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Chick set up near Seattle, Wa: questions & show me your brooder

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

This is our second time with baby chicks. First time we had a separate room for the chicks but it is now occupied by my son. I had thought we were going to keep the chicks in the garage but I'm afraid they would get too cold at night even with a heat lamp. We currently have them in a Rubbermaid brooder which is keeping the temp between 90-95 degrees. They are in my husband and my office which is already very hot due to many computers and other work items.

 

Question: I know they grow quickly and won't be able to stay in the Rubbermaid container for a long period of time. How long do you think they will be ok in this size set up? What do you recommend after this? We used a dog crate for a while with our last ones. For our climate (we are in Bothell, WA) how long do you think they need to remain inside? We will be integrating them in to an existing flock. I believe our last we wait 12-16 weeks. We are still getting 60 degreeish weather but 40s at night. In 12 or so weeks it will be July and much warmer. Two of the chicks are silkies, one barred rock and one Americauna.

 

If you could post pictures of your simple brooder set ups and in between solutions before they go outside, I would be forever grateful.

 

 

 

post #2 of 5

Hi there!  

Another Seattle-area resident here, but from the underside of the lake.  My chicks are now two weeks old and they are growing quite fast.  I have six chicks in at 5ftx3ft step up shower, with cardboard/pine shavings and an additional cardboard wall.

 

I'm using a "Mama's heating pad" set up.  There is a post about it, it is much safer than a heat lamp. The ambient temp for the room is about 70, under the heating pad it is 85, but they rarely go under any more, just bask on top.  I'll likely reduce the temp even more or turn it off in the next week.  I'd be careful the brooder is not too hot; they need the 90 degree areas, sure, but they also need slightly cooler areas too!  Mine cuddle together when cold, but don't go inside the heating pad very often. I'm planning to move my chicks out of the house, into the coop we are building at the end of the month, with a heating pad for nights.  

 

I'd say that your current set up will be two small for them in about two-three weeks. Mine have doubled in size since I go them and you don't want crowding, especially since you have bantams and big girls together. 

 

What you use in the meantime is up to you,  If your garage is secure, you could set up a slightly larger space in there that might last them to 6-8 weeks.  I've not integrated flocks before, so I don't know how fast they'll be accepted.  If they are accepted quickly, and can sleep in the coop, that stays pretty warm at night and by May, we are in the mid-60s most of the time during the day.  Maybe set-up a heating pad area that only the little ones can get into?  That way they can be together and get heat and be outside with the others during the day.  In the Mama's Heating Pad thread, someone did that for a younger chicken in very cold temps and it worked well.  

 

What color silkie did you get?  I had a buff for a while when I lived in AZ, now she lives in my parent's yard (I had to give her up when I moved to go to grad school). She is going on eight years old now. 

 

Hope this helps!  

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 


Sorry for the late response. Wow, 8 years! We've researched age of chicken but never got a good sense on how old the ladies actually get. We got a white and beige colored silkie. Our ladies are just about a week and a half now, with the exception of the Barred Rock who is 2.5 weeks. They are doing ok in the container we have but we switched to an EcoGlow which was borrowed from a friend and it is amazing! They've been doing great. Like you mentioned, they go under when needed but usually just huddle up together. The silkies tend to snuggle up under the Barred and I'm hoping that means they will bond enough when we integrate with the larger outdoor ladies she will help protect them a little.

post #4 of 5
Looks like what our original brooder box looks like but I'm putting hardware wire top on it. I'm planning on outside time though for activity once feathers start and weather warmer.

new chick mama of 26 chicks: 6 BA, 5 GC, 5 BO, 4 SLW, 3 EE, 3 GLW &

a bunch of 2 legged kiddos along with 2 dogs and 1 turtle

Reply

new chick mama of 26 chicks: 6 BA, 5 GC, 5 BO, 4 SLW, 3 EE, 3 GLW &

a bunch of 2 legged kiddos along with 2 dogs and 1 turtle

Reply
post #5 of 5

Hi egay! I'm doing this for the first time, but despite inexperience on my part I think (parental pride? yeah) my chicks are doing great with this setup.  I started with one of the two plastic bins you see here, and then at about one week, cut holes and made a tunnel through the two bins.  

 

 

At two weeks old today, I am thinking the chicks are already ready for another upgrade.  Because this is what happens the second I open the lid, every time:

 

 

Yes, that dark blob in the upper right of both pics is indeed a cat.  Fierce hunter, that one.

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