Brooder Size


May 2, 2015
In a little under 2 weeks I'll be picking up my chicks from a local farm. I've never raised chicks before and plan on building my own brooder box that's temporary. I'll be getting 14 chicks and raising them for about 6 weeks or a little bit longer if their not ready to live in a coop yet. I'm planning on making a brooding box out of a kiddie pool either 4ft or 5ft in diameter, is that large enough? And do they need to start in something smaller beforehand or can they just go right in the larger brooding box? I also plan on making higher sides and putting some sort of wired top over it so they won't fly out once they start doing so. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks!


Poultry Lit Chaser
10 Years
May 19, 2009
If you have large chicken breeds, you will need 2 sq. ft. per chick to raise them to 6 weeks.
It looks like you have a good plan for your brooder. You don't need to heat the whole brooder. Just a warm place for them to gather. Also don't need that 250 watt red bulb. A 65 to 85 watt incandescent bulb will work. The red 250 watt bulb are heat bulbs. They are designed to heat "objects" within their range of influence. The incandescents just plain cast heat around the area and objects are warmed which are in that area. I put Poultry Nutri-Drench in my chick's water ( 2ml per gallon) for the 1st 2 weeks to get them off to a strong start. The Drench gives the chicks the extra nutrition they need because they may not be getting it from their feed while adjusting to their new home. The Bovidr Labs formulas do not need to be digested. They mainline directly into the bloodstream. Measurable in 30 minutes with 99% utilization. Tractor Supply has the best price at 6.99 That should be enough for your chicks as it is very concentrated. When you get your chicks, give each one, a drop ( one drop only) by mouth to help them deal with travel stress. Then just put 2ml per gallon in their water. I make mine the color of very weak tea. You can also use Goat Nutri-Drench if you use the poultry formula usage and dosage instructions. Buy a 3ml syringe at Tractor Supply and safely dispose of the needle. Use t to measure the Drench. Easy that way.
Best Regards,
Last edited:

curious chickee

Mar 18, 2015
central valley, California
Sounds like a good size, just start them in there. Set up a heat lamp, I like a 75 or 100 watt infrared bulb, easier on eyes at night. Make sure it is secure. I add several zip ties to attach it to make sure it doesn't accidentally fall. I agree use vitamins / electrolytes in their water, I add about 1/4 tsp of the powder each time I fill it up.

If your coop is ready they can start there even, so long as they have a heat lamp, protection from drafts/wind, and protection from predators. My start in my small coop from day one. They have a three sided box made from scrape plywood with a heat lamp hanging over head for their warm up spot.

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