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Raising some babies in winter? - Page 2

post #11 of 18

For those of you raising 'winter chicks', how did that go?

 

I am in north Georgia. No, we don't have the severe weather of northern states, but our last freeze date is March/April. We still have some freezing nights ahead.  I am getting 15-20 baby chicks about March 7th (they'll be about a week old).  The only place I can think to have them is in the house for a week, then boot them out to a shed with heater lights on.  I purchased a few reflection things (like you put on your car windshield to deflect the sun).  Had seen someone make a sort of hanging 'top' that is at about chick height, in  part of an area with chicks. It has the light in it, so generates heat.  Chicks come under the hanging reflector as they need the heat.  Illustrations I saw were on a cement floor (which is what I have).  Thought I'd put down a layer of flat cardboard, shavings.  Cement blocks stacked 2 high for walls. The first week when the chicks are in our house, I'll put it together and give it a dry run ---- take temps, etc.  Expand as necessary.  Any input, or better ideas?

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsRiderUp View Post

For those of you raising 'winter chicks', how did that go?

I am in north Georgia. No, we don't have the severe weather of northern states, but our last freeze date is March/April. We still have some freezing nights ahead.  I am getting 15-20 baby chicks about March 7th (they'll be about a week old).  The only place I can think to have them is in the house for a week, then boot them out to a shed with heater lights on.  I purchased a few reflection things (like you put on your car windshield to deflect the sun).  Had seen someone make a sort of hanging 'top' that is at about chick height, in  part of an area with chicks. It has the light in it, so generates heat.  Chicks come under the hanging reflector as they need the heat.  Illustrations I saw were on a cement floor (which is what I have).  Thought I'd put down a layer of flat cardboard, shavings.  Cement blocks stacked 2 high for walls. The first week when the chicks are in our house, I'll put it together and give it a dry run ---- take temps, etc.  Expand as necessary.  Any input, or better ideas?
Start the chicks out in the shed and skip brooding them in your house. It sounds like a great idea when you're in the planning stages, and then you get them and the dust starts covering everything.....trust me. Not a good time. I'm in TN, our weathers probably pretty similar (though I might see just a touch colder). I seem to, somehow, end up brooding chicks every winter. The incubators magically set themselves up and pack themselves full of eggs, and then the chicks start hatching hide.gif Anyway, my first hatch came on January the first. I've had three more hatches since. They all go straight to a hutch outside as soon as I remove them from the 'bator. My "baby" hutch has one 250W heat lamp. When the chicks are old enough, they graduate to the next pen that has a 60W lamp. The final pen has no lamp. I have 3 brooders because I'm constantly hatching and rotating chicks. All of my hatches have seen single digits this year. The oldest batches were in their hutches during that big snow storm we got recently (we got a foot of snow!). They've all been just fine.
Nikki
*C'mon, get flappy!*
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Nikki
*C'mon, get flappy!*
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post #13 of 18
What you are talking about is a hover, sort of a shallow box with the opening down. It traps warm air since warm air rises so make sure it is fairly airtight. They are really effective, a nice way to go. There are lots of different ways to provide them the heat they need. What you are trying to do is to give them a warm place they can go to when they need to warm up but also a place cool enough so they can get away from the heat if they need to. One of the problems to brooding outside is that you have to have a place warm enough at its coolest yet have a place cool enough at its warmest.

I use this brooder in my coop, warmed with heat lamps. In the summer it is pretty wide open, in the winter it is wrapped up pretty tightly with that plastic. I have put chicks in here straight from the incubator or the mail with outside temperatures below freezing. I keep the warm end toasty but on the coldest winter days I might see frost or ice in the far end. Even straight out of the incubator mine are really good about self-regulating, getting in the area where they are comfortable.


When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #14 of 18

Thanks for the encouragement!  I have gotten new chicks before (don't have an incubator) and raised them to about 3 or 4 weeks old in our sun room.  We have grown kids living upstairs now, which is where the sun room is, so no longer have that option.  Husband REALLY objects  to  the smell of chickens. So I'm getting the newbies the week he'll be gone. :)

 

Do you have any pics of your set-ups?  I think that would be helpful.  How do you make an outside brooder?

post #15 of 18

A hover sounds like what I saw.  Yes, it was hanging (hovering) above the chicks. 

 

Is your set-up two 'stories' high?  I am not sure if the floor that chicks are on is on the cement ground or not (or do you have two sets of chicks' housing?).  I presume that if it's one cage pictured, that the electrical cord for the heat lamp hangs down through a hole, and you adjust the height?

 

This is helpful.

 

Thank-you.

post #16 of 18

I had this set-up last year in our sunroom.  These are baby cribs from a hospital.  Not so big, but you can put them together in different arrangements.  In the winter it doesn't seem that this will be warm enough even with the lamp hanging down lower.  Plexiglass sides don't have any insulation. Suggestions? (other than making another chicken wire top)?

 

post #17 of 18
Mine is elevated, it has a ½” hardware cloth wire floor. The poop drops on through until they are maybe 12 to 15 weeks old, then it’s big enough to stick. They are not in there that long. I use bins from Walmart underneath to catch the poop. During the summer it is pretty wide open but not in the winter.

That photo was taken in summer. In the winter I wrap it pretty well with plastic to hold heat in. I also put something on the wire floor under the heat lamp for them to stand on that keeps the heat in. I used to use a piece of plywood but came into possession of one of those plastic trays that fit in the bottom of a dog crate. That works great. To clean it I just turn it over. The poop falls into the bins underneath.

Summer or winter, I have plastic that drops to the floor. That keeps wind from blowing up under them. It also keeps my hens from going under there to lay eggs.

I use two heat lamps in winter, each firmly and securely attached with wire. I throw away the clamp that they come with, I just don’t trust them. With heat lamps you have to be careful to not start a fire. One heat lamp is fastened to the side of the brooder and shines on my water bowl to keep it thawed. The other is in that “chimney” to the left so I can raise and lower it. The chimney keeps the adult chickens away from the cord and lamp. It also provides really good ventilation up high where it does not create a breeze.

I also adjust the heat by changing the wattage on the lamps. One improvement I’m debating is to put a dimmer switch on that light circuit so I can adjust heat that way.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #18 of 18

My set up seems to be making the chicks very happy. 250w bulb in 6x8 indoor gardening tent.  By the second week they no longer need the electric warmer in the pic but we left it for them to hop/roost on/under which they like.

 

 

Two roosting poles in the back as well. 27 chicks in there.

~Chicken Philosopher~

Our flock as it roosts:

21 Black Jersey Giant Chicks ((20 Females 1 male))

1 Black Cochin ((Free Exotic from MMM whom we adore, gender unknown))

2 Red Sex Link Hens ((Britta and Adventure Chicken))

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~Chicken Philosopher~

Our flock as it roosts:

21 Black Jersey Giant Chicks ((20 Females 1 male))

1 Black Cochin ((Free Exotic from MMM whom we adore, gender unknown))

2 Red Sex Link Hens ((Britta and Adventure Chicken))

Reply
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