Brooder suggestions before 60 days

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mamalovesherchicks, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. mamalovesherchicks

    mamalovesherchicks New Egg

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    Aug 9, 2011
    My chicks are getting very active and love to run around. I feel like they are going to outgrow their cage brooder way before they are ready to be outside. Any suggestions? We have a warm garage with an enclosed pen. Is that safe for them?
     
  2. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

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    How many chicks do you have? I use watermelon bins as brooders and they work well. I use a piece of plywood on the floor and about 1 inch of shavings for the bedding. Check out my BYC page for pictures.

    What breeds do you have?

    Nate
     
  3. mamalovesherchicks

    mamalovesherchicks New Egg

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    Aug 9, 2011
    I have 4 chicks just a week old. 1 RIR, 1 Plymouth Barred, 1 Buff and 1 Araucana. I like the watermelon bin idea. Thanks! When do you move them to an outside coop?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    [​IMG] Welcome to the forum! [​IMG] Glad you joined us! [​IMG]


    I set my brooder up in the coop from Day 1. If you have electricity to the coop you can do that. My biggest challenge was figuring out how to keep the adults away from the heat lamp. I secured it very well but I did not want them getting burned or starting a fire. I have a 3' x 5' brooder but sometimes have 25 chicks in it. I keep one area in the proper heat range. The rest cools off as it will, often 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the recommended temperatrues. They find their own comfort zone, which is pretty much all over the brooder. They go back to the heat when they need to, which really isn't that often. I'd go crazy trying to keep the entire brooder the perfect temperature. I also think they are healthier if they have varied temperatures.

    When you can move them to the coop depends on your circumstances. If you have older chickens, you have to consider integration. Your room available and your climate needs to be considered. With your breeds, they should be fully feathered at 4 to 5 weeks. They do not need any supplemental heat after that. This year, with my weather, I stopped supplemental heat at about 2-1/2 weeks and overnight heat at 3-1/2 weeks. Some years I keep the heat on longer, depending on time of year and the conditions.

    I don't know what your coop looks like. There is a good chance it is bigger than the brooder. I'd suggest when you move them, keep them locked in the coop with no access to the run for at least a week so they get used to it as home. That way, they will probably go in on their own at night to sleep.

    Good luck! And again, [​IMG]
     
  5. Tumbleweed Farm

    Tumbleweed Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with you Ridgerunner, I never keep my chicks at 95 24/7--in fact some of mine our out at 2 weeks. I've raised over 100 chickens and can honestly say I have never lost one. I don't believe it is natural or in the best interest of the chick to be in a box for a month!
     

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