Brooder & Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ktown55, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. ktown55

    ktown55 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 24, 2009
    East Tenn..
    Hi Everyone, Again I'm New At This And Would Like To Ask Something About The Brooder..I Have A Good Size Rabbit Cage, I'm Going To Try & Use For My Brooder, What I Need To know Is What Do I Put Down In The Bottem Of Cage When I First Go To Put The Chicks In It? I Keep Seeing Something About Wet Paper Towels? What Is that About? And When Do I Start Feeding Them The Chick Feed For the First Time? And One More thing,Can I Get By With A 75w light bulb To Heat The Chicks? There going To Be In doors For Awhile ,Because Of the Weather...Brrrrrrrr, Cold !! Thanks For Your Help.....[​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  2. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

    Nov 4, 2008
    Cross Lanes, WV
    Bottom of the cage put a layer of shavings and then put dry paper towels on top. The paper towel keep the little bird brains from trying to eat the shavings. do not use newspaper as it becomes slick and can cause spradle leg.
    Are you hatching or getting through the mail?

    75 watt light should be ok, just make sure its close enough. I always go by if they're huddling- more heat, if they are running away from the light less. If they are right in the middle I got it right.

    Don't put them outside until they are fully feathered.
  3. ThePamperedPullet

    ThePamperedPullet Chillin' With My Peeps

    If the rabbit cage has a screen bottom then shavings wont work very well. We use a screen bottom cage as our brooder and we put an old towel down on half of it. This gives them a place to lay and also gets them used to walking on screen. After they get about 2 weeks old we pull the towel out and that way the poo goes through the screen to a catch pan below. We use a 85 watt red flood light over our chicks. Seems to provide just the right amount of heat for them while in the house. Red also helps keep them from pecking at each other. You don't want to use anything wet around the chicks as it promotes disease. You can give them chick starter feed from day one. If you sprinkle a bit on the towel then they learn what it is and will eventually find the feeder. You will want to dip each chicks beak into the waterer so that they learn what that is. You can also put a bit of sugar in the water for the first couple of days to help promote drinking.
  4. ktown55

    ktown55 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 24, 2009
    East Tenn..
    Quote:Thank You Fay,,The Only Thing With the Shavings Is The Screen Bottem In It...I guess I'll Have To Do Something With It. And I'm Trying To Hatch My chicks..I Used A Friends Bator Just To See If It's Something I Would Like To Do...And So Far I've Enjoyed It ...thanks Again...
  5. ktown55

    ktown55 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 24, 2009
    East Tenn..
    Quote:Thanks,Now I Know What To Do To the Bottem Of The Cage...That Will Work Good For Me & The Chicks..I Guess I'll Get Me A Red Flood Light, I Have A Green One, Why ? I Don't Know..Or Where It Came From...Anyway, Good Tips On Feeding The Chicks And Watering Them......Thank You For Your Help And Info.........Ktown
  6. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA
    Go to Walmart and buy a big bag of adult incontinence pads (not the diapers, the pads that lay flat). They are much cheaper than the doggie training pads. To avoid embarrassment at the check out mention that they are for your mother-in-law. [​IMG] A friend gave me this tip!

    Put the pads down over the wire bottom for the first few days to keep the chicks feet from getting caught in the wire. When they are old enough for shavings pour them directly on the pads. Cleanup is easy and anything that falls through gets dropped into the tray. I use a rabbit hutch for my grow out brooder in the coop and it works great.
    I bought a reptile cage from Craigslist and turned it into the perfect indoor brooder. It had sliding glass doors in front, one of which I replace with a homemade door. I used a garage sale sign from Lowes, but out a big hole in the middle and taped hardware cloth to it. This also for better ventilation. We also cut six 3" vent holes in the top and covered them with wire. I installed a closet road for a perch and a rabbit nipple waterer. The cage was already wired with a light socket for a heat lamp and a fluorescent lamp for light. I use a ceramic heater bulb which maintains a constant 90 degrees in there. As the get bigger I swap the bulb for a lesser wattage until they are at room temp. It is in my office and allows me to keep close tabs on the little guys. I love it!

    Good luck, you're going to love it!

    Here's a pic:
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    This thread gives some info on wire bottomed brooders. I think you will find it interesting.

    I used a wire bottomed brooder with no wood shavings and never had any problems. Enough of their poop landed on the 2x4 bracing holding it off the ground for them to get their cocci immunity and the feeder and waterer stayed pretty clean. I did use a draft guard around it to keep them out of drafts and brooded 28 chicks in a 3' x 5' brooder in the coop until they were 4 weeks old without losing any. The weather was a lot warmer in May/June than it is now though.

    Editted to add photo.

    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  8. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    My outdoor transitional brooder is made from a 4'x6' converted rabbit hutch. I got it off of craigslist from a lady that only used it for a week. It was like new. After spraying it down with a 10% bleach/water solution, I sawed off the legs, flipped it upside down, and hung it on the wall of the coop. This eliminated the wire floor problem. The chicks are on the plywood which was the roof and the wire bottom which is now the top makes a great support for the lamp fixtures. I closed in 3 sides with plywood and left the front and the top open. I made 3 plywood panels for the top so I could remove them depending on the temperature outside. In the coop it is protected from drafts so I do not cover up the front. The chicks need plenty of fresh air.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by