Brooding in my basement boiler room? Bad idea?!?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sarahandbray, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. sarahandbray

    sarahandbray Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We own a 150-year-old farmhouse in upstate, NY--the kind with the barely 6' ceilings and giant monoliths of stone as the foundation. The house is a beast!
    The basement has your typical old-house make up of several rooms. It's typically around 55-60 degrees year round down there. BUT, the boiler room, which is probably 12'X12' is a toasty 75-80 degrees. My husband set up an awesome brooder in there and we had 100 chicks of 8 different breeds arrive from McMurray on Monday.
    Here's my question. Is it a bad idea to brood in a boiler room? We are down to 87 of the original 97 chicks that made the journey in a cold blizzard.
    8 of the 10 that died are all the same breed--Blue Andalusian--and were teeny tiny & weak. Even the remaining ones of this breed were tiny. But then we also lost one seemingly healthy Delaware and another Easter Egger on days 1 & 2.

    Could my boiler room be emitting gases that are bad for the chicks? We have everything inspected and checked and have a new boiler as of a few years ago.

    After day 2, I got panicked and opened the door to the rest of the basement for more air flow. Temps are correct, heat lamps are on one side of the brooder allowing for a "cooler" side, I have three waterers and three feeders...
    What am I doing wrong?!?
    All I can think of is the canary in a coal mine!!!
     
  2. sarahandbray

    sarahandbray Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. sarahandbray

    sarahandbray Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. sarahandbray

    sarahandbray Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I moved them upstairs and am going to sell this batch off. I am too worried about having them in the basement but don't really want them in my house, either!! Will get more when it's warmer out. Stuck a carbon monoxide alarm in the basement...
     
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't see a problem here. If you had everything inspected when the new boiler was installed, then they should be fine. If I were you, since you seem very concerned about them, I would've just moved their brooder into one of the cooler basement rooms. My chicks (almost a week old!) are in an out side brooder, and our low last night was 20F. I went out to check on them when I got home from work, and they were all happily running between them heat lamp and the food and water.

    Andalusians are a Mediterranean breed, meaning they don't tolerate the cold as well as most other breeds. That could be why you lost so many of them. Or, it could just be the result of shipping stress.
    Best of luck.
     
  6. esme13

    esme13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    everything looks good. We had kept chicks in the broiler room before too. I believe the stress of shipping has killed them off :(
     
  7. sarahandbray

    sarahandbray Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, we haven't lost one since moving them upstairs. Holding steady at 86/100
    Not thrilled having 86 chicks in my home office, though!!! Last time we had chicks, back in August, we kept them out in our Morton Building (garage), but I think that would be tough to get up to the required 90-ish degrees.
    I'm thinking of moving them back to the basement brooder but keeping the boiler room door entirely open. We have an injured Buff Orp hen down there in a big homemade playpen (hawk strike. Ugh.) and she's doing fine.
    One week of chicks in my actual house is PLENTY! Ick.
     
  8. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Omg! Get them downstairs! I can't imagine the mess 86 chicks would make. They'll be fine in the basement where temps are a little cooler. Those starting temps are just a guideline. I usually start my chicks around 85F or so, not the recommended 95.
     

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