Brood on coop floor?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by IdyllwildAcres, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am working on my coop, its about 160 sq ft with a dirt floor, I was wondering if I need a brooder or can I just use the mama heating pad on the coop floor, maybe partition off an area for a while to be sure they know how to warm up and then just let them have the whole coop? I am getting my chicks in April, southern California mountains, at 5300 ft above sea level so it will be pretty cool out still. I think the dirt will be cold the plan is deep litter so I will have 4-6 inches of shavings in the area where the mama pad is so they are not directly n the dirt floor. Does this sound like it will work?

    Thanks

    Gary

    Edited to add: This is for 7 chicks:)
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    As long as you don’t have adults in there to create integration issues, it sounds perfect to me. I’d partition it off for the first week or so and then let them go. They can fly at a very young age, I’ve seen 2-week-olds fly up two feet and horizontal 3 feet when the broody hen told them to. You don’t want them getting trapped on the wrong side of that partition so I’d take it down as soon as I could.
     
  3. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks, yes no adults this will be my first flock. the plan is an in coop brooder for future chicks but I do not see the need for the first time around with no bigs to worry the littles.

    Thanks


    Gary
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    That's what I do, and lots of others, too. Only I have a partitioned off section in my run to brood baby chicks. It works splendidly for many enumerated reasons that I elaborated on in my article on outdoor brooding. Link below this post in my signature line.

    The benefits include exposing chicks to mild pathogens to develop natural immunities, exposure to adult flock early on to make integration a breeze, and lots of space. Also, the chicks won't need to go throught the stress of moving from indoor brooder to coop later.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  5. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just re read your post, I read it a while back and it makes great sense.

    Thanks

    Gary
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I forgot to mention that I place a foam backed sheepskin pad on the ground under the MHP, any sort of insulated pad would work, so the cold and dampness don't affect the babies. I stick some Press 'n Seal on the pad for quick cleanup each morning. The turds just brush off. It makes for a nice, warm, cozy cave.
     
  7. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good Idea, I was concerned about cold from the floor.

    Another question, if they are on a dirt floor do I need to provide grit? The plan is that the run area will have less shavings/deep litter to start so they will have access to the dirt floor but eventually the entire coop and run will be covered in deep litter. They will have a big chicken yard outside the coop and run but do not plan on letting them out until they are about 9-10 weeks old, I have a trip planned when they are 8 weeks old and I do not want them complaining to get out of the coop, I figure if they have never been out they will not know what they are missing. I want to make it easy on my chicken helper while I am gone.

    Thanks

    Gary
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I don’t see where you mention how many chicks you will have, but unless you are going with commercial quantities they should be fine in that huge coop at that age.

    If they have access to the ground they generally find all the grit they need. If you are uncomfortable with that it doesn’t hurt to get some chick grit and throw it on the ground for them to find. If you have deep litter everywhere so they can’t find the ground, offering a little grit on the side in a separate container works as well.
     
  9. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just 7 to start:)

    Thanks

    Gary
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I used a wire dog crate tray set upside down(legs fit nice in groove) on bricks for under the 'MHP'......
    .....and a large tote lid for feed/water.
    [​IMG]
     

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