4 more days! & questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dovecanyon, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. dovecanyon

    dovecanyon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2009
    Niland, CA
    My one-day-old chicks arrive Tue or Wed. I can't wait- so excited. These three will be my first chickens. My 10 yr old son and I built the brooder, it turned out, well... functional. We have almost finished the coop and will be enclosing the run next week. We didn't know how clever we were until we started these projects! DS tried to get me to post a photo of our brooder, but I am a scardy-cat. It is just too "original" and would probably get a lot of laughs- but we worked with what we had... I do have a question about the roost in the coop, most of the books and articles I've read (about a thousand) suggest a roost 2" wide, but the BYC posts say 4". Winter temp is not a factor as our avg low is about 50'. Which way should I go? Also, my brooder is staying right at 90'-92' during the day with no lamp. Will that be warm enough as long as I up the temp at night with the lamp? Thanks for your help!
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    I'm fairly new to raising chickens, but here's my (limited) advise:

    I don't think the roost size is that important if you don't get to freezing. I know a lot of people here say to put the wide side of a 2X4 up. I have read in magazines that a 2X4 on its side works too. My current roost is on it's side, but when I add another one soon, I will put wide side up. My chickens have no problem covering their feet with their feathers the way they are now. (this prevents frostbite on their feet)

    As for the temp, the rule of thumb is 95 degrees the first week and decrease by 5 degrees every week until they are feathered out.

    Congrats and good luck!
     
  3. Chicken Chat

    Chicken Chat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    Welcome to the wacky world of raising chickens. Just be careful, they are addicting. I have used anything from tree branches to 2x4's for roosts. They don't seem to care as long as its the highest. A few of mine prefer the roof ledges in the coop.
     
  4. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    new2 is all up in dat once again!

    As far as brooder temp goes, watch them. They'll tell you if they're cold... they'll huddle up and PEEEEEP PEEEEEP PEEEEEP!!!!! Well, they'll do that a little bit anyway, but if they're cold they WON'T QUIT!!!!

    If they're wandering around, exploring, going back and forth to each other for reassurance, then going out again, peep peep peeping (as opposed to PEEEEEP PEEEEEP PEEEEEPING!!!!!) then they're fine, comfy and warm enough.

    Whenever you DO have a heat source, make sure they can get away from it if they're TOO warm too.... a circle of heat they can escape from as opposed to baking the whole box. (stop panicking, they'll be fine)

    also, WE DO want pics! it's ok if it's not perfect, none of ours is either, and it will help others get good ideas. We all learn from our own mistakes, and we also learn from other sucesses! you say your brooder and coop is functional? Well, that's all that matters! Chickens are VERY forgiving! [​IMG]
     
  5. dovecanyon

    dovecanyon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Niland, CA
    Okaaay... you talked me into it. Here are a couple of pics of our brooder. It is sitting on my front porch, just outside the door. Please feel free to offer suggestions on anything that needs to changed- there will be no hurt feelings here, I only want to do what is good for my new babies. One quick question first; where is the best location for the thermometer inside the brooder? Should I place it in the farthest corner from the lamp, or somewhere in between? I assume it should be near the floor, at "chick height", but I'm not sure how close to the heat-source it should go. Thanks!

    We started with an antique wagon that has a solid base and rails. Made the tall sides out of heavy-duty cardboard and covered the outside of the cardboard with styrofoam for insulation. Covered the bottom 3-4 inches of the cardboard with duct tape to keep it from getting wet and soggy.
    [​IMG]
    Notice the rocking chair... every new mom needs one, and I figure I'll be spending most of my time sitting beside the brooder so I might as well be comfortable.

    This is the inside. Water, food and grit on one end. Dirt bath and roost on the other end. Heat lamp in the middle. The roost is a 1x2 and is on the floor, 1"side up. I will put a little shavings on top of the paper towels. The very bottom is lined with a "puppy pee-pad" to make clean up easy; just roll it up and toss it- add a new one and more pine shavings as needed.
    [​IMG]

    The inside dimensions are: 38"Lx18"Wx22"D Will that be big enough to hold 3 chicks for 6 weeks?
     
  6. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's AWESOME!! Love the wheels. great to be able to move it around as needed!

    I can't tell scale real well as far as the water dish goes, you maybe should put marbles or pebbles in it so they can't get into it and drown their little clumsy selves.

    I think you've started a new trend for brooders on wheels!!
     
  7. dovecanyon

    dovecanyon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Niland, CA
    Wow, I'm so happy that you like it. Thanks. I did think about the waterer... It is only about a half-inch deep, (it just has a thick base) but it's about 5"across. Here is a better photo with an explanation of what I did.

    The tall bottle in the back holds the water and feeds the brown base as needed. I was concerned about the chicks walking in it and getting wet, so I put the short jar in the center leaving about 1" of space around it for drinking.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    They will be happy happy chicks! Chicks can however drown in an amazingly small amount in water for the first week or so... see how they do, but the pebbles or marbles might be wise. Also, you do know that as soon as they can, they'll be hopping/flapping up to sit on anything higher than their floor so they can be up higher than others. That of course means poop below whatever they are on top of...

    I really think it's a good design for 3 chicks though, it's much nicer than many I've seen, and I think plenty here would say much the same thing.
     
  9. dovecanyon

    dovecanyon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2009
    Niland, CA
    Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. I've taken your advice and swiped my sons marbles for the water dish! He didn't really seem to mind, he's as excited as I am. He has brought all the neighborhood kids by today to see the "nursery". Sheesh, I'll have to move it to the back yard or start selling tickets! Just kidding- all the kids hang out at my house because I always let them help with the vegetable/flower gardens, help build stuff, etc. Since we live in a city neighborhood most of the "cool" stuff I do is all new to them. I'm sure I'll be posting with a million questions after the chicks arrive in 3 days... I've learned so much from this site already.
     
  10. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I think it looks great.[​IMG] And all that matters is that is works!

    The only thing I noticed is the thermometers poking through in the front. (inside view) I'd be worried that the chicks could injure themselves on them since they are sticking through. So I'd switch the thermometer to one of the flat plastic ones. (I got one at Target for $8)
     

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