brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bigbum1984, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. bigbum1984

    bigbum1984 Out Of The Brooder

    55
    0
    39
    Feb 18, 2013
    Kent, England
    I am getting my brooder ready for my chicks but am not sure about the light needed,
    I am using a 20w energy efficient bulb in my incubator,


    1 - Will I need a higher watt bulb for the brooder?
    2 - Will straw or hay be ok or should i use wood shavings?
    3 - Do I need to put a lid on the brooder?


    The box I am using for the brooder is about 18 inches deep
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    30,361
    150
    446
    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I use a 250 watt bulb 18 inches above the floor of my brooder box.

    I use paper towels for the first two to three weeks, then shavings.

    I don't have a tight lid on the box, but as they get older, they can fly those 18 inches up and get out if you aren't watchful.
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    36,054
    7,601
    646
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I always use a red heat lamp in my brooder, so I can't tell you, but you should aim for a temperature of 95* in the hottest part of the brooder for the first week. Experiment with the bulbs you have available.
    I personally prefer wood shavings. Put paper towels over it for the first few days, so the chicks won't eat it.
    Yes, but not a solid lid that will compromise air flow and stop the heat and fumes escaping. Some kind of mesh would be ideal. Chicks can fly from a surprisingly young age!
    Here are some brooder designs that you can look at to give you ideas:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/homemade-chicken-brooder-designs-pictures
     
  4. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    5,651
    902
    316
    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    I'm guessing from your questions that you're brooding in your house?

    1) You'll need either a higher wattage bulb (probably 100W to start and 60 to step down) or an EcoGlow which uses low wattage by having the chicks in physical contact with their heat source. Make sure the box is large enough that your chicks can get away from the heat.

    2) I used chopped straw and it works great! I wouldn't use whole straw for babies -- you want something they can scratch around in.

    3) You'll want a screen lid by 2 weeks or they may fly out and have trouble finding their way back.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  5. bigbum1984

    bigbum1984 Out Of The Brooder

    55
    0
    39
    Feb 18, 2013
    Kent, England
    Is it safe to use newspaper as liner underneath the straw?
     
  6. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    5,651
    902
    316
    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    Sure, it's fine. I put newspaper under my straw at first because the brooder floor wasn't easy to clean. I ended up making the straw a bit deeper and skipping the newspaper because it was more trouble than help but your results may vary.
     
  7. bigbum1984

    bigbum1984 Out Of The Brooder

    55
    0
    39
    Feb 18, 2013
    Kent, England
    Great thanks, will it be ok to remove the chicks while cleaning the floor of the brooder?
     
  8. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    5,651
    902
    316
    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    I never did. They'd run from the big, scary hands and the green dustpan I used for a scoop so I would just clean half at a time with them hiding on the other side. They didn't like it at all but they didn't like being grabbed either.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by