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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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. IRChicken

    IRChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 20, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011

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