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space per chick in brooder

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi, all:

I'm brand new to this: I've ordered 15 Buff Orpington pullets and 6 Rouen ducklings which should be arriving in the next few weeks.  I'm about to begin constructing my brooder(s) and I need to know how much space per chick I should plan on.

How much space does each baby chick need in the brooder?  Does this change as the chicks get older?

Thanks!

post #2 of 7

Around 1/2 to 1 square foot per bird... That is for their first 2-3 weeks...

Chris

GETTING BIG!!            &            Certified thread killer...
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Chris

GETTING BIG!!            &            Certified thread killer...
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post #3 of 7

Yes, it depends on how long you plan on keeping them in the brooder.  As CC said, you'll want about a sq. ft. each for the first few weeks.  But by 3 - 4 weeks (depending on breed/size) you'll want 2 sq. ft.  Of course if your weather is warm by then, you could always put them in the coop w/a heat lamp well before they're fully feathered out...by three weeks or so.

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the quick reply!

post #5 of 7

IMHO, brooders can seldom be too big.  They'll use all the space you give them.  Building a box, based on a 4x8 sheet of plywood or similar would give you the right amount of space.   My brooder is 5x8 and is just right for up to 25 chicks.

 

 

Practicing Sustainable Agriculture At The 45th Parallel

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Practicing Sustainable Agriculture At The 45th Parallel

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post #6 of 7

The question is how many chicks do you plan on having in the brooder at one time...especially in the future when you might brood a larger quanity of chicks.
I started out with 7 chicks in a plastic storage box that was about 18"X30" and I ran out of room quickly as they grew much faster than I realized and so I built a large 15'X35' aviary with a 9' ceiling.
the 7 little, tiny fuzzy chicks with lots of room became 7 very crowded large birds in just a few short weeks, but now they are in the big aviary and are very happy.
When I brought home 10 more chicks, I knew the plastic box wasn't going to work for long. So I went down to the local home supply store and bought plywood and 2X2 boards and constructed a simple 3'X4' plywood box with a chickenwire lid and my 10 new little chicks have 12 square feet of space. that will work fine for them for about 3 or 4 weeks and they will move to the aviary as well.

11 French Black Copper Marans, 3 Black Sex Links, 3 Cochins
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11 French Black Copper Marans, 3 Black Sex Links, 3 Cochins
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post #7 of 7

For large-fowl I favor using half a square foot per chick until two weeks when they'll need about a square foot.  If they're still in the brooder past four weeks you may need more space still.  Some birds however will tolerate confinement better than others so you can sometimes get away with less space, but I wouldn't do it if I did not absolutely have to because crowding can bring on all sorts of problems from feather picking to cannibalism.

Chance favors the prepared mind.
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Chance favors the prepared mind.
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