brooders outside

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by abhaya, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. abhaya

    abhaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    I am waiting to incubate chicks till it warms up a bit.
    My brooders will be outside. I have a "barn" the front of it is open so there is lots of air movement. and it is as cold as the outside temp I can hang a tarp over the opening. but there are cracks between the boards so it is not gonna be air tight.
    I have a couple choices for brooders Large rubber maid bins or wire dog kennel enclosed with card board. I do have Styrofoam insulation I could cut and put on the outside of the card board for warmth. the chicks can not be in the house do to allergies.
    How cold can it be outside with a 250 watt bulb? I dont want to incubate and then just loose the chicks to cold.
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I don't know if you've even seen a pump house, but it looks like a small house, or a dog house over someone's well pump to keep it from freezing.

    Using that thought, you could easily put together a small dog house, or miniature barn outside to brood in. Such a little building, built mainly from scraps, could easily be kept draft free and warm enough for the 250 watt bulb to do the job with the chicks.

    But, if you start too early, those 5 weeks will pass quickly, the chicks will grow big and frisky very quickly. Where do they go next?

    I'd suggest you might wait patiently for a few more weeks for better weather to come.
     
  3. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    5,390
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    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I brood all of my chicks in an open bay of my workshop. The lowest temp that I've had young chicks in out there is twenty degrees.

    Fortunately the design of brooder hover I'm using was originally tested down to minus twenty as I recall. You can find the plan here: http://www.plamondon.com/brooder.shtml

    The hover sits in a box I made from two sheets of plywood. The bottom is one sheet (4x8) and the walls are two feet high. Here's a photo:

    [​IMG]

    It's hinged on both sides now for ease of access. The top is made of hardware cloth and 2x2s.

    I've brooded hundreds of chicks in it over the years. The only time I cover any portion of the top is when we're getting extremely windy, cold weather where I'll cover just the half over the hover.

    I do recommend painting it though. It'll be much easier to clean when it needs it.
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Whatever you decide to go with, just experiment a bit (beforehand of course [​IMG]) with its ability to hold steady, warm temps. in the setting of your barn.
     
  5. abhaya

    abhaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    A.T. Hagan :

    I brood all of my chicks in an open bay of my workshop. The lowest temp that I've had young chicks in out there is twenty degrees.

    Fortunately the design of brooder hover I'm using was originally tested down to minus twenty as I recall. You can find the plan here: http://www.plamondon.com/brooder.shtml

    The hover sits in a box I made from two sheets of plywood. The bottom is one sheet (4x8) and the walls are two feet high. Here's a photo:

    http://lh4.ggpht.com/_SxFfd4HLezA/T...tTCbRhmRM/Chick brooder Feb 11-2006 pic 2.jpg

    It's hinged on both sides now for ease of access. The top is made of hardware cloth and 2x2s.

    I've brooded hundreds of chicks in it over the years. The only time I cover any portion of the top is when we're getting extremely windy, cold weather where I'll cover just the half over the hover.

    I do recommend painting it though. It'll be much easier to clean when it needs it.

    Perfect just what the doctor ordered for a 2x2 hover what lights do you use?​
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    5,390
    131
    303
    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    It depends on the temperatures. I always keep two bulbs in the hover in case one should burn out.

    Most of the time I use either two 125w brooder lamps or one 125w and one ordinary 100w frosted bulb. This last couple of years it's been a chore to find regular 100w bulbs that have any lifespan at all. The brooder lamps last a long time.

    I did once use two 250w IR bulbs but in a hover as small as mine that was just too hot even at 20 degrees. At that temperature I found one 250w IR bulb and one 125w brooder bulb sufficed.
     
  7. anniemary

    anniemary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2009
    Flockmaster, this looks like a perfect plan for me.

    The only question I have is how to manage shavings. The last time I brooded chicks in my 8x4 foot shed, I had to replace the shavings a couple times. Weather was unpredictably too wet/cold to get them out on pasture and they grew bigger than I wanted to in the brooder area. Bigger birds = more mess.

    Do you think I could use hardware cloth as a floor? Or does this hurt the babies' feet?

    Thanks!

    Annie
     

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