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Where should my new chicks live?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Baby chicks should be kept in a special home called a brooder.


Brooder: The brooder is the first home of new chicks. Be sure it is comfortable, warm and draft-free with at least 3 to 4 square feet per chick. The area should be circular and expandable.

Heat lamp: Assemble a heat lamp in the center of the brooder for bird warmth. Hang the heat lamp about 20 inches above the litter, with 2.5 to 3 feet between the lamp and the guard walls. The temperature under the heat lamp, or comfort zone, should be 95 degrees Fahrenheit and adequate room in the brooder should be available for the chicks to get out from under the heater if they get too hot. After week one, gradually reduce heat by 5 degrees Fahrenheit each week until reaching a minimum of 55 degrees.

Bedding: Add an absorbant wood shavings bedding to the floor of the brooder. Place bedding 3 to 4 inches deep to keep the area dry and odor free. Remove wet bedding daily, especially around waterers. Do not use cedar shavings or other types of shavings that have a strong odor because the odor could affect the long term health of the bird.

Lights: Provide 18 – 22 hours of light for the first week. Then reduce light to 16 hours through the growing period or to the amount of light they will receive when they are 20 weeks of age.  The amount of light intensity required would be provided by a 40 watt bulb for each 100 square feet (10’ x 10’) of floor space.

Feeders: Offer 4 linear inches of feeder space for each bird. Clean egg cartons filled with feed make excellent and easily accessible feeders for young chicks.  Provide low-lying feeders, or trough feeders, for after the transition.

Waterers: For every 25 chicks, fill two 1-quart waterers with room temperature water and place them in the brooder. To help water stay at room temperature, place the waterers in the brooder, outside the comfort zone (do not position underneath the heat lamp), 24 hours prior to the chicks arrival.

post #2 of 2

I have used an old fridge to raise a good few batches of chicks and it works well for me. I find it is very easy to hose out now and then. What do you think of it ?

 

the second one is the most used one for the batches of chicks. I find that if there are more than about 6 chicks they don't need heat after about the first week, once they go outdoors basically. But I do sometimes use a desk lamp in there if I am not sure. It's good that way because they can move a really really really really long way back if they wanted to, cause it is so big and roomy. Later when they surely can't use the heat I replace the globe with a LED globe which is quite cool running. Then it still attracts insects which the chicks go crazy for. There is nothing as good as watching a pet grab a mosquito out of thin air and eat it. I hate mosquitoes.

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