Brooding chicks in the winter...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bufforp89, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    Where does everyone brood their chicks in the cold winter months? Im not talking a few, more like 60+....I have chicks hatching in a few weeks and luckily most of them are spoken for so I will only need to keep them five days tops before everyone is picked up....Could they be kept outside safely in the coop durring the winter?

    My coop is large so I have the room to build something but am worried about the temps maybe being to low? If my brooder area is totally draft free will they stay warm enough with a heat lamp? Water dosnt freeze in my coop so I guess it stays aove freezing and I have had 2 broodys this winter that did fine....I have an old kiddy pool....would that maybe work?
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Kiddie pools make great brooders. Just make sure you can keep the temp with the lamp 85-90 degrees stable through the day and night first. ETA: You can also tape cardboard to the pool sides to keep from having escapee's.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    It's so much easier in March/April. [​IMG][​IMG] I don't understand why folks brood in winter, but anyhow, ....

    If your brooder box has strong enough sides, and it should, you simply lay pieces of drywall scrap or plywood scrap across the top to build a roof. If you "roof" 90% of the top, the box will stay very warm as the roof planks keep much more heat in the box. Easy. Folks have brooded in barns, in cold weather successfully for decades.

    The principle is same, regardless of number of chicks. Each 250 watt bulb is only good for no more than 20 chicks, imho. Thus, you'll have to rig for 3 lights. The circle of warmth is only so big a diameter. You'll think it through and be just fine.

    As always, your first concern must be safety and fire prevention. Be safe. Have fun.
  4. X2Farm

    X2Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Homer, GA
    A basement is a wonderful thing!!!
    I've got a 2'x8' brooder built and a 4x8 brooder split into two sections

    And that way the basement gets dusty, and not the house [​IMG]
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    My 5x8, sided utility trailer makes a dandy brooding box. I feel comfortable brooding out 25 chicks in a "box" this size. This is just to give you an idea of how many square feet your going to need for those 60 chicks, especially when they are 4 weeks old.

    1 person likes this.
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Attached garage is even better. 60 chicks are going to produce the equivalent dust of daily sawing a half dozen sheets of sheetrock. I will leave you to imagine, or discover, the smell of 60 little poopers giving it their all![​IMG]

    Although you did say "most" will be exiting quickly, you didn't say how many will be permanent residents. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  7. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    I decided after thinking about it I am going to make a brooder box out of some plywood scraps that I have and rig a few lights.

    I dont have a basement to brood in, must be nice and if I did Im sure it would already be full of chicks.

    I have had many more then 60 chicks at a time so I know what to expect when it comes to dust and poop but thanks for the info! I dont plan on having them when they are 4 weeks old about 50 or so are leaving within five days and whatever I choose to keep will just come in the house with the ones that I already have in the house.
  8. Ramblin Rooster

    Ramblin Rooster Hatchaholic

    Apr 14, 2012
    Fairfield, Connecticut

    Hi I'm sorry if this is old, but i am making a brooder box the same size, and also using it in my barn, wondering how it worked out for you and how cold it was while you used it.
  9. MsRiderUp

    MsRiderUp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2011
    Canton, Georgia
    Old post, but I thought I'd pipe in. I have 1-month old chicks in brooders. Attached photo. One unit is a double unit (one on right). Unfortunately, chicks are growing, and I'm not selling them as quickly as I'd hoped. Probably because folks don't want to buy baby chicks and keep them in a brooder in the winter. Nevertheless, would like to relocate them out of the sunroom of our house. Garage stays open half the time (hubby accesses house through it). Not really other options. The lady I got these chicks from lost several because she was keeping the chicks in a basement/crawl space area with heat lamps. Lamps exploded, chicks got cold, and died overnight. Ideas for how to expand all of this, or how to move the chicks somewhere else? ? ? Guess I won't do this again. [​IMG]

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