5 Buff Orpington and 5 Black Australorps Chicks - Beginner question

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Hal9000, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. Hal9000

    Hal9000 In the Brooder

    Jan 27, 2015
    I am brand new to this site and new to raising chickens. In late February I will be getting 5 Buff Orpington and 5 Black Australorps chicks. I was thinking about keeping them in a 50 gallon storage container with the lid off and the heat lamp mounted above the container. Similar to the storage box found here: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Rubbermai...bo-Storage-Tote-Dark-Indigo-Metallic/38664667

    I would probably move them to a larger brooder around 4 weeks old.

    My question is, is it a bad idea to use a plastic storage container? Especially with a heat lamp? I would like to use around the house items as much as possible to cut down on costs but at the same time not endanger the chicks.
  2. mrssmith84

    mrssmith84 In the Brooder

    Jan 23, 2015
    wildomar california
    I'm new too and that's what I'm using!

  3. Spangled

    Spangled Songster

    Jan 12, 2012
    Serenity Valley
    I have used something similar many times. I think mine has taller sides than the one pictured, which I need so that the chicks don't get out. Before 4 weeks, some of my chicks end up jumping on top of the waterer and then jumping up onto the edge of the container. One year I taped thick paper cones to the top of my waterers so that the chicks couldn't do that. (Cute little michief makers.) [​IMG]

    I have melted the sides of my plastic containers before ... accidentally, of course. And only twice. The big red heat lamps get hot. The metal brooder lamp holder can have a tendency to ... well, that ball in between the two metal pieces that allows us to point the lamp sometimes won't hold tightly and so the lamp can tilt unexpectedly. It gets a little frustrating sometimes. Luckily, there hasn't been an issue with the chicks breathing any melted plastic fumes that killed them; I'm not even sure that can die from that. [​IMG] I just worry. Now, I assume that the brooder light will get loose and tilt, so I make sure that the light won't be touching the sides or pointing the wrong way if the light tilts unexpectedly while I'm gone. Tha whole explanation probably makes to sense at all without photos. Sorry.

    If you can still find some incandescents that are 100 W and put out heat, then you can sometimes use those. They're cheaper to run and have less chance of melting your container. It's what I can use if I brood in the office (and I do use a small thermometer to make sure it's warm enough but not too hot). But when I brood in the laundry room, I need something that puts out more heat and have to use the big heat lamps because I don't heat the laundry room as warm as I do the office.

    Edited to add (ETA): I almost forgot ... [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
  4. Hal9000

    Hal9000 In the Brooder

    Jan 27, 2015
    Thanks everyone for your comments and pictures. My wife made a suggestion of using an old pack-n-play to house the chicks until they are ready to go outside. I am not sure this will be enough room for them but it is a possibility.

    If anyone else has ideas feel free to share them.
  5. DanEP

    DanEP Songster

    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    I have used the plastic totes also and they work fine as long as your careful with the light,but they grow faster than you think and 4 weeks is probably not going to work to well for 10 birds. So you might want to have a plan for something a little bigger to keep them in faster than you think. I don't know where your at but I live in western Ky and I will move my chicks out to the coop at about 3 weeks once they have some feathers and just give them some heat out there till it warms up.
  6. Wxguru

    Wxguru Chirping

    Sep 2, 2014
    Even if you go the route of a heat lamp...make sure you don't just secure with the clamp that it comes with. I had spring clamps that I clamped it with, and also had the cord wrapped thru a shelving brace (solidly mounted wood), that way if the main clamp failed...the spring clamp was still holding it..and if both failed, it would drop only about 3" before being caught by the cord.
    Ensure you have multiple fail-safe's and happy chickening!
    I too have australorps and buff orpingtons...3 BA's and 2 of the BO's. They turned 13 weeks old Sunday. Got them as day olds. They are a blast. :)
  7. Bruins

    Bruins In the Brooder

    Jan 26, 2015
    Frederick Co, MD
    I also plan to use a 50 g tote bin but I will put a dog crate divider across the top and place the heat light on that so it can not fall . I also have a light dimmer ( you can pick one up at home depot ) this way you can just adjust the temp on the light and not have to actually keep raising or lowering the light .This is the same thing I do when we travel and take our bearded dragon with us .
  8. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Songster

    Aug 28, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    My Coop
    If you can get a free pumpkin box from the grocery store, those work great. Mine has them year round for various melons, squash, etc.
  9. Hal9000

    Hal9000 In the Brooder

    Jan 27, 2015
    Sorry for the non response here. I wasn't being notified of posts.

    These are great Ideas. I am going to have to see if any local stores have pumpkin boxes now. We have a Sams and that seems like something they might have.

    Has anyone ever used cinder blocks and made an enclosure? I have some extra around here and it seems like you could make an enclosure that you could easily expand if you wanted.
  10. rides2far

    rides2far Songster

    Dec 9, 2014
    Bakersfield California
    I'm using 2 50 gal totes for the 20 chicks I have coming. My husband will cut out the tops & replace with hardware cloth to keep chicks in & cats out!

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