Brooder size


In the Brooder
Feb 1, 2015
I have a rubbermaid trough that is 23x44. I'm getting 3 chicks and a week after that i'll be getting 9 chicks. They are all bantams.

I'm assuming this would be too small to use as a brooder? I've heard you need 1 to 2 feet per chick but that seems a bit excessive. Thinking of maybe building something out of heavy cardboard.

Also i just ordered a ecoglow, i'm hoping it will work well. I've heard some good things about it.
Last edited:

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
8 Years
Mar 9, 2014
My Coop
My Coop
Yes, that would be too small and no, 1-2 feet per chick is not excessive. Even though your chicks are bantam, you want to provide as much space as possible. Keep in mind, also, that you need to allow space for the water/feed station(s) in your calculation of space in the brooder. Avoiding overcrowded conditions will help to reduce the risk of illness, behavior issues, make keeping the brooder clean easier, etc. The chicks won't be those tiny fuzz butts you bring home on the first day for long at all - in a matter of weeks they will be fully feathered, miniature chickens - you won't believe how quickly they grow.

Yorkshire Coop

Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Aug 16, 2014
Many people use cardboard for brooders and get on well. With the cardboard you can make it bigger by adding more. I've just looked at your chick panels and I've used them before and they did work for a week or so but the problem I had was that they could jump and fly out with in the first week. They also grew out of them very quickly. I also use the Ecoglow and it does work well. But with the chick panels and Ecoglow you will need some kind of wire/net over the top to keep them in. They soon figure out to use the Ecoglow to escape!!


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
Colorado Rockies
Using a brooder box for chicks is more of a cultural habit or custom than a practical necessity. If you have adult chickens in the coop, then a separate brooder for vulnerable chicks is necessary. If you do not have adults yet, then chicks can be housed right in the coop you would be moving them from a brooder into when they feather out.

The only requirements are safety and a heat source, and keep in mind that the purpose of heat is not to create a chick "oven" heating the entire brooding space. It's merely a "campfire" under which chicks warm themselves as they begin to chill. This surrounding space can be any range of temps from very cool to slightly cooler than under the heat source.

Understanding the heat requirements for chicks in proper context liberates us to consider all sorts of housing arrangements for chicks as they're growing. I'm using a plant grow window at present as temporary housing for my chicks while their sand-floor grow-out pen, where they've been housed from day-one with the heating pad cave system similar to the Eco-glo), dries out from recent heavy rain flooding.


May 20, 2015
Salt Lake City, utah
Hello! I have 9 chicks and I fashioned a brooder out of a large dog crate lined with cardboard to keep drafts and my dog and
cat out of it. It's very roomy and I'm sure I could even have more chicks in there comfortably if I wanted to :)


In the Brooder
Feb 1, 2015
I just made this today to see what I could do. Ends up I think I did pretty well! It can be expanded later on as shown.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom