brooder cover

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jgaepi, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. jgaepi

    jgaepi In the Brooder

    Feb 25, 2011
    davis, ca
    My baby chicks arrive next Thursday. How long until I need to create a hardware cloth cover to keep them in? I can't imagine they can jump out of 18 inches in the first few days.

    Also, I bought a 4ft by 2ft by 18inch clear plastic tub from Target. That would suffice for 5 chicks, right?

  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    They'll be ok for the first few days, but once those little wing feathers come in they get crazy! I used a 46 gallon plastic tub for 20 chicks for the first week, so your 5 should be good in there for a while. Good luck with your new babies!
  3. wolftracks

    wolftracks Spam Hunter

    Nov 6, 2009
    Cut out the center of the top and use zip ties to attach screen or wire. Keeps the little Wright Brother wannabes from flying out.
  4. stormylady

    stormylady Songster

    Dec 27, 2008

  5. SC-ChickMom

    SC-ChickMom Chirping

    Jul 21, 2011
    You probably have about 10 days. I just used some left over chicken wire and hardware cloth left over from a past project.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I don't know how long you have since my brooder has a top, but I'd do it sooner rather than later. Time has a way of really flying past the way they grow. I've seen a broody hen get three day old chicks up into a nest about a foot off the ground, so they can go vertical pretty quickly if they are motivated. She tells them to come and they do. Once one figures how to escape, they all will learn pretty quickly.

    A brooder that size should work great. I suggest you keep one area the right temperature and let the rest cool down as it will instead of trying to keep the entire brooder the perfect temperature. You don't have to worry about temperature and they will find their own comfort zone if you give them a choice.

    I have my brooder out in the coop made totally out of wire, but I have a plastic drop cloth wrapped around the bottom to stop all drafts. The top half of the walls and the top are all wire so they get plenty of ventilation. One area is kept warm but the far corners cool off to whatever the ambient temperature is, often way below the "perfect" temperatures. You'd be surprised how much time even three day old chicks spend in the colder areas, only going back to the warm area occasionally. I think they are healthier and get acclimated much better if they have a range of temperatures. My brooder is 3' x 5', but your 2' x 4' should be plenty big enough to heat one area ansd let the rest cool off.

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