Brooding my meaties....

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by doubleatraining, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. doubleatraining

    doubleatraining Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My neighbor and I are placing an order next week for meaties. We will be splitting an order of CornishX. In the past I have gotten my Cornish older and they have been ready to go outside.

    I will end up with 12 or 13. My plan for the brooder might be a little odd but I think it will work. I have a dog and cat in the house so for me the safest place to keep them will be in the closet. The good thing is the closet also holds the hot water heater and its always really warm in there. I plan on keeping the light on in there but I doubt they will need more heat.

    I plan on using Wallyworld storage containers. If they have to stay inside for 3 weeks then how big of a container will I need? Should I split them into 2 different ones? How high should the sides be?

    I plan on using pine shavings for bedding and giving them plenty of food and water. When they are ready to go outside they will be in a 10x10 dog run.
     
  2. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For that many broilers for 3 weeks I would say the absolute biggest you can get- at least 3x5, bigger would be better. If you can't find one that big, get two. And plan to change their bedding at least twice during that 3 weeks.

    Give some thought to your dog run, too. I know rethinking housing last minute can bet stressful (I know!), but a 10x10 dog run, even with just 12-13 chickens, is going to literally turn into a 4 inch layer of poop in the following five weeks. If it is your ONLY option (and it's not mobile- I'm assuming it's not...), I would use bedding and change it as needed, if not throughout the entire run, then in the areas they spend the most time (sleeping and eating places). And by the time you spend that much on bedding you might as well build a mobile pen. My first 10 broilers were in a 6x11 tractor that I moved every day (and that I built from spare stuff around the yard at the last minute). One weekend we had to be out of town (I had a friend feed them) so the tractor didn't get moved for three days. It was solid poop by the time I got home. In 3 days.

    Just an FYI:)
     
  3. doubleatraining

    doubleatraining Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was going to get the plastic stackable storage containers for the brooding pen. I planned on changing the bedding weekly. I figure I can put them all in 1 pen while I'm changing the bedding.

    I planned on moving the dog pen around the yard as needed.
     
  4. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    I did 12 this spring, and I'll have to dig my posts out, but I brooded in a tote that is about 4' long, 18" wide and 18" tall (or thereabouts).

    They grow fast, and since I had them in the house and didn't want to have poo sitting around, I put those puppy training pads down in layers, and just stripped a layer off each day and disposed of it (got them from the dollar store, they were pretty darn cheap). I want to say I put them in the coop at 2 weeks, but it might have been three.

    Their pen was 8'x4' or so. It was still cold out (I got them beginning of March), and still snowing on and off. Had a heat lamp bolted to the pen for them. I put them on shavings, about a 2" base layer. As they pooed, I added shavings. It kept them out of their waste, though it was still layered. The cold weather helped as well I think. At 7 weeks, it was about 8" thick. We processed them, then just shoveled it out and put it in the garden. There wasn't much smell at all with the constant addition of shavings. (I wasn't about to haul anything around in the snow, not that it would have done them any good to eat snow and non-existent grass [​IMG] )

    Since I'm starting in warm weather, and moving them out to the garden when they feather a bit, the 40 I have now are brooding in the same 8x4 pen.
     
  5. peterlund

    peterlund Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Meaties in the house... Warm conditions... I can just imagine the smell already. Put them outside. You will thank me for this advice. Cornish X are more like a duck when it comes to pooping.... Explosive... wet and stinky. But I wish you luck.
     
  6. doubleatraining

    doubleatraining Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm in NC. Its been in the 70s-90s during the day and the mid50s-mid 60s at night.

    I didn't think you could brood them outside because of the cold. I'm sure they won't smell great but in the closet it should stay somewhat contained. The only other choice is the horse trailer but that means buying a drop cord and running a light out there 24/7. I would worry about predators out there too.
     
  7. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would not reccomend brooding in the house and especially in a closet. Even if you change the bedding frequently, the spell is going to be bad. Also, you wouldn't believe the amount of dander that will accumulate. The other issue I see in the closet is ventilation. I can tell you from expirience if you have to brood them in the house this time, you will find somewhere else the next time.
     
  8. doubleatraining

    doubleatraining Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok so the horse trailer? I can put them right outside the back door...I just worry about predators. If I drill a hole small enough for the cord for the light I can put a lid on the container......

    Ideas?
     
  9. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    Is it a fully enclosed trailer or a stock trailer?

    Make a smaller enclosure in whatever it is so the heat lamp is more effective - either just start with the totes on the floor of it, or make something quick and dirty with spare wood or even cardboard. As they get bigger, they'll need more space, but they'll also need less heat.

    Even if it's fully enclosed, you should be able to just pop a screen out of the windows, or run a cord through vents to get the electrical to the heat lamp inside. They'll want a heat lamp, and though they are little, you still need good ventilation for that poo.

    Right now, mine are a week old, and it's 36 degrees outside. I am currently running a ceramic space heater and a 250W heat lamp in the pen (well, the space heater is just outside, but blowing in). We're running an outdoor extension cord out there for now, but DH is working on finding where the electrical used to tie into the house (the shed/coop has electrical, but somewhere along the line, the feed was cut to the house). It's a pain, it will raise our electrical bill a few bucks, but it's worth it to me.

    What predators do you have around?
     
  10. WVDan44

    WVDan44 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just received 26 Cornish X chicks today from Welp. They were shipped on the 14th by priority mail. I was starting to get worried they were lost or something when the post office called this morning at 7:30 to say the chicks were here. They all appear to be happy and healthy.

    I am keeping mine for the next couple of days in a homemade brooder and in the bathtub in the basement bath. with the curtain drawn, it is easier to keep the temperature up at a desired temp.

    I'm surprised that, at only 2 days, they exhibit traits that many people on here have reported i.e. lying down a lot, eating incessantly, drinking a ton of water and pooping on everything! I can't believe how much water 26 puff balls can drink up.
     

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