read about keeping the young chicks near the heat the first few days but I don’t bother. Mine are extremely good about self-regulating heat from the start. I would not worry about that dog crate being too big.

I use a couple of heat lamps instead of the heating pad tunnel but that is just a detail. The goal is to keep one area warm enough and let the rest cool off enough so they can self-regulate. Sometimes there is ice in the far end of my brooder but the other end stays toasty.

This photo was taken during a warmer period so I just had a draft guard around the bottom. In really cold weather it is wrapped a lot more.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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