Brooding Chicks In February?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jennyf, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. jennyf

    jennyf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First time meat bird raiser wanna be here!. Yesterday placed an order for Feb 14 for 12 Cornish X. Now I'm second guessing myself. Was planning on brooding them in garage with a Premier or Ecoglow overhead heater or mama heating pad until they feather out enough to go outside during day. Average lows here (St Louis) in mid-Feb is 26, high 44. Am I nuts--will I be able to keep them warm enough in an attached but unheated garage? Would prefer if at all possible not to use a heat lamp. It's either mid-Feb or nothing b/c of some travel plans. [​IMG] If I absolutely had to (like we're hit by a freakish cold blast of ten below) I could move the brooder in the basement, but I'd rather that not be Plan A....
     
  2. DancingWthDucks

    DancingWthDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sure that they will do fine, since you're planning on getting 12, they will huddle together for extra heat. I would highly recommend the mama heating pad/eco glow brooder- it's a lot safer than heat lamps and more natural. I'm currently brooding 3 ducklings in my un-heated garage with a heat pad and they're doing great.

    Good luck with them....
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    No, you are not nuts. Or if you are, you have plenty of company. I have eggs in the incubator that will hatch at the end of this month. I’ll brood mine in my unheated coop using those dreaded heat lamps just like people have been successfully doing for over 100 years, but you certainly do not need to use heat lamps. All you need to do is look at Blooie’s thread to see how others do it in places more exposed than your attached unheated garage with those heating pads. If you set them up right, they work. Or you could look at a “hover”. That’s a shallow inverted box that traps warm air underneath. It’s raised enough so the chicks can go in and out as they please. Those have been in use since at least WWII. Those don’t need a lot of heat since they trap warm air. There are other ways you could go. The idea is to keep one area warm enough in the coldest temperatures and an area cool enough in the warmest temperatures. Your averages are not where you will get in trouble, it’s your extremes. I don’t know how much temperature swings you’ll get in that garage but it should be a lot less than I get in my coop or Blooie gets where she broods them. You should be OK.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I don't think keeping them warm will be near as much of an issue as managing poop/odor and space for them.

    CX tend to be warm little things. They don't always feather out as fast as other breeds, but they seem to be quite cold tolerant. I think it's the metabolism, they generate a lot of body heat.

    Have you researched fermented feed for them? I know several folks swear by it, especially for meaties. They say it can help a lot with the amount of poop and the odor.
     
  5. jennyf

    jennyf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, everyone, such great points--I love this site! It's good to hear they are cold tolerant and I feel better knowing there are other early brooders out there! I was planning on fermented feed, that's been working well for my 6 layers. I'd have a extra large dog crate set up initially, with about a 10x10 area inside the garage available (no car inside) and a 100 sq ft area outside where they can go during the day. They may be so stinky I'll never do it again but I figure I might as well try! :)
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I like that attitude.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I like it, too.

    So much of the questions here, the answer is.....you'll have to try it and see how it goes. So, we'll be looking forward to a report on how it went!
     
  8. ImportTheBest

    ImportTheBest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Haha i just saw this, ignore the questions in my pm that you have already answered here, like the FF!
    We're both probably a little crazy doing this in an urban garage but I agree, it's definitely worth a try at least once!
    :celebrate
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Boy, that's for sure!!
     
  10. jennyf

    jennyf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ordered a Premier heat plate brooder (actually $20 cheaper straight from Premier rather than Amazon) and am going to see what temp I can maintain--I'll let y'all know!
     

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