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Brooder Questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Country Gal, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. Country Gal

    Country Gal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    Hi all,

    I received my chicks last weekend... all 26 of them! My fiance called me at work this morning to let me know that he noticed that some of the chicks had started pecking at each other.

    I read some of the previous posts about pecking and I'm thinking that maybe my brooder is too small and they are crowded? I am currently using a kiddie pool surrounded with 3' high wire fencing. Without having actually measured the pool yet, I'm guessing that it is 3 or 4' diameter.

    Do you think that this is the problem? If I increase the size of the brooder, would 5'x5' be sufficient or should I go 6'x6'?

    If I need to increase the size, is it okay if I set up the fencing as a surround, and then put wood shavings directly on the cement floor? (brooder is in the garage) Or should I lay cardboard on the cement, then cover with shavings?

    Since the weather is FINALLY starting to warm up, I'm hoping to have them in their coop in the next few weeks, just need to finish building it!

    Thanks for your help!
    Kelly
     
  2. Stef

    Stef New Egg

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    Apr 25, 2007
    France
    Country Gal

    It's normal for the chicks to peck. They tend to have a peck at each others toes in the early days but it's just like kids finding out what hurts and what doesn't they are following their instincts. They rarely ever hurt each other.

    I think your brooder is plenty big enough I put mine out fairly early into a safe Triangle run https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=4274&p=3

    Stef
     
  3. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    We started with 26 birds and used a 6' round child's swimming pool. A couple of others here on BYC have used them too. Our pool had 18" of cardboard around the edge and a 4' high chicken wire fence around it.

    We kept it in our laundry/mud room and the chicks were there until they were 6 1/2 weeks old. At 2 weeks, they started spending their days outdoors and came back inside for the night. This was to protect them from predators. We were converting a portion of our barn into the hen house and it wasn't completed until the birds were 6 1/2 weeks old.

    Chicks naturally peck everything, even each other. They could be too crowded, too hot or bored. They will also peck an injured or sick chick until it is dead. So make sure none of your little darlings have pecking injuries. You can cover wounds with blu-kote or change the light bulb to red to help discourage pecking.

    If you want to expand your brooder in the garage, I would put cardboard down before you put the shavings. It definitely makes clean up easier. There is nothing fun about scraping chicken poo! [​IMG]

    regards,
    keljonma
     

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