Brooder Change/Upgrade

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Parks, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. Parks

    Parks Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 23, 2016
    Not sure if i should have just asked for the other person to elaborate a bit more but thought it may be a good question to ask since there may be a lot of new-to-chick-raising people on here like myself.

    Here's the deal. I currently have four chicks and will be getting two more on Saturday morning. Their Brooder is an 18"Wx36"Lx12"H plastic rubbermaid type tub. Right now it is perfect. Heat lamp on one end, feed and water on the other and a shoebox in the middle for shade or an area to get out of the direct light. Another member said that I will need to get a larger brooder for the six girls in short order.

    Question: What do you recommend or what did you use that was larger than the dimensions i listed above? How big does it need to be for comfort? Thought about getting a second tub of the same size/type and joining them side by side and cutting out the walls to effectively double the size. Big enough? Tell me what you all used and most importantly how high so the girls will not jump out of the brooder? Thanks again.
  2. Greenthumb83

    Greenthumb83 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2016
    We used a recliner box we picked up from a furniture store near us. It was 3x3 , but I kept buying more chicks lol. We ended up getting another box and attaching them together. Some don't care to use boxes because of moisture. I have not had a problem. I just keep the watered up on bricks and change out the litter often. Nothing has ever been wet unless I spilled it myself. Lol:rolleyes:

    For 6 chicks, one of those boxes would work fine.
    1 person likes this.
  3. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2012
    I also use cardboard for my brooder. I keep the brooder in the garage(heated) and put newspaper down on the floor. I then cut the cardboard to make a corral on top of the newspaper and throw in some pine chips. So the cardboard is just four sides with no top of bottom. I got this idea from my first brooder which was bought at TSC as a "chick starter kit" It came with a rolled up piece of corrugated cardboard to use as brooder walls, I should have saved it but didn't so now I just get some cardboard from work.
    If using the cardboard for just the walls you can piece together more than one piece if needed to make the size you want. Another advantage of this method is you can just add some more cardboard to make the brooder bigger as they grow and at the end the cardboard, newspaper and shavings all go in my compost pile.
    1 person likes this.
  4. AngeliqueR

    AngeliqueR Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 27, 2016
    San Dimas
    I use a large box. I have five and it's a 10 sq ft box, I read 1-2 sq ft per chick when they're little. The heat lamp is clamped onto a chair beside the brooder, definitely not directly onto the cardboard.

    I'm in Southern California so I won't have to upsize my brooder before they can go outside, but if I were in a colder climate I might figure out how to heat the coop before I'd put too much effort into an upgrade.
    1 person likes this.
  5. TroyerGal

    TroyerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    My mom and i built our brooder... it was made from a train table that my little siblings didn't use. We also made a brooder out of a baby crib :) you should get a bigger brooder... those chickies grow fast! And, i tried to build a brooder by connecting two plastic boxes together and it didn't work out too well ;) cardboard might work, but maybe not plastic.
    1 person likes this.
  6. jackandkaren

    jackandkaren Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 15, 2016
    We are using a large walk in shower for our 4 chicks. I put plenty of bedding down because they don't like the slick floor. It should make for easy clean up when the time comes!
    1 person likes this.
  7. Choco Maran

    Choco Maran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2009
    Ribera New Mexico
    I use a watermelon box from Wal-Mart it has work very well for about three years now. Place a piece of wood in the bottom to make it stronger and so it would last. I have had up to 30 chicks in it at a time Once they get to about three weeks old it is to small but them they all go to the coop.
    1 person likes this.
  8. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2012
    Tyro-Lexington, NC
    Here is the cheapest brooder box that I've ever had. Go to your grocery (or liquor) store and ask for their biggest boxes. You can tape them together and as the chicks need more room you can easily add more without having to split the girls up only to have to reintroduce them to each other later on. I have three large boxes right now for six chicks that I just got from TSC. The boxes put together are about 8 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 3 feet tall. I have the light on one end with the food and water near the middle. The other end is cool so as they only explore when they are already nice and warm. But, as they grow they will be able to spread out more and more. Granted, I set this up when I was hoping to hatch 14 turkeys but it is working out really well for my chicks. Especially since they will be in the box for six weeks. If I start having behavior issues that is usually caused by being cramped (excessive pecking and such) then I'll just add another box. Then once they are all able to join the big girls I'll burn the boxes and start fresh with my next batch.
    1 person likes this.
  9. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2012
    Tyro-Lexington, NC

    Hope these post. This is before I put my light on the end with the first grate. Lots of room. You can never have too much.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  10. mamatink7

    mamatink7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2016
    As of right now, we are using a tote (33gallon). We got the chicks from day they hatched (Wednesday). We also have another 4-6 chicks hatching on the 16th. I will be moving these girls end of the weekend to mid week into the garage trough. It's been very cold and honestly I just wanted to watch them all the time hahaha. Now they are practicing their wings and wanting to dust bathe-hilarious to see. Sooo, nearly time to move them. We cleaned and changed bedding but the kiddos weren't ready for them to move quite yet.
    That's my story..for your amount though, your size tote should be fine & as long as it's 12 inches tall, you shouldn't worry about them flying out (if you end up worrying, then put hardware wire to to top; attaching w wood poles.

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