Any pitfalls with using 55gal aquarium for Brooder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by spowell, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. spowell

    spowell Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2011
    Rocky Point, NC
    I'm not here to reinvent the wheel..... Has anyone had any problems with using a 55 gallon aquarium for a brooder? Is one heat lamp enough?
  2. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    I, personally, always steer clear of using an aquarium as a brooder since they tend to become ovens very quickly.
  3. Patricia Jane

    Patricia Jane Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 28, 2010
    Petaluma CA
    I used a 55 gal plexiglass fish tank and seemed to work great for me. I used hardware cloth to cover the top and placed bricks on top with the heat lamp. I just used a 100 watt light bulb. I added more bricks to raise the lamp for less heat.
  4. ChickasaurusRex

    ChickasaurusRex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2011
    SF Bay
    Not enough ventilation in my opinion... but people have raised their chicks successfully in tanks. So if you want to go for it.
    If you have something like a guinea pig cage, that would be better. [​IMG]
  5. 10 point

    10 point country boy

    Feb 19, 2011
    LaFayette, NY
    Quote:I use a guinea pig cage and it works great.
  6. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    I use a 55 gallon glass aquarium with screen top as a brooder. I use a 100 watt bulb pointing to one corner and pine shaving as flooring. After the first week, I place a thick limb or stick in there for them to roost on. To keep them in there for 4 weeks is the ultimate maximum. I do replace and clean the bedding about every 5-6 days and more often when they're older. When they are newly hatched, I do place a towel over the top with an uncovered area for circulation at the cool end.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
  7. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    I initially used a 55 gallon and it was HORRIBLE! as a brooder. Great for reptiles, crummy for chicks. These are just a few of my cons.

    1) Poor ventilation, even with a screen top
    2) HARD TO CLEAN! Chicks poop, and they poop a lot! They are Olympic poopers. For even a few chicks, even with daily newspaper or shavings cleaning, the poop is just too much. Plus, with the issues cited in #1, it compounds the poop issue
    3) HEAVY. If you want to do a good cleaning, you haul it outside to hose it out. Moving one is awkward and definitely a two person job
    4) Harder to maintain temperature gradient
    5) Quickly outgrown
  8. spowell

    spowell Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2011
    Rocky Point, NC
    Thanks everybody [​IMG] I will keep looking for something else to use as a permanent brooder. I just happened to have it already and it was empty. The world's largest yard sale is this weekend in Wilmington, NC maybe I will luck up and find something there.[​IMG]
  9. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    And don't forget you can always make your own cheap brooder out of cardboard boxes or PVC piping and cheap deer netting:

  10. IRChicken

    IRChicken Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 20, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011

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