Brooder supplies

Alex S

Chirping
Nov 20, 2020
248
295
83
Kirkland, Washington
when making a Brooder, heat is prime. But I need some links to heat lamps, eco brooders, etc. (Nothing too big I'm starting with a small flock)

Actually scratch that.

Can I have a full list of supplies (and links) I'm pretty lost on where to find what. Also, do you guys know where to find large boxes?
 

WVBirdsAndBees

Chirping
Mar 30, 2020
216
426
83
A lot of folks use a red bulb heat lamp for heat. Tractor supply or similar has them and they aren't real expensive. I prefer a heat plate style warmer personally. Less risk of fire and more natural for the birds but a bit more money. We use the larger version of this unit:

https://www.chewy.com/brinsea-ecoglow-safety-600-chick/dp/221003

It says it will handle 20 chicks but 10-15 is more reasonable for larger fowl that grow quickly. The larger version can handle more. We have no complaints with the brinsea but there are other brands as well.

If you go with a lamp instead, be sure to get a brooder thermometer and use it.

Other than that, you mainly need bedding with appropriate feeders and waterers. Chicks do well with the long narrow feeders with guards over top or small gravity feeders. Most waterers are gravity style but must be small enough that they can't drown in them. Plenty of options. We like these because they can be used for both food and water:

https://www.chewy.com/lixit-chick-feeder-fountain-32-oz/dp/264622

I also use them as supplemental waterers for the flock when it's hot or we don't have chicks. The adult birds being able to still use them is nice.

I use puppy pee pads for the "bedding" for the first week or so, changing them daily. Once they know what food is and everybody is moving around well, we switch to shavings.

I always recommend keeping some sav-a-chick or nutridrench around, especially if you have chicks shipped. Sometimes the supplements really perk up struggling chicks. Not really a brooder supply but a raising chicks supply, I guess.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B53BHLW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_kKR-FbT768NA6?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

You won't need that much for 1 group of chicks. That said, it can be given to adult birds too. We give electrolytes regularly when its real hot.

You can make or get perches for them to practice roosting as well.

Couldn't tell if you have one in mind but the brooder box itself can be just about anything, from a large box to a plastic tote to a corner of a coop wired off (if temperature allows). Just remember that you'll have to have it covered after a couple weeks so they don't escape. I have a window screen that gets laid over ours once they're little flight risks. We use a large black feed bin for small groups and I built a large wooden brooder for when more space is needed.

That's about all I can think of outside of a quality starter feed, chick grit for once they start eating anything beyond feed, etc.

The links I used are for Chewy.com. Amazon also has a good selection. Here, tractor supply and rural king carry some supplies as well.

I hope this helps. Brooding can sound complicated but its really not bad once you get rolling with a routine.
 

Alex S

Chirping
Nov 20, 2020
248
295
83
Kirkland, Washington
A lot of folks use a red bulb heat lamp for heat. Tractor supply or similar has them and they aren't real expensive. I prefer a heat plate style warmer personally. Less risk of fire and more natural for the birds but a bit more money. We use the larger version of this unit:

https://www.chewy.com/brinsea-ecoglow-safety-600-chick/dp/221003

It says it will handle 20 chicks but 10-15 is more reasonable for larger fowl that grow quickly. The larger version can handle more. We have no complaints with the brinsea but there are other brands as well.

If you go with a lamp instead, be sure to get a brooder thermometer and use it.

Other than that, you mainly need bedding with appropriate feeders and waterers. Chicks do well with the long narrow feeders with guards over top or small gravity feeders. Most waterers are gravity style but must be small enough that they can't drown in them. Plenty of options. We like these because they can be used for both food and water:

https://www.chewy.com/lixit-chick-feeder-fountain-32-oz/dp/264622

I also use them as supplemental waterers for the flock when it's hot or we don't have chicks. The adult birds being able to still use them is nice.

I use puppy pee pads for the "bedding" for the first week or so, changing them daily. Once they know what food is and everybody is moving around well, we switch to shavings.

I always recommend keeping some sav-a-chick or nutridrench around, especially if you have chicks shipped. Sometimes the supplements really perk up struggling chicks. Not really a brooder supply but a raising chicks supply, I guess.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B53BHLW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_kKR-FbT768NA6?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

You won't need that much for 1 group of chicks. That said, it can be given to adult birds too. We give electrolytes regularly when its real hot.

You can make or get perches for them to practice roosting as well.

Couldn't tell if you have one in mind but the brooder box itself can be just about anything, from a large box to a plastic tote to a corner of a coop wired off (if temperature allows). Just remember that you'll have to have it covered after a couple weeks so they don't escape. I have a window screen that gets laid over ours once they're little flight risks. We use a large black feed bin for small groups and I built a large wooden brooder for when more space is needed.

That's about all I can think of outside of a quality starter feed, chick grit for once they start eating anything beyond feed, etc.

The links I used are for Chewy.com. Amazon also has a good selection. Here, tractor supply and rural king carry some supplies as well.

I hope this helps. Brooding can sound complicated but its really not bad once you get rolling with a routine.
1610271143800.png

1610271151453.png


Does this look like all the stuff I need? (Besides thermometer and brooder)
 

WVBirdsAndBees

Chirping
Mar 30, 2020
216
426
83
Yep those look good. We use the larger cut shavings but the fine ones work too. Some use a red bulb instead of the white. It supposedly helps minimize pecking/cannibalism if there is ever any blood from an injury. The white should work fine, though.
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
13,404
25,261
842
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
I'd really recommend getting a lower wattage bulb if you're set on using a heat lamp. Pet stores sell red reptile bulbs in a variety of wattages, and those are plenty warm for chicks and easier to adjust temperature with (a 250W bulb in a small room is going to keep it unreasonably hot, no matter how high/low it is).

Big boxes can be sourced from appliance stores or grocery stores. Not sure how many chicks you're getting, but one of those should hold a good number without issue. You will need to remember to make a cover of some sort to prevent escapes, like a sheet of hardware cloth duct taped or weighed down.
 

WVBirdsAndBees

Chirping
Mar 30, 2020
216
426
83
The red bulbs are often 250 watt as well. Used them many times. As I said, gotta use the thermometer regardless.

I mentioned the brooder cover to avoid escapees.
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
Sep 26, 2015
2,173
2,712
357
Portland OR
Plan for a lot more space than you think they will need. Many of us fell for the trap of building the coop while the chicks grew up. Naturally the first couple weeks you'll be hanging around within 10 feet of the brooder box at all times ... so plan to build and be COMPLETED by then. Because the little suckers grow and they grow QUICK- and by that second week they get realllllly tired of being in the same space with each other and by week three ... yeah.

Have a 2nd box available to put them in while you clean their main brooder. Trust me.

BUY CORID. Have it on hand the second your chicks arrive. Finding that your chicks have come down with coccidiosis symptoms late in the evening - ALWAYS happens right as the farm supply stores close -- can find you in the morning with dead babies. It can be that fast. I like the liquid better myself. And YES, even if you're feeding medicated chick starter, even then ... have the CORID on hand.

A dropper - or 1ml syringes.

Something to grind their food down a little more- a mortar and pestle or a food processor. Every batch ends up being a little different texture in the crumbles - so sometimes they're just fine, and sometimes they're a little big, so I grind them down.

I live in the brooder plate/MHP (momma heating pad, there are lots of threads) camp when there's no hen available for the job. I loathe heat lamps for many reasons, but not providing darkness at night is their greatest crime. Chicks do better when there's a long dark night like they would have under a hen. They need that rest- and frankly, having chicks active all night leads to more issues with each other- someone is trying to sleep, someone else decides they're going to pick at them and there is NOWHERE to hide- then there's blood- then a huge problem. If everyone sleeps at the same time- and chicks who need naps during the day have a darkened warm space they can retreat to where they're not getting run over- makes for a better overall experience. Heat plates will get your chicks used to day and night immediately, which helps so much.

For bedding - especially for the first week - I start with paper towels over the top of the entire brooder surface: Why? 1. they don't eat the paper towels, 2. YOU CAN SEE EVERY POOP (very important in identifying any problems early), 3. VERY easy to roll up and dispose of ... and 4. TRACTION. Never, ever put them on bare cardboard or other slick surfaces. If on a counter, put a washcloth under the feet. Fixing them is harder than preventing the problem.

Underneath the paper towels I use pine bedding pellets- Natures or Blue Mountain are the brands that come to mind.

Nature's Bedding Pellets, 40 lb. - Wilco Farm Stores

I like them so much more than shavings, having used both. Why ... they absorb moisture readily. Poop on a pine shaving sits there. Poop on a pine pellet starts to get dehydrated, making everything cleaner. Also- Water will be spilled. All the time. As the pellets break apart, they make really nice dust bathing material. Also --- they are way too big to be eaten by chicks that first few days. I use them from the START underneath the paper towels. That increases the drying capacity of the paper towels - keeps them from sticking to the bottom of the box. Chicks are poop machines and that poop is like GLUE when it dries.

After that first week, I only put paper towels under the brooder plate where they sleep and I change it at least twice a day because that's where they'll lay down ... and poop ... all night.

Get high quality TP (like Charmin) - and make sure you have a functioning hair dryer. Pasty butt is almost a given, and cleaning their little delicate tushes that just closed their guts in hours before calls for soft things. Paper towels are not soft. And Kleenex doesn't absorb moisture very well. Charmin toilet paper squares make fantastic luxury chick bath robes to keep them warm and are extremely soft on that delicate skin. Find a long sleeve t-shirt or sweat shirt with a couple inches of space between your wrist and the sleeve.
 

Happy Helper

Chirping
Mar 12, 2018
84
63
84
Sunbury, Ohio
Would the pine pellets be the same as TSC's. They advertise it for animal bedding. I did not see any reference to using it with baby chicks. I like your idea and plan to use the pellets when I receive my baby chicks in March.
 

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