Brooder size??


8 Years
Feb 4, 2011
Is there a formula for brooders like there is for coops? We have (or should I say my son has) 25 chicks coming soon thru 4H and I know we need a brooder. I have a large crate that was given to us free that is 39 inches x 41 inches and 29 inches high (interior measurements). The 4 sides look like this: l/l\\l I know we will need a solid floor and to add chicken wire around it. I am also planning on removeable solid walls - but how many? 4, and remove as the chicks don't need as much warmth?

I have a second crate the same size, but with only 3 sides remaining. We have considered adding it to the first crate after the chicks are larger. Well not actually adding. More like scooting it next to it and letting the chicks go back and forth.

We have a coop planned but it is not built yet and won't be finished when the chicks arrive otherwise we would have started there first with the brooder inside. This brooder will be kept inside our other storage shed that I can run electricity to easily.

Whew. Did any of that make sense?

Thanks so much for helping me out!
I've kept up to 28 chicks in a 3' x 5' brooder until they were about 4-1/2 weeks old, then let them out in a much larger coop. That is about 1/2 square foot (72 square inches) for each chick.

The general guidelines I have heard is 1/2 a square foot per chick until 4 weeks, then 1 square foot afterwards until you let them out of the brooder. Since mine are fully feathered out and I only keep one area of the brooder in the recommended temperature range and let the rest of the brooder cool off as much as 20 top 30 degrees cooler, I've never had a problem removing supplemental heat at 4 1/2 to 5 weeks of age.

Your plan sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

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