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Brooder for a couple weeks then what?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by momofthehouse, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. momofthehouse

    momofthehouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there somewhere where it talks about how to keep caring for the chicks as they grow? I have been reading tonight on brood houses but people say they could only keep them in those locations for a week or two but I dont see what happens after that? Is there a way to build just one brood house and then get them use to the actual coop?
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I keep mine in a brooder in the house until they are fully feathered then I transfer them out to the coop. Once they are fully feathered they can stay in the coop without heat, but as mine are spoiled I do continue to supply heat on nights below 40 (I live in a very hot humid climate). I use a huge galvanized livestock water tub as a brooder with a screen over top (for when they decide to fly) and shelf lining for the bedding. The shelf lining keeps them from getting spray legged and is easiest to clean. You just spray it off with a hose and it takes less then 5 minutes to dry. I have tried every other type of bedding and either the poop is too small to scoop (sand), there is too much dust (shavings), or it just smells (pellets).

    The question you have to ask yourself is what type of set up do you have and how long do you want them in the house? There are many dangers with heat lamps but with a few precautions you can use them in the coop safely. Always use a good quality outside extension cord (not inside or dollar store brand, you want the orange one)! A lot of fires are started by low quality cords. Do not rely on the clamp alone! Where you clamp the lamp you also want to tie the clamp to the support. I use zip ties for this. If you have the clamp tied to the support as well then if the clamp lets go it won't hit the floor and start a fire. Make sure the base (where the bulb screws in) of the heat lamp is ceramic not plastic. The plastic ones have been known to melt and start fires. Tractor Supply has a sale on the ceramic ones for $8 right now. The metal on the heat lamps can get quite warm. Make sure that if the clamp fails that it won't hit a wall.

    Some people brood directly in the coop. I like to keep an eye on them for the first month so I keep them in the house. If you want to keep them in the coop from the get go please keep in mind the above suggestions for safety. All of us do it a little different, only you can decide what is best for you. Good Luck!
     
  3. momofthehouse

    momofthehouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So the space in a galvanized livestock tub is big enough to keep them in it for a couple of months or til fully feathered? I would keep them in our garage more than likely. We are moving to a new house soon on 5 acres. It has a coop but pretty small so been looking at the wichita cabin coop possibility. So I would like to keep them in one space til they are ready for the coop. How many can you keep in that type of brooder? I saw a pic of that type and it seemed easy enough and kind of the largest option. The coop wont be where we can just drag an extension cord (my husband might think differently ha!)
     
  4. momofthehouse

    momofthehouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You dont have any other kind of bedding in there but the liner? Do they not want to scratch at that age?
     
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Being fully feathered can vary by breed and how you brood them. I brood my birds inside for 4 weeks, I use shavings for bedding, at 2.5 weeks the light is turned off part of day, at 3+ weeks they are not supplied additional heat inside. They are still going to go through molts and feather growth but have first full set of feathers at 4 to 5 weeks.
     
  6. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just the liner. I have a set of six 5 day olds in there right now that will stay in there for a month. I have an outside run for growing chicks only and I put them in that at 2 weeks old during the day so they can range and meet my flock. I have had 57 meat birds in there for 2 weeks and had no problem. (meat birds are fully feathered and ready for outside hoop house at 2 weeks of age.) They are scratching in their feed trough already. I suggest not to let them eat anything other then their feed for the first 2 weeks, then if you do offer chick grit. Chick grit is smaller then regular grit and still works on my layers so they can digest food. I never get bigger grit because I have enough to keep up on with a mixed aged flock (feeds for every age) to have to worry about a bigger grit when the small stuff works just fine. I have a friend that uses kiddy pools as brooders. She gets them on discount at the Dollar General at the end of summer for $1 each and keeps them in her garage.
     
  7. momofthehouse

    momofthehouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ha that is a thought on a kiddy pool :)
     
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Yep..you can. If you already have a coop and can get electric to it or have existing electric, you can brood them right in the coop from day one and then open up your brooder and slowly wean them off the light.

    Here's one example of a coop brooder I used for meat chicks in mid March last year when the temps were still in the 20s-30s at night and 40-50s in the day. They were kept in the actual brooder space for two weeks and then that brooder was opened up to include the whole coop but the heat lamp was maintained on a protected corner and they could still run back and access that warm corner any time they pleased. You'll have to gauge how well your chicks do and when it would be suitable to open up the brooder by how long they stay away from the light as they age..make the brooder big enough to be able to watch for that, with a warm end and a cool end.

    Here's the pics of this brooder:

    [​IMG]

    This had a large, thick cardboard piece under the bedding to keep the floor from getting cold...if you have a soil floor I recommend it. If not, it won't be necessary. It also had two pieces of plywood as a topper to keep the heat in and this could be spaced out to allow air flow and adjust temps.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    The pic below shows part of the walls of the brooder taken away and one whole section of the top removed, leaving a warm, protected corner that got heat at night when they needed it or if the day was cold, I turned on the lamp in the daytime as well. Here is shows the heating lamp off. These chicks are 2 wks old and outside temps were in the 50s...but meaty chicks can take the cold much better than layer breeds, so you could leave the lamp on for yours day and night.

    [​IMG]
     

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