Brooder size, location question.

Missuswayne

Hatching
Mar 26, 2020
6
2
3
Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Hey there. I have 3 grown hens and am planning to add four to five chicks to the flock in the next month. We got our girls as pullets so these will be our first chicks.
Thoughts about this type of brooder setup? Will 4-5 chicks outgrow this quickly or will it last us until they are ready to join the big girls? (I'm in SE Pennsylvania if that matters re average spring temps.)
I like this one because I have two inside cats and do not want a massacre. Looks as though she had 10 chicks in there and they outgrew it after 3 weeks. Maybe by having fewer chicks I will not have that problem?
As for location -- we do not have a garage. Our basement is unfinished and would be a decent option except for the lack of daylight -- I've read it's preferable for chicks to experience daylight while in the brooder. I'm toying with the idea of locating them somewhere in our living space instead, but wonder how filthy things will become even if there's only a few of them...
Thanks!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
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Thoughts about this type of brooder setup? Will 4-5 chicks outgrow this quickly or will it last us until they are ready to join the big girls? (I'm in SE Pennsylvania if that matters re average spring temps.)
Yes, they will outgrow it quickly....couple weeks.
Do you have a brooder plate as shown?
I like the Horizontal Nipple bottle in there, but they also need an open waterer the first week or two.

How do you plan on integrating with existing flock?
Got enough coop space to section off part for the chicks and their heater?
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/integrating-new-birds-at-4-weeks-old.72603/

Oh, and...Welcome to BYC! @Missuswayne
Here's how to add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!
1585255424925.png
 

rosemarythyme

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
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WA, Pac NW
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Personally not a fan of totes, they tend to hold in heat (more an issue with lamps vs plate/pad) and aren't all that big, which usually means you'd need to make an interim set up. A better option would be a wire dog crate (with sides partially covered with cardboard or wire mesh to prevent escapes) or a wood crate or something similar, though that's not something most people have sitting around. But if the cats are a concern this probably safer than cardboard.

As I don't live in your neck of the woods I don't know how cold it is, but brooding outdoors as aart linked above is also an option.

How filthy will things get? I posted this for someone else yesterday: I've brooded in a spare bathroom and I've brooded outside. Never again inside... the dander just a few (3) chicks can put out over 5 or 6 weeks is amazing. The chicks were brooded in a bathtub, I was scrubbing oily filth off the tub, up the tile and the wall some 6', all the way across the floor to the sink and sink cabinet that sat facing the tub.
 

Missuswayne

Hatching
Mar 26, 2020
6
2
3
Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Yes, they will outgrow it quickly....couple weeks.
Do you have a brooder plate as shown?
I like the Horizontal Nipple bottle in there, but they also need an open waterer the first week or two.

How do you plan on integrating with existing flock?
Got enough coop space to section off part for the chicks and their heater?
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/integrating-new-birds-at-4-weeks-old.72603/
OK, so the consensus is the tote will be too small. I do have a large dog crate (42" x 28" x 31") that I could use.
I am planning to use a brooder plate, not a lamp. And thanks for the heads up re the waterer.
As for integrating them, I think I'm going to have to get a separate small coop for when they're ready to be outside but not yet ready to go in the coop with the other ladies. I have to work out those logistics.
Thanks for the advice!
 

rosemarythyme

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
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Awesome, thanks. Think it's fine to brood them in the basement? There's not much in the way of daylight down there.
Should be fine. I'd leave a light on (doesn't have to be bright) to simulate daylight - ideally try to get a dimmer that can be gradually dimmed in evening to simulate nightfall, so the chicks know to move under the plate.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
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As for integrating them, I think I'm going to have to get a separate small coop for when they're ready to be outside but not yet ready to go in the coop with the other ladies. I have to work out those logistics.
How big is your coop and run??
Dimensions and pics would garner some suggestions.
 

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