brooder bottom?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Naughty, May 7, 2011.

  1. Naughty

    Naughty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2010
    Wichita
    Hi all! I have about 15 chicks in a brooder that has a wire bottom (TSC Chickhutch) I have been putting down cardboard because i was under the impression that it was bad for young chicks to be on the wire (for their legs)

    When are they old enough to go on the wire safely?
     
  2. Barrdwing

    Barrdwing Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hmm, for very young chicks cardboard is too slippery. How old are these kids? If they're more than a week old, then their legs should be strong enough not to splay, although I'd watch them. Regarding wire: it has to do with the size of the gaps. If a chick can easily put a leg down through it, then that leads to broken legs. If their feet easily span the gaps, then that's OK. One-inch wire is too big for chicks, while half-inch hardware cloth should be OK.

    One other problem I've had with chicks on wire was rats, which climbed up from below and chewed on their toes! We still have hens that are missing toes because of that. I'm afraid to raise chicks on wire now. [​IMG]
     
  3. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 17, 2009
    Oklahoma
    My Coop
    I don't think wire will hurt chicks at all. Cardboard is worse on them than wire is. They can sprattle their legs on cardboard because they can slip on it. I would take the cardboard out and leave them on the wire.

    My brooders that we are building will have wire bottoms. The brooders that you get from GQF have wire bottoms. Depending on the size of th chicks, you may have to put down paper towel for a week or so, but once their feet do not fall through they can go directly on wire.
     
  4. Naughty

    Naughty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2010
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    I think most of them are about right then. the cardboard was covered with shavings so it wasnt slippery stuff - and the holes are pretty small. most of mine are from TSC - and are varying ages - got them all within a month - so many are almost feathered out - but i do still have 3 that are only about 2 wks maybe. There is a metal pan that slides in under the wire - so it would be some predator protection. i have used the same brooder box as a nesting box for my girls from last year for about 6 months b4 the chicken math hit me.

    i
     

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