Brooder ideas

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BMD17553, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. BMD17553

    BMD17553 In the Brooder

    Dec 3, 2013
    I am gonna raise chicks in the spring time when its alot warmer can you guys give me some brooder ideas and post some pictures im getting 15 chicks so how big of a brooder do i need

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    A lot of people use a large Rubbermaid tub but then are surprised how fast they grow. 15 chicks will need much more space. They'll need 1/2 sq. ft. per bird for the first week and 2.5 sq. ft. for the rest of the time they need brooding.
    For that number of birds in mild weather I just hang a couple heat lamps in the coop.

  3. chickenlindz

    chickenlindz Songster

    Oct 5, 2013
    I used a large dog crate (wrapped in wire) which by the end seemed too small for just 5. It might be an option for when they are little... Then move them to something bigger.
  4. I'm planning on using a laundry basket for 4 chicks. I know about the "squeezing out of holes" issue, but someone will have an eye on those babies nearly 24/7. Although that might not work out so well if you're housing 15 peepers...

  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Why not just use a large cardboard box instead of the laundry basket? It'll be draft free, you won't have to worry about them trying to squeeze out of the holes and perhaps getting strangled. Once they start getting bolder, it'll be nearly impossible to keep them confined to the laundry basket. They'll need a space big enough that they can get away from the heat to self regulate their temperature.
  6. GD91

    GD91 Songster

    Aug 1, 2013
    Don't do what I did & build a giant run in your living room..... we forgot about how we were going to fit it through the doorframe when the time came. [​IMG]

    It was murder to take apart.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Well, if I had a large enough cardboard box, that would definitely solve my problem. However, with first batch of chicks, the cardboard box was way too small and the chicks hated it. It was a nightmare. Besides, the bottom of the cardboard box started to get a bit, well, gross. Now I know how to prevent that, but still...

  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Rubbermaid totes and laundry baskets and fish tanks will work for a small number of chicks for maybe 3 weeks. After that, they need more space.

    I use galvanized steel feed troughs. Not sure of the exact dimension. I'm spatially challenged, lol. I can keep ten or so chicks in there until 4-5 weeks, then I move to a grow-out pen.

    The best things, if you're inside, are cardboard boxes. Large boxes can be taped together, with a little chick door cut through them. Heat lamp in one box, feed and water in the other box. That way you know for sure you have a cool enough area, and chicks can get out of each other's line of sight, if you get a more aggressive chick. If you keep the waterer elevated so they don't tip it over and get the bedding wet, and use plenty of bedding and change regularly, you shouldn't have odor or moisture issues.
  9. Auroradream26

    Auroradream26 Smothered in Feathers Premium Member

    May 14, 2013
    Central, PA
    This is my first year getting chicks also and the first 4 are due at the end of February and 4 more when TCS has them. Right now, I have a large dog crate set up out in the screen porch (4' X 2' maybe?). The screen porch has plastic covering all the screens and I put a layer of cardboard underneath the crate and between the crate and the wall and covered the side that doesn't have a door with cardboard. I also have a heat lamp hung in it on the one side. I have a cardboard box set aside that fits easily inside the crate (a little snug getting through the door) and fits perfectly under the heat lamp. The box is probably 1.5' sq. How long do you think they'll be able to stay in the box I have and do you think they'll be big enough to be in the crate afterwards without squeezing out. And how long do you think it'll be till they out grow the crate (4 easter eggers, 2 Sussex, 2 wellsummers)? After that will they be able to go to an outside coop? Sorry for all the questions. We just want to get it right the first time (never had chicks or chickens before). Plus, we'll be building our outside coop as they're growing.

  10. A 4x2 dog crate will not be enough to contain eight chicks comfortably. Each chick needs two square feet of space as they get older.

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