Brooder Size for 10 Chicks


In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 3, 2011
I'm planning on building a brooder to raise 10 chicks in my garage until they are big enough to move into the outside coop (6 weeks) and wondering how big it needs to be? 2 sqft per bird ok? Maybe something 6' x 3' and 3' tall? Also is a wooden floor the best option for traction when the are tiny? It seems like people recommend not using shavings for the first week until the learn to eat from the feeder.

Thanks for any comments.
Most people don't do it this way, but I have huge brooder space. I never check temps. I have 2 hot zones and lots of cool space. I put feeders and waterers in a warm area and never have problems.

If the entire brooder is the same temp, even though that is the temp recommended at a specific age they have no option for cooler space.
Chicks with broodies past the first week warm up under them and then run around in the cold a while before going back for more mothering.
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If you're planning on keeping them in the brooder until about 6 weeks, then 2 sq.ft. each will work. I've managed 1 sq.ft until 3 weeks, but it was just too tight after that. It felt like they were walking over one another, and the bedding was needing cleaned FREQUENTLY. If you have the space, I'd rig something up 4 x 8, primarily because a 6 ft. or 3 ft anything will waste lumber (unless it's a size you have on hand). You could always reuse the boards after you're done with them.
Pine or aspin bedding are good choices in the bottom. You can add it right from the get-go or wait a day or two. Sometimes they sample it. I've never had issues with them finding food/using the feeder (just peck at the feeder with your finger-like a beak - once one eats, they all play follow the leader). The last time I brooded I covered the bedding with one of those nonslip rug mats; the things you put under area rugs to keep them from sliding - just for the first two days. Just shake it out and throw it in the washer when done.
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