Brooder box location question

GardenJen77

Songster
Mar 23, 2017
139
137
157
Central Michigan, USA
We will be getting some new chicks today, and this will be my second go round raising them. :wee
Question: I want to try to mimic how they would be raised "naturally" except I do not have a "broody hen." I was hoping I could have them outside, in a "brooder pen" that is a large wooden crate, that we could attach a heat lamp to. It's actually what I used last year, but it was inside our home. We have a couple of variables that might cause issues.

It still gets quite cold sometimes below freezing. (That's the biggest concern). Will they be fine being so young, without a broody hen, being so cold? I am thinking so, because I am getting 20, and they should be able to keep each other warm + the heat lamp.

Thoughts?
 

Relleoms

Songster
Jan 22, 2018
573
915
211
Iowa
We will be getting some new chicks today, and this will be my second go round raising them. :wee
Question: I want to try to mimic how they would be raised "naturally" except I do not have a "broody hen." I was hoping I could have them outside, in a "brooder pen" that is a large wooden crate, that we could attach a heat lamp to. It's actually what I used last year, but it was inside our home. We have a couple of variables that might cause issues.

It still gets quite cold sometimes below freezing. (That's the biggest concern). Will they be fine being so young, without a broody hen, being so cold? I am thinking so, because I am getting 20, and they should be able to keep each other warm + the heat lamp.

Thoughts?
There are quite a few really great posts about raising chicks outside. Try searching mama heating pad...it’s pretty amazing how hardy baby chicks are :)
 

Relleoms

Songster
Jan 22, 2018
573
915
211
Iowa
Not looking to argue, but last I checked, broody hens didn’t come inside to raise their babies...just sayin’! ;). To each his own, but it can be done, which is what the OP was asking. Whichever way you decide to raise them, best wishes!
 

GardenJen77

Songster
Mar 23, 2017
139
137
157
Central Michigan, USA
Not looking to argue, but last I checked, broody hens didn’t come inside to raise their babies...just sayin’! ;). To each his own, but it can be done, which is what the OP was asking. Whichever way you decide to raise them, best wishes!

That's why I am looking for more feedback. ;) I have seen posts both ways. Especially with having a LARGE amount of chicks and not just a couple.
 

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
6,553
21,028
867
Western Ohio
We went with the heat plate (instead of MHP) since it is lower wattage, and made for the purpose of heating chicks. We have used a heat lamp for the first few days (125 watt bulb) so that we can keep a better eye on them and make sure all were walking well, eating, drinking, and staying awake similarly to others. After a few days, heat plate. we kept them indoors for 2weeks and now they are in a 3'x6' brooder box in the garage. they are 3.5 weeks old. They still have the heat plate, but I have it adjusted fairly high (in height) so that they are able to warm up a bit - they can just touch it with their backs if they stand up fully, but are not reliant on it. It will be removed soon. They are spending little time under it anyway. I'm in OH and nighttime temps are low. I guess I would make a decision based on how draft-free your coop is, as the babies cannot begin to protect themselves from any drafts yet. A heat lamp in a coop could work (making sure that you attach it in at least 2 different and reliable ways so that you don't burn down your coop). The heat plates (and maybe MHP) may not be able to keep up with very low temps if the babies are in an outside coop.
 

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