Brooder in South Florida where it is already 85 degrees in the day

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by DawnSusan, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. DawnSusan

    DawnSusan Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 20, 2009
    Hi everyone -- I am new! Been reading as much as I can for some months, and I finally joined. We are getting 4-5 chicks this weekend.

    I plan on starting them in a 55 gal aquarium for a week or so -- I know they will outgrow quickly, but I have questions about keeping them on the back patio where the huge aquarium currently is. It is very warm here already, about 85 during day in sun. I know I will still need a lamp, but do you think it is okay to keep them outside? At night it gets down into the low 70s.

    I will use other brooder methods if they need to be inside. Not a problem.

    It is a little humid down here, by the way! Not sure how that plays into chick health.

    Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this.

  2. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    Hey DawnSusan I'm in North Florida. Its OK to use an aquarium for a brooder What I do is use a 100 watt bulb and put it at one end of the brooder. That way if the chicks are chilly they can get under the light but if they are too warm they can move to the other end of the box. One thing you shoudl consider is predators. Could something get them if they were left outside at night? I usually brood in the house It is messy but safer. Right now I have 37- 2 week olds in a large old amplifier box. It makes a great brooder. At first I used two lights but now I have only one going. Remeber they need 100 degress the first week and then lower it by 5 degrees each week. Good luck and Welcome to the forum
  3. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi Dawn, Welcome to The Crossing. They really need to be kept in a controled invironment. I can`t imagine maintaining a constant viable temp in an aquarium outside. Proper chick temps are 95 degrees the first week and decreasing 5 degrees each week after. There is no doubt in my mind that you would be unable to maintain those temps on your patio.......Pop
  4. lishah2000

    lishah2000 Chillin' With My Peeps


    I'm in Southeast Florida. I raised my first batch loose in a small coop from the start. They were 3 or 4 days old when I got them. I kept a heat lamp on one end with the proper temps under it and they did fine.

    I couldn't keep the proper temps outside in a small brooder box. It would get too hot during the day even without a lamp.

    They all just recently turned a year old and three are currently raising their second batch of babies.
  5. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Even when air temperatures are in the 70's here, a thermometer on the ground in the sun reaches well over 90 and being in an aquarium would concentrate and magnify that heat.
    You could swing it in a coop, with shade and a light so they could chose, but I doubt in an aquarium.
  6. farmin'chick

    farmin'chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    Rocky Mount VA
    Yah. You said, "In the sun..." You probably do NOT want to put a glass tank full of chickies in the sun in Florida. I vote for inside (even if it's a garage or shed building) where you can use a light and monitor the temperature. My condo brooder is in the brooder room -- a former mud room -- during the day there are windows I can open for ventilation if it gets too warm with their lightbulbs. I have a cooler strata on the bottom for some older (3 & 4 wk old) chicks, then a nuclear (very) warm one, and on top is also warm, being just above the heat lamp, but they only need a 65 watt bulb in a reflector fixture to keep them warm enough.

    All my brooder boxes have wire bottoms and are lined with hay, and I make sure it stays dry and clean. If it gets too "poopy" it can overheat when you think it should "be ok".

    Thermometers are great, too, but since I'm home all the time and don't sleep much, I use the "chick-o-stat" as my main indicator of how each box is doing...
    HIDING IN THE FAR CORNERS as far from the light as they can get -- lower the bulb intensity, allow for more ventilation, or move the light farther away. They are going, "MOMMY! We're TOO hot"
    HUDDLED UP under the light straining upward and peeping pitifully-- Turn up the heat. Reduce some of ventilation, increase bulb intensity or reduce the distance the bulb is from the chicks.
    All running around, some eating, some sleeping, any old where in the box, one or two playing naughty tricks on the ones that are sleeping -- THE TEMP IS JUST RIGHT!

    Please note -- PANTING, sprawling with fluffed wings and feathers, far from the light means they are SERIOUSLY hot. Think about pedialyte and cool them down pretty quickly without chilling them.

    Have fun! My little cheepers actually seem to be just about indestructible.
  7. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from S. Florida. Where are you?
  8. DawnSusan

    DawnSusan Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 20, 2009
    Thank you everyone!!

    I forgot to mention that the aquarium is in the shade on a big heavy stand in a covered porch where we spend a lot of our free time, but I think that is of no importance now, as I am sure we will be keeping them inside.

    I was just trying to be lazy and save my back. During the day we are constantly outside anyway, so I thought it would be good for chick watching, but we do have a very heavy cardboard industrial shipping box we can use.

    The kidlets and I will be getting things set up between now and Friday, so your quick replies were much appreciated.

    A few more quick questions: I keep reading about electrolytes -- pedialyte would count, yes?
    Also, I have read about red lights -- necessary all the time or would regular bulb suffice?

    Chicken people are so nice! I will remember the chick-o-stat!

    Oh, for B.Hromada -- I am near Davie.

    Thanks again!
  9. BamaChicken

    BamaChicken Orpingtons Bama Style

    Nov 14, 2007
    I live right on the Fl line and we get some warm daytime temps too. I have to leave the tops open in the day time and then make sure they are warm enough for evening. It is getting to the point I will start lowing the wattage on the bulbs. They can get overheated very quickly.
    I really don't like to keep hatching past the end of April but looks like i might have to hatch a few more. It gets more complicated for me keeping them the right temp with the heat.
  10. Slywoody

    Slywoody Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2009
    Personally, i will use only a red heat lamp. Seems to keep them more settled down and they don't pick at each other.

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