Brooder idea for chicks free running in tunnel house -late winter

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by nzchicke, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. nzchicke

    nzchicke Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2010
    I am wanting to move my 38 broilers out into the tunnel house asap as I am sick of boxes inside with sooo much poo and going through so much wood shaving etc and I want to feed them more milk and curds so they need to go out side! The day time temps in there are perfect for them but the night temp is around 0deg celcius.
    So I am thinking of a brooder idea of say a large upside down box (with plenty of chickie access doors) with there heat sorse(sp!) in there but I am finding it hard to find any similar ideas on the net as lots of unrelated stuff always comes up! Any one done anything like this or seen it done?
     
  2. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 5, 2010
    How old are they, nzchicke?

    I put my 3 week olds out in a tarp covered tractor in early winter. Temps were down to about 5C. They'd been trained to use a 'cold brooder', so when I set them up in the tractor they were happy to come and go from a fringe-fronted straw-insulated nest box.

    I'm not sure I'd recommend a cold brooder in your situation as they take a lot of effort to train the birds into it and ensure the balance between ventilation and insulation is just right. Zero C is also pretty cold (though I've used a cold brooder on 2 day old chicks at 2C overnight; the trick is to have a high enough number of chicks that they can make their own heat). But if you google 'cold brooder' you might get ideas for something that could work for you in a tractor.

    best wishes
    Erica
     
  3. nzchicke

    nzchicke Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2010
    Oops forgot to mention they are 16days old. Thanks for that. I have put them out today to see how they go, I have made a upsidedown-cardboard box house with a light bulb in and since they have had a lightbulb as their heat sorce so far they just trotted strait into the box to nap while the adventurers are out digging for bugs already. I find these (ross meat birds) very adaptable and settled chicks! they already went for a day trip to the tunnel house last week so were not bothered by the move. I put a thermometer in to see temp and major difference from when the chicks were not in the box, they heat it up alot!
     
  4. nzchicke

    nzchicke Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2010
    Well it is working out so well. They started out with a 75 watt globe and now down to 60watt. They love their box and having dirt to dig in and do alot of running around! I have not have any sick/or with sore legs since they were moved out there [​IMG] yay. I lost 3 out of the 40 so far, my first time doing meaties so I thought that was rather good!
    We have had a few nights that were -2deg cel and still they little piggies were not that cold because I go out there to check and there are a few out having midnight feasts in the near dark!
    It has worked out great, all their abundence of fertiliser is going strait into the ground. When their box patch gets mucky I just move it along and chuck down a fresh pile of shavings and then dig the old patch into the soil [​IMG]
     

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