brooder size

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by shmeggs, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. shmeggs

    shmeggs Chirping

    Nov 24, 2013
    we are thinking of building a outdoor brooder under my tractor shed, to use next spring. looking to build it for maybe 12 chicks. I have been thinking of building it 4 feet long and 2 feet wide, is this big enough for 12 chicks.
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    How long are you intending them to be in the brooder? That will factor into the overall space needed.
  3. shmeggs

    shmeggs Chirping

    Nov 24, 2013
    maybe around 3 weeks
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I don’t know what that area under the shed looks like, but I’d suggest bigger if you can for different reasons. If you build it to the minimum, you take away all your flexibility. What happens if for some reason you need to leave them in there a bit longer and you just don’t have the room? You are in a bind. By the time they are three weeks old, that area will be pretty small, maybe too small. They are going to grow pretty fast.

    I’m assuming you live somewhere you will need to provide some heat. To me the ideal brooder is big enough so that you can heat one end and let the rest cool off. That way the chicks can get away from the heat if they need to or get closer if they need to. Too much heat is just as dangerous as too little heat. The way outside temperatures fluctuate don’t box yourself into a tight corner with the heat. Again give yourself some flexibility and let the chicks do the work of finding the right temperature. I find they feather out faster and adjust to the weather much better if they experience cool as well as warm.

    I’ve kept 28 chicks in a brooder that was 3’ x 5’ until they were 5 weeks old. That was 23 pullets and 5 cockerels. I also kept 23 chicks in there for 5 weeks and they were getting real crowded, maybe more crowded than with the 28 mostly female, but that was almost all boys. Sex makes a difference by that age. There are different variables so it is hard to say you need so many square inches per chick. You might be OK with a 2x4 but if you can, now is the time to make it bigger. Your next batch may be 18 chicks.

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