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Outdoor Brooder

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I just posted about our possible Leghorn rooster, but I also wanted to get more info about outdoor brooders.

Right now our four chicks have been in a large cardboard box in the basement with a heatlamp since we got them last weekend.

It has Always seemed a bit strange to me to have them in a place where they can't see outside or ahve any contact with the natural world as they would if they were with a mother hen. Reading various posts and other info I find that I am not alone with this idea and that there are lot of outdoor brooding proponents. Aside from the mental and physical  health of the chickens having them out of the house would sooth some "ruffled feathers" of some of the non-chicken-loving parts of the family.

So, how do I do this?

Ours is a suburban situation. I don't have a heated outbuilding, though I do have a garden shed. We've got lots of predators of all types: rats, foxes, coyotes, hawks, eagles, weasles and similar, raccoons, you name it. So, I feel like whatever it is will have to be completely enclosed in wire mesh. I will have to run an extension cable to the heatsource.

I was thinking about some sort of chicken tractor that could be outside when it's warm and rolled into the shed or garage (also un heated) at night. Perhaps being moveable would keep dust from building around the heat lamp?

Would a heat lamp be enough for 2-3 week old chicks if it was over an enclosed 2' x 3' x 2'high box?

We are in NE Kansas where it can get down to freezing at night through mid april.

Would welcome thoughts from outdoor brooders particularly in this climate zone.

post #2 of 2
I section off a small area of the chicken coop and run electricity out with an extension cord. This way they are with the chickens from the start. They can see each other through the fence but the big ones can't get to the little ones.
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