Best classroom brooder setup?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by HimmelbergerHen, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. HimmelbergerHen

    HimmelbergerHen New Egg

    Jun 22, 2015

    As part of my second and third grade unit on birds, my 7th grade unit on curvature, and my 9th grade unit on genetics, We've hatched ourselves some eggs. :) some of the chicks will be ultimately added to my own backyard flock, some will go to one of my students' flock, and some to my grandfather's flock. I'd like to keep the chicks in a brooder in my classroom for a time, but I'm not sure what length of time would be best. I want the students to be able to watch them grow some, but I also can't keep them in there to the point where they will outgrow a modestly sized brooder or be loud enough to fully distract my students from the lesson at hand.

    My questions are: what is a cheap, easy brooder setup for a classroom, minimizing burns from heat lamps and stress to chicks? How long should I keep them in my classroom before they head off to their respective homes? As I'm certain my students will want to handle the chicks, what age should the chicks be prior to being held?

    I've used a Rubbermaid tub-style brooder at home but I'm wondering whether I should do anything differently for one sitting on tile floor in a giant room full of often loud and excited children. Also, I live in central PA where the weather is cold and the wind is brutal, so I think they won't be able to go outside for a while? I've not had my chickens during a winter yet though, so I'm not certain on that.

    Thank you!
  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2013
    Southern Illinois
    Welcome to BYC! First of all, I think it's great that you're letting these kids have the experience of hatching eggs and watching the chicks develop, hatch and grow. I would say you would be fine to use a brooder of the same style, so long as it is in a safe area where it won't get kicked or ran into. Brooders really range from card-board boxes all the way up to commercial grade. Before we built our permanent brooder, we always used medium to large boxes or Rubbermaid totes as well. I would keep them until they become a problem. Once those wing feathers come in, they like to start perching on things a lot more. One day it's the waterer, the next it's the edge of the brooder. As for handling them, since it's kids, I'd wait at least several days after the hatch date. The bigger they are, the less fragile they become. The chicks will also be able to be outside as soon as they are fully feathered. If it's frigid outside, I personally would wait until the weather was a little warmer. That would just give me peace of mind. [​IMG]
  3. supergirl105

    supergirl105 Out Of The Brooder

    May 13, 2016
    Hatching in my classroom is what got me hooked on hatching last year! (I teach first)
    I used a medium sized clear tote, on a table for best viewing for my littles. I used an Eco Glow brooder, so as not to have the problems with a heat lamp. I kept the lid on, but cracked so they got air, but couldn't escape.
    I DID NOT let mine handle the chicks. It was a great lesson, that we have germs that can hurt them, and they have germs that can hurt us. I felt it was important, as the area where we live is one where people still give thier kids dyed ducks and chicks for Easter, and they either die or dump them. Hopefully I can teach the kids in my class a little bit about respect for life. Maybe something will stick:) By using the clear tote they could go watch them whenever they were finished with work, it actually made the classroom a lot quieter. Lol
    And you have to clean it more often than you clean your brooder at home, the smell is noticeable in a classroom!
    Have fun! I can't wait until we hatch in the spring! I think we might hatch a few different species, so we can see different types of eggs.
  4. Tabasco Jack

    Tabasco Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2013
    Draketown, GA
    I took a large plastic tote that's kinda translucent. Not quite clear but not white. The color doesn't really matter, just you can kinda see through this one. Cut a rectangle out of the top and used some thin strips of wood to secure some wire mesh to it. Line it with newspaper, then wood chips and then paper towels for the first few days. Last year I started using the pet pads, or people pads instead of the chips. Cleaning is a snap, just roll it up and toss it in the trash.
    I really recommend getting one of the chick heaters, either the Eco Glow or the one from Premier 1. No heat lamp to worry about burning anything.
  5. HimmelbergerHen

    HimmelbergerHen New Egg

    Jun 22, 2015
    Thanks everyone! I ended up taking advantage of the post-christmas sales on those storage totes, and got one that was adequately equipped with both floor space and height on the walls so I think it will last me a good while. They seem to be quite happy, and the height on the walls is perfect for my lamp to keep it at the right temperature. :)

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