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A Few Questions...Brooders, Age Differences, and Hoop Houses

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Azure Acres, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Azure Acres

    Azure Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll try to briefly summarize what all we have planned and my questions.

    We have 12 hatching eggs coming next week. We also have 10 day old chicks coming the first week of April from one breeder and 18 from another that same week. All eggs/chicks are Ameraucanas.

    I am planning on making brooders out of storage totes, and am figuring totals based on all eggs hatching to be safe on space. If I make 3 storage tote brooders, would that be enough room to keep 40 chicks until 5-6 weeks or will I need more? Or be better with a different type of brooder? Depending on the eggs hatching, those chicks may be out of a brooder by the time the others arrive, which would then give me 3 brooders for 28 chicks.

    The next thing is hoop houses...We are building 2 with attached coops (possibly 3 depending on time). If I have 12 week old birds in a house and then add 6 week chicks out of the brooder, will I likely have an issue with pecking order? If I have time to get 3 hoop houses done, then the 12 week old birds will stay on their own and the others will be split between the other two hoop houses. Eventually, I plan to sell all the roosters that come out of these. Once I do that, if there is room to consolidate birds down to two houses, will I again have trouble with pecking order?

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do not think 3 storage totes would be big enough past maybe week 1.. they need a bit more space than you would think, and they grow SO FAST!

    I used an old dog crate, it's the type for a very large dog (3x4ft), it has some broken bars so I got it really cheap used $15 and repaired them myself. I used a cardboard box the same size (3x4) and cut a hole in the side so the 2 containers created 1 large brooder about 3x8. that was for 20 chicks, and they were put outside at 8 weeks. They honestly probably outgrew this space around week 6 or 7.

    so if you do the totes, know that you will need to upgrade around week 2, and again around 6 or 7, in my opinion

    Also... if your eggs are shipped, remember to calculate a 50% hatch rate to be realistic :)

    Quote: that is a decent age gap, I would definitely expect the older chicks to pick on the younger chicks.
    if you can build a way for the 2 flocks to see each other in a split house through chicken wire, I think that is the best way to transition them. you get them used to the idea by being in close proximity, seeing each other daily, before combining. I would give them 1 or 2 weeks depending on how they act. Then, if you can open a door between the 2 runs, let them explore the other group on their own (don't dump them all in together, they need to have their 'safe area' to run to)
     
  3. Azure Acres

    Azure Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 10, 2014
    NW Missouri
    It is looking like we will have the first batch out of the brooder before the second batch arrives. We plan on having 2-3 hoop houses built. One for the first batch and then 1-2 for the second batch, so hopefully we won't need to mingle birds. It will just depend on how many hens are left in each house after we sell roosters.

    We are thinking about brooding outside instead of in the house, but are having trouble figuring out what will be best. We have an earth contact home that has no garage or basement, so we would be brooding in our spare bathroom if we do it in the house. Outside is an option, but we don't have a barn and aren't going to have a stationary coop like most people do. We plan to have mobile hoophouses with each having it's own attached coop at the back. The only option I'm seeing for brooding outside would be building a stand alone brooder. We are in Missouri, and temps in Feb/March can be quite chilly, especially over night. My other concern is predators. We have a lot of coyotes, as well as some neighbor cats that come into our yard, and a black lab that does the same. I'm worried about the chicks being safe outside alone. Any suggestions?
     
  4. Azure Acres

    Azure Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 10, 2014
    NW Missouri
    Ok, another question along these lines. If I have chicks hatching 1-2 weeks apart, can I put the day olds in with the older batch as they hatch or should I brood them separately for a couple weeks?
     

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