A good chick brooder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by fuzzy8, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. fuzzy8

    fuzzy8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've raised ducks but not chickens. So I'm curious to what I will need to do to make a correct brooder for my chicks. Im seeing people putting perches in them and screens on the top. That's us news to me.
     
  2. Greenthumb83

    Greenthumb83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We started off with a 3x3x3 box with just 2 feeders and a waterer, pine shavings for litter. Then when they were a week old, we added another box of the same size. We just lined them up and cut holes and attached with tape. The side without the heat lamp has a couple toys, some chunks of sod and a dust bath. You really can make it however you want. We put a small branch in for a perch last night and we will soon need to put chicken wire across the top. They are two weeks old and starting to fly around a bit.
     
  3. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you are going to be raising chicks for a while, I recommend a 100 gallon tub from Agway or Tractor Supply. It's lightweight, washes out with a hose and has a drain at the bottom. Tall enough that they can't fly out until about 4 weeks. We've kept 12 layers to 4 weeks and 15 broilers to 2.5 weeks in ours (that's when you run out of room).
    [​IMG]
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Do you have a chicken coop? It's best to avoid the brooder boxes all together and brood right in the coop. If there are other birds already using the coop, simply partition off a safe pen for the chicks.

    I also avoid using heat lamps when brooding chicks. They're a nasty fire danger. A better alternative is the heating pad system. There's a popular thread almost always on the first page of this forum describing how to set it up. It's simple, easy and safe, and the chicks benefit in countless ways over being brooded indoors.

    Scroll down to my articles under "Articles by azygous" to read about the reasons to do it this way. If you have a coop available, there really isn't any good reason not to use it. If you have no coop, and are planning on getting baby chickens, you'd best build one first.
     
  5. fuzzy8

    fuzzy8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well today I plan on building a 4x4x2 brooder out of ply wood. Line it with wood shavings. Put a 1x2" perch on one side maybe 8" off the bottom maybe a foot or 2 long for them to sit on. I planed on using a red heat lamp on one side of it because they will be in a insulated but unheated mud room attached to my house. I have a coop I built last week but it's on in the 20s here in upper Michigan. And not fenced in yet. My chicks are coming in a month. I also plan on putting chicken wire on the top of it. How am I doing so far ?
     
  6. fuzzy8

    fuzzy8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2016
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    Also it's for only 3 chicks
     
  7. southernhusky

    southernhusky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Plastic storage tub(heavy duty as mentioned if you will be doing this a few times. Easy to clean/sanitize. Have 2 if possible so you can swap them out easily. I have mine next to a solid steel utility shelf my lamp is mounted & wire tired on.

    But really I agree a heat mat(saves money in the long run & stress of worrying) is the way to go. I have a $40 kennel heat mat I'm going to put in my outside brooder I'm building in the coop but for another week my smallest are close to the house.
     
  8. southernhusky

    southernhusky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For 3 I would definitely recommend a $5-10 storage tub, a few $2 waterbottles I had some from using with my parrots/hamsters (or half gallon jug with chicken nipple). Best thing I ever did was quit using waterbowls, chicks take right to shiny water bottle nipples. $10-$18 heat pad from any pet store to make a heat cave(search here for great posts with pics).
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
  9. fuzzy8

    fuzzy8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So if I hung a water container with a nipple on it that would be better then the little water container? But what if I don't plan on using that once they are in the coop and run? Also what is a heat cave? And pet stores have heated pads?
     
  10. southernhusky

    southernhusky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes heat pads at pet stores are made for reptiles but have great other uses. Ever since heating pads for people started all having auto shut off....tractor supply had a $40 chick heat pad but for 3 chicks its bigger than necessary.

    Make sure water height is right. In my experience chickens don't have issues finding their water. Nipples/waterbottles stay so much cleaner & easier to give electrolytes or probiotics. But what do u plan to use in coop?
     

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