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Brooder too small now at 2.5 weeks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by edselpdx, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. edselpdx

    edselpdx Songster

    Nov 10, 2008
    Portland, OR
    I've read the how to take care of your new chicks threads, and many many others in the 6 months of planning for new chicks. Perhaps I'm a bit dense, but I really expected that the gigantic plastic tub I bought would hold out until the 3 chicks were old enough to go out to the coop. The little girls have quintupled in size in the first 2.5 weeks and seem to be outgrowing the 2.5' x 4' container I have at an amazing rate. Part of the floor space is taken up by their feeder and waterer, but still....

    I'm planning on finishing out the coop a bit earlier than anticipated sans the chicken door, and hanging their heat lamp out there. Our temps are pretty mild here in Oregon, and I think we'll be OK, but fair warning to those who read the sites saying a big tupperware bin will work.... 3 weeks max for 3 chickadees here.

    Just thought that others might want fair warning of this. I really thought after reading that the brooder was enugh for 6 weeks, and it's NOT.


  2. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Quote:Excellent point. Chicks double in size each week, peaking at about the 8th week.

    And it doesn't stop there. Chickens require far more living space than we generally afford them. When we don't give it, they turn the space we do give them into barren, muddy moonscapes. We are forced then to struggle incessantly with their manure and scratching.

    Let me give you some input that may help you going forward.
    Allow your chickens 87.12 square feet per bird of exterior living space when you take them to their permanent home. Fill their living space with shrubs and tall plants like sunflowers or amaranth.

    If that means fewer birds in your alotted space, so be it. Don't succumb to the 4 sq ft per bird fallacy or the idea of chickens as "yard confetti." They are animals, with needs and requirements simliar to yours. Do your best to meet them.

    You will be glad you took that advice.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
  3. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    edsel pdx -

    I am just north of you in Vancouver, WA. Your babies will be just fine out in the coop with the heat lamp. Mine have been out in the coop for 8 weeks now, since they were only 2 weeks old, and much better for it! They love it out there and the temps haven't been a problem even with freezing temps, rain, hail, and wind over these past 8 weeks. As long as the interior is draft-free with a heat lamp - they'll love it out there.

    Amazing how quickly they grow, huh?

  4. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    p.s. if you'd like to see pics of how and when I moved them out to the coop, check out my blog (link in my signature) and search for the post titled, "The Big Move" and read forward from there. I documented the whole thing. Good luck to you!
  5. BigSkyChickens

    BigSkyChickens Free Bird

    Apr 3, 2009
    Pleasant Hill, CA
    Very good reality check! My chicks were trying to fly out at the same age. I put a hardware cloth lid on for a few days while DBF and I hastily built a 3' x 5' intermediate brooder pen. I put in the cardboard box that I brought them home in (with the top and one side cut out, so they can walk in & out of it) under the lamp, so they could still feel cosy. At 6 weeks old now, the box is out, and they are starting to seem a little big for this pen. We are getting the coop done ASAP. Enjoy your chickens!
  6. augustmomx2

    augustmomx2 Songster

    Aug 31, 2008
    Central Indiana
    I made the same exact mistake [​IMG] "Oh sure, my baby pool will hold 19 chickens until they are fully-feathered" Hello, Newbie!

    I sent our chicks outside @ 2.5wks into their coop. I took the heat lamp out there as well & lots of pine shavings to keep it warm. It got down to below freezing here a few times & all the chicks are fine [​IMG] They are now 5.5 wks old & are doing great! I made sure there were no drafts, as per a lot of threads I read, drafts are the prob more so than the actual temps. HTH!
  7. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

    Mar 1, 2009
    Muskogee OK
    LOL! They do grow so fast! I started them out in a little 2 x 3 cage... welll...then they moved to the spare bathroom.... then to the spare bedroom! we are still working on the run and coop... course get to give them lots of one on one this way, they love sitting and looking out the window....


  8. georgialee

    georgialee Songster

    Apr 9, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    I'm actually really glad you posted this! I have 17 chicks in a box right now and I think they'll most likely outgrow that in the next week... I think DH is going to be building our coop this weekend, lol!!!
  9. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing Premium Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    I have 5 brooder sizes and chicks are rotated to the next size just about every two weeks. The ones in the biggest brooder, end up outside by about 8 weeks old with a heat lamp (with our crazy temps). Constant increase in space is very important to alleviate stress and issues like feather picking. I do not believe in the 4 sq ft per bird rule either. The more space the better and much happier, healthier birds in the long run. Enjoy those peeps...they don't stay small long. [​IMG]
  10. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia

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