brooder size for 20 chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by patandchickens, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I *did* use 'search' but after a couple of pages didn't find an answer and have hungry kids and husband to feed, so please pardon me if this has already been asked a bajillion times.

    What size brooder do I need for the first 3 weeks (max) for 20 chicks. I am figuring they'll stay in basement for a couple weeks, in a cardboard-box brooder with a lamp over it. So it doesn't have to hold them for *too* long. (Then I will kick them out to the building where the other chickens are... it's a fairly constant 45-50 F in there right now, and I will have a Plamondon-style heat-lamp insulated hover for them.)

    It *is* ok to just make a brooder out of a big cardboard box, right? I was going to put a couple extra layers of cardboard on the floor so that the top one can be removed if it gets wet or too grotty. Let me know if I should do something different.

    (BTW, while I think of it, are there any concerns about them living from week 2-3 onward in a building occupied by a couple other chickens? They will be 10-30 ft away from the others, depending where I end up putting them.)

    Thanks,

    Pat, going to get the chicks this Sun or Mon and starting full-blown panic mode [​IMG]
     
  2. swiftfoot

    swiftfoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i would say
    well first what breed
    [​IMG]
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Pat,
    My 4 ft. diameter kiddie pool brooder lasted my 21 chicks barely two weeks and even before we moved them they were jumping out of it to play in the surrounding draft guard; which is 5 1/2 ft. square. We removed the pool and left them in the draft guard. Now at 3 weeks they are still pretty comfortable, space-wise, in it ; but they jump out of it all the time, just to see what's on the other side? It's 18 inches high. Mine are standard brahmas; good sized chicks.
     
  4. tuskajones

    tuskajones Out Of The Brooder

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    I currently have 26 cornish x that are 15 days old. I had them in a kiddie pool brooder (about 12 ft2) until last night when I quickly made another kiddie pool brooder since they were getting a little tight in there. I could have pushed it and kept them in there but they are all roosters and I wanted to avoid picking/stressing them out. I surround the pool with a 2 foot high draft guard of cardboard.

    I keep them in the basement where it is a cool, fairly consistent 50-55 degrees and then give them a heat lamp. I have them on a 100 watt heat lamp and they seem fine even with the 32 degree temps we had last night. This is my first time with chickens and so far they are pretty easy to care for (compared to the MESSY ducklings we did last year!)



    Hope this helps.

    Kelly
     
  5. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Hi Pat, I did use the search too, and didn't find any definitive answers. So, considering I ordered 26 broiler chicks, and considering that these birds are meant to grow fast, I figured it woud be better to go bigger. My solution to the brooder box? A watermelon crate. It is thick cardboard, has a lid, and fits on a pallet. I figure I can put a divider in it and move/remove it as necessary. I have an old shower curtain that I am going to line the bottom with, then put newspaper or something on top until they are ready for wood chips. The guys at the grocery store even loaded it into my car for me. And it was free! Maybe this could work for you?
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:It matters for the first 2-3 weeks of life?????

    They're all standard sized breeds. 10 speckled sussex, 6 golden campine, 4 buff chanteclers.

    So how much brooder space during those first 2-3 wks of life for those 20 chicks?


    Pat
     
  7. tuskajones

    tuskajones Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a book "Humane and Healthy Poultry Production" that gives brooder size recommendations as follows:

    Broiler chicks to 4 weeks of age: 1 ft2/bird

    Layer chicks to 16 weeks of age: 0.35 ft2/bird

    Hope that is what you are looking for.
    Kelly
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    have a book "Humane and Healthy Poultry Production" that gives brooder size recommendations as follows:

    Broiler chicks to 4 weeks of age: 1 ft2/bird

    Layer chicks to 16 weeks of age: 0.35 ft2/bird

    Hope that is what you are looking for.

    Thank you, Kelly - I was really looking for what people on this board actually DO, rather than commercial farming recommendations...

    BTW, is that second one there a typo? (for to *6* weeks of age)? If not, that is certainly not any 'humane and healthy' model... that is three virtually grown chickens in a space not much bigger than a magazine cover [​IMG]

    Thanks for the reply though,

    Pat​
     
  9. tuskajones

    tuskajones Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 18, 2007
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    HI Pat--The measurements are 0.35 square feet (ft2) per bird. I did reread the section and you are right it is for a layer production model (organic btw). So back to what I DO and my first time experience is the kiddie pool that has an area of about 12 square feet. Worked well for the 26 cornishx birds I have to their 14th day.

    Good luck again!

    Kelly
     
  10. Dilly

    Dilly Cooped Up

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    Hi Pat, I have been told half a foot per chick. Good luck. We are both going to be chick mom's this coming week.

    Dilly
     

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