Brooder box size for young chickens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by spiritpots, May 24, 2019.

  1. spiritpots

    spiritpots Songster

    I have three sweet new six-week old chicks that I will be introducing to my existing flock in a couple of months once the little ones are bigger. I have the chicks in a small brooder box for now but need to use something larger to accommodate them for the next couple of months. Any recommendations on how high the walls of the box should be? I would like to use a metal stock tank but the walls are only 2' high. Would that be sufficient or do I need something taller? I plan to cover the top with mesh to prevent anyone flying out. I appreciate any suggestions!
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  2. Ghosty

    Ghosty Songster

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    If they are already six weeks, I don't think it is necessary to keep them in a stock tank for another 2 months. I would come up with a pen where they can be seen by the other chickens and start integrating them into the flock.
     
  3. Henriettamom919

    Henriettamom919 Songster

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    Do you mind if I ask why you want to separate them for so long?

    I don't think two inches will work even with mesh. A six week old would have to stay bent over to avoid the covering.

    You could use a large storage tote like this one:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KBJ46LK/?tag=backy-20

    A single tote is about $15-20.
     
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  4. Henriettamom919

    Henriettamom919 Songster

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  5. Ghosty

    Ghosty Songster

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    My new integration pen in coop.
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  6. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    If you need to keep them indoors longer due to weather, a brooder with 2 foot walls will be tall enough, but you will need to have a screen on top or they will find a way to get out and explore and poop on everything and might not figure out how to get back in.
     
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  7. spiritpots

    spiritpots Songster

    I thought 2' would be too low, too. I actually have them in a tote this size right now but I think they'll need/want more room soon. I've been reading a lot from multiple sources about when to introduce young chickens to an existing flock and most of what I have read said to wait until the new chickens are about the same size, which will be probably six weeks from now (well, they won't be the same size but the new chickens will at least be bigger by then). The breeder recommended this as well, however I would like to move the new girls into the coop as soon as I can. Our nighttime temps are around 50 degrees now, which still may be a bit cold for them at night, right?
     
  8. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    Just make a slow introduction to outdoor temps. Cold is relative. My girls go outside when the daytime highs reach 50 degrees.

    Start with short field trips at the warmest part of the day and gradually get longer until the chicks are outdoors all day and only indoors at night.

    Use this time to set up a see no touch place so the big girls can get used to the littles being around. By the time the littles are acclimated to the temps hopefully the big girls are accepting of them and they can all live together.
     
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  9. McChics

    McChics Songster

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    I took a large tote like that and some plywood. The tote is against a wood wall, so I built three simple walls and screwed them together using the main wall of the garage as the back wall. the new wood walls sit on top of the tote extending the height by another 20" or so. I then set the lid on top. I took the original lid, cut out the middle and left the outer frame. I then drilled a few holes around in pairs and used zip ties to sew the chicken wire into the lid frame.

    If you don't get up more than that 2 foot, they will fly out when you are tending to the shavings, food, and water. That plywood wall extension lets you leave the lid off and they don't get out - at least not easily.
     
    spiritpots likes this.

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