Brooder Size? Newbie...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by shanji, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. shanji

    shanji In the Brooder

    Sep 22, 2014
    Ordered 15 chicks and may grab 3 more as well... Was thinking at first to use a plastic tub and now I'm thinking that may only last me a week? If I cut a hole in two plastic tubs and taped them together would this work? I see 2-2.5 square feet per bird and now am worried that I will have too many for the space I have in our house. We are in a cold weather climate and plan on using an Ecoglow. Temps seem to be trending up so I'm wondering if two tubs could possibly last me until I can get them outside?

    Advice please! Feeling a bit overwhelmed right now.

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Plastic is not great for them; it often has its own fumes, and allows no air flow. It's very easy to overheat them in one. Consider scrounging something like a freezer shipping box. Last time I brooded indoors, I wound up with 3 large cardboard boxes duct taped together. I only brood outdoors now.

    2.5 sq ft is OK if it does not include feeders, waterers, etc. As with anything chicken, the more space, the better. Be sure there is enough temperature difference across the brooder to allow for chicks that prefer warmer areas and those that prefer cooler ones.

    If you have a garage, barn, etc., you can probably brood them outdoors, at least after a week or two. Check out this thread:
  3. shanji

    shanji In the Brooder

    Sep 22, 2014
    I have no outdoor buildings. And the main reason the tub interested me was because I could get a tight seal on the lid (would cut out big piece on lid & cover with wire). We have 3 cats and 2 dogs that we need to keep out and that makes me weary of anything like cardboard boxes.
  4. DeniseMace

    DeniseMace In the Brooder

    Do you have access to a large dog crate, or can you check Craigslist, etc, for one? We just moved our ladies to one that we then attached hardware cloth to, to keep cat paws away. Definitely big enough for our 5 girls, but we're only using a medium crate. You might want to consider just building one ourt of scrap wood and hardware cloth if you're handy, then you could tailor it to a corner of a room out of the way. Best of luck with your new flock!
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Plastic tubs won't last you much more than a week with that many chicks. They'll more than double their size in a week! Do you have a corner you could block off in your basement? If so, you could put up a temporary structure and hang the heat lamp. cover over all with chicken wire or hardware cloth. Chicks are incredibly messy. Their dander is like a fine greasy silt that will cover every square inch of what ever room they are in. What are you using for a coop? Can you brood them in your coop?
  6. shanji

    shanji In the Brooder

    Sep 22, 2014
    We do have a large dog crate but it is currently being used by our pup. He may be able to be out of it in a couple weeks, though. No basement and coop isn't built yet. Starting to think I'm way over my head!!
  7. JekkaLynn

    JekkaLynn Songster

    Apr 25, 2014
    If you look online you can usually find a used dog crate for cheap if not free.

  8. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Songster

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama

    Waaaaay over your head! Your better off putting your efforts into building your pen & coop and then brooding them in your coop.
    But to answer your question, 3 large totes will house 15 birds for a month, max.
    Even then you're going to have your hands full heating, feeding, watering and cleaning 3 tote brooders.
    You need to find one of those small plastic pools like they sell for $10 at Doller General Stores and use it for a brooder.
  9. farnorth

    farnorth Songster

    Jul 6, 2013
    Upper Michigan
    Don't put the chickens before the coop. They are going to too big to be in the house way before you can build a coop. Can you delay the order by a couple of months? Chicks don't stay small for very long at all. By 2 weeks they can fly out of a wading pool or plastic bin.
  10. shanji

    shanji In the Brooder

    Sep 22, 2014
    I actually have a small plastic pool outside as well... but wouldn't that be too small height wise?

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