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space per chick in brooder

post #1 of 12
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 12

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

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post #3 of 12

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 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the quick reply!

post #5 of 12

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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post #6 of 12

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 12

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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post #8 of 12

I'm thinking of building a brooder out of plywood for 15 chicks coming soon.  How high should I make the sides?  I'm thinking of 4' by 4' so they'll have 16 sq ft==1per bird with 2' high sides. Would that be big enough for the first 4 weeks or so?

post #9 of 12

Ok, here s the general idea. This is mine. 1st season. later in another season I moved to the watermelon corrals. I love the IV pole. Just added a crossbar to hang the light from;. It raises up and down with the twist of the wrist. Very convenient. Use the watermelon corral instead, it is much more study. You can't lay a pole across this single layer corral. Plus, need the wood shavings. you could affix a light to the cross bar if you use a sturdy wooden one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by A.T. Hagan View Post
 

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.

Hi,

 I agree. here's a thought...last season I went to the market and got 3 of those triple-thick watermelon corrals. Each is 15 sq. ft. . So each one raised 7 Light Sussex chicks to 4 months old. I laid a tarp on the ground in the garage. Set the corral on top of it. Filled the corral with 3 inches of   hardwood shavings ( white bale only) from Tractor Supply. Then cut a "V" cut into opposite sides of the corral and laid in a PVC pole in the notches. Hung the feeder from them. Waterer swung too much and spilled so I put it up on a platform instead. Small holes in the corners of the corral near the bottom are perfect for hanging grit cups. Chicken wire or hardware cloth "cover" finishes the project. I have a Brinsea Mini Advance incubators so hatch 7 chicks at a time so this works perfect for me. You would need three of them Just throw away everything not made of metal when the season is over.

 Best,

 Karen


Edited by 3riverschick - 8/23/15 at 8:54pm

Walt Boese strain and Tewart flock of Pure English  Light Sussex

Passionate about preserving pure English strain Light Sussex? I'll work hard
 to help you get started. Started birds only 4 "pure in the strain" programs.

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Walt Boese strain and Tewart flock of Pure English  Light Sussex

Passionate about preserving pure English strain Light Sussex? I'll work hard
 to help you get started. Started birds only 4 "pure in the strain" programs.

Reply
post #10 of 12

@trudyg  If you have your coop and run ready, you might also consider this.  It's worked extremely well for us, and for every one else who broods chicks outdoors.  Good luck with your little ones.

 

Oops, forgot the link.  Duh, Diane....

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors


Edited by Blooie - 8/23/15 at 9:17pm
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