Brooder setup questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by HennaRose, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. HennaRose

    HennaRose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2014
    I'll be getting nine babies in February. Only four are mine, and I'll be fostering the other five for my aunt until her coop is ready. They don't have space for a brooder in their house, so I offered to keep hers with mine till they're big enough to move to the coop outside. Aunt will give me the money to buy their feed and supplies while they're living with me. She lives about ten minutes away from me and will probably be over with her last remaining homeschooler (he's 12, his brothers are in high school and college) pretty often while the chicks are still in the brooder, but I'll have most of the care and keeping of them until they're ready to be outside full-time.

    There's a mix of breeds but they're all standard size, no bantams. I'd planned to brood them in the garage, safely out of reach of the household pets, which include a cat who likes to hunt and five dogs who are all sniffers, but will otherwise leave tiny animals alone. Still, I don't want them in the house, just in case. How much space do I need to allow for nine chicks to grow from day-old teenies to fully-feathered pullets?

    When do chickens start to establish a pecking order? Is it wise to brood all nine together when five of them are going to move away after a few weeks, or would it be better to brood our flocks separately?

    I had planned on watering my chickens with nipple waterers right from the start, to eliminate bedding and poop in the water and reduce/eliminate drowning risk. I don't know how my aunt plans on watering her flock; will they adapt to using standard waterers when she gets them?

    What do I really need to successfully brood chicks? There are so many things on the market that You Must Have To Properly Brood Chicks, and I'm sure I don't need all of those things. Can someone give me the basics that will get us through the first several weeks without too much fuss?
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    Chickens start to develop the pecking order around week 2 or 3. You can brood them together and they'll be ok if you take some away. (It will throw off the pecking order.) Just don't add any new ones.

    Yes, they will adapt to whatever why they must drink their water.

    When they first arrive, make sure everything is set up for them. (Food, water, bedding, heat, etc.) Dip their beaks in warm water before you set them in the brooder. Check for pasty butt also. If any of them have it, wash it off, apply coconut oil to their vent and put a little sugar in their water.

    Let them get used to their new home and siblings. Use your finger to tap at their food so they learn to eat. Cuddle them after the first day. Make sure they have lots of room to explore and run around by week 1. Give them roosts and a dust bath around week 3.

    Here are some very helpful links to check out also.

    Good luck!
  3. HennaRose

    HennaRose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2014
    Thanks so much! I know it's early yet, I just reserved the chick order today, but I want to be prepared well enough in advance that I don't have any last-minute things I forgot or situations I can't fix.
  4. ginoongtomba69

    ginoongtomba69 New Egg

    Nov 14, 2014
    Are you a new parent? If you are, you may be looking for safe and healthy foods to feed your baby. Parents should know the best for their babies. If this causes your concern, you may want to take the time to examine organic baby food.

    Visit our site to learn more! to Baby

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by