Brooding Outside?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Morgan7782, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

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    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    Alright... So I am thinking I will not be able to get my new chicks tomorrow.. I am SO dissapointed [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] and the reason is I have nowhere safe at this time to brood. Right now I have two 11 week old pullets in the coop, and they go in the run and/or free range throughout the day. I have a cat who I have to lock in my bedroom whenever the chickens are out until they get a little bigger. Usually I brood the chicks in my bedroom, but have NO clue how to create a 'cat proof' brooder, if that's even possible. I need my bedroom to be held for locking up the cat when my older girls are outside. I don't have any other rooms I can do this in, mostly because I live with a house full of people who do NOT understand the words "DON'T LET CAT OUTSIDE".

    I keep going back and forth trying to find a place to brood these chicks where they will be away from my troublesome cat, but at the same time I am worried about them being in the garage or something for the sake of socialization. I wanted them to be where they heard voices and footsteps and got used to smell and sounds of people. Basically, my room needs to stay open for my cat at the moment, so can't brood in there.. I think I may have to wait until I get my new coop before I get these chicks, which brings me to my NEXT question:

    I've been avoiding brooding outdoors for the sake of a heat light and fire (big fear of mine). For those of you who brood outdoors or hang a light in your coop, how do you do so? Do you have any problems with fire? Also, if you have any suggestions on where I might be able to brood my chicks that would be great. So far my options are:

    Garage
    Outside but don't have coop until later on a bit

    Maybe I am being dramatic, but I am feeling purty flustered. Juggling animals is hard and the other day I was almost to the point of throwing my hands in the air and calling it QUITS. ::sighs::
     
  2. SarahFair

    SarahFair Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2008
    Monroe, Ga
    Could you brood in the living room or a room where somebody is always in?
    Lock the cat in your room when you are not there?


    I brood on my back porch once they are a little older and just put the lamp on at night. Havent had a problem
    Before that I brood in my bathroom where the door stays shut


    Maybe try a closet?



    How old are these birds?
     
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Well, I put my first batch o' chicks outside - when they were between 8 and 18 weeks old - in late DECEMBER, in this eBay coop kit I bought. They still needed heat - remember this past December and January?? - so I hung the 250 watt heat lamp in one corner of that coop, and it was on for a couple of weeks. The lamp was securely attached above the height of the chicks and nowhere near shavings, the coop was larger than the brooder had been, so there was room for my older chicks to get away from the heat when they didn't need it, but enough heat for the whole thing, AND plenty of heat in that one corner when they DID need it.

    That's how *I* did it. This may or may not be applicable to your situation. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  4. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

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    Good good tips. Thank you both for responding [​IMG]

    We do have a back patio that is covered, complete with a few outlets. It's also pretty draft free. IF they were outside the only time they would be without a watchful eye is at night time. How does that usually work out with you? (I can add pictures of where they would be if that would help)

    Is it inhumane of me to keep my cat in my bedroom until he gets some sense pecked into him? He has food, water, catbox, nice bunk beds and two windows. But he IS an inside/outside cat, just want to make sure this TEMPORARY situation wouldn't be... "Mean or Cruel". (Once my pullets are grown I am sure they will give him a run for his money, he is a small cat)

    I can talk to my household about brooding in out living room.. But a few people here are not too thrilled on the chicks being brooded inside at ALL. [​IMG]

    The chicks I wanted to get would be a day or so old. New babies. I DO have the option of getting 2-4 month old pullets, and can do that if it comes down to it, but I would rather know how the chicks are raised, handled, socialized, that sort of thing.

    Linda, With that Kit Coop you were able to comfortably fasten a heat lamp without worry of fire? My backyard is not huge, so god forbid anything happen we would be RIGHT there. I just get worried because I've never had a heat light outside before [​IMG] Sorry for my naivety lol. But if it is do-able that would be great, maybe you could show me how you fasten it to avoid such accidents?

    Thanks all for responding, I will keep thinking and juggiling. I am glad to know that it is probably do-able though, I was starting to feel down about the whole situation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  5. casumm

    casumm Out Of The Brooder

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    Indianapolis, IN
    Predator kitten! We have one of those too. So far (and by "so far" I mean 1 week), our brooder is proving cat proof.. and not from his lack of trying. I just have a large clear plastic bin with hardware cloth on the top. But when I cut the center out of the lid, I left a pretty wide band around the edge to protect the strength and integrity of the lid. Then I zip tied the living c&@p out of the hardware cloth. Seriously, I used 100 zip ties and did it two or three layer thick. That thing isn't going ANYWHERE. The whole thing took me a trip to Walmart, a trip to Lowes and about 2 hours with the box cutter and drill. Easily done quickly, if you decide to go ahead.

    While Hobbes is only 9 months old, he is a monster of a cat and about as determined as he can be to hunt our chicken nuggets. I try and keep him away but I have a 3 year old who can open doors. So, it has been tested (A LOT) and I can report that our "terror of all things winged and woodland" sits on the top of the brooder without any issue what-so-ever.

    You might even be able to cut away half the top of the lid and create a smaller ventilation area. I've seen pics of that on the brooder thread. Just be sure to get 1/4" hardware cloth and don't use 250 watt heat lamp (a 75 watt red reptile bulb would be more than enough). I've also seen someone use a grill screen for extra strength on the brooder contest thread too.

    Then the cat gets locked OUT of the bedroom during chick care and playtime. Otherwise, he/she should be cool with the chicks AND will probably get bored with them before it's time to move them out to their big girl coop.

    My babies have been on our covered porch since day 1. I have the heat lamp clamped to a pole that is secure out our wall and then (as another BYC member suggested) zip tied to a hook above the pole in case the clamp or pole should fail. If you're worried about fire, I've read no closer than 18" to the bedding (not an issue if you use a tub) and invest in a brooder light with a ceramic socket and wire shield. It's been hot here so I've been turning the lamp off during the day and my girls don't seem to mind at all.

    Anyway, just a couple of ideas from another cat owner. If you get a decent brooder set up somewhere, then you have a month or so to tackle a new coop project (that's what Im counting on at least!). Good luck! I hope you feel empowered again and get to enjoy some little fuzz butt time soon.

    -chris
     
  6. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

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    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    Thank you for the awesome tips! Yes, my Sampson kitty is a hunter. I mean, I have another cat named Chunky Man who hunts AVIDLY and kills/eats prey, but he doesn't bat an eye at chicks or chickens. Sampson is the only one I am having issues with, and this is his first go round with chickens so he has that extra ZING. He is also about a year old, so still young as well.

    I am just having trouble juggiling Sampson, my 11 week old pullets, and getting a few new chickies. I do have a 49 gallon rubbermaid tub, and have gotten some great tips on how to use the lid but also have venalation and such. I will probably only use the light at night time because the days are so warm here, minus today of course it's a bit chilly.

    Anywho, thanks a ton for the tips on what you all do personally, it's great to have such a wonderful and vast resource!! I will go with the rubbermaid WITH the top, but am going to cut 'window' and cover with hardware cloth. Zip ties are also MY best friends as well!! lol! Yay! Chick getting is BACK ON BABY! [​IMG]


    It Will Work. ::determind face::

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Our barn cat Kitty became an indoor only kitty two years ago when my brahma flock were babies. Now they're huge adult birds and every time we test it we find that she's still not afraid of them and goes right for the throat. The brahmas, never having seen a cat but her, are deathly afraid of cats.
    I have 6 day old chicks in their brooder on our screened porch; the same place the brahmas started out their lives on the farm. Using a heat lamp only at night, it's so dang hot here. They do just fine. Their "distress" peeping is so sharp I have no trouble at all hearing it, even when I'm sound asleep. I was up three times in the night because these little boogers have already figured out how to jump out of the brooder. [​IMG]
     
  8. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

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    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    Gritsar,

    How did your cat adjust to being indoors after being outside for however long? I just don't want to do anything bad to either the chickens or the cat, and I wasn't sure if putting an outside cat in my room would be unreasonable. I am planning on trying him with the chickens when they are ALL grown, and I think it will turn out okay. Right now he has been outside with the pullets once or twice, but he does give chase after an half hour or so. He hasn't caught or harmed either of my chickens, but obviously I am not taking the chance. Once my hens are grown they will outsize my cat almost 2-1, but while they are chicks Sampson is just tooo tempted. Understandable of course, I don't blame the cat one bit.

    My back patio isn't screened in, would that count out that for a brooder place? The only thing the chicks would have would be a brooder (made as pred. proof as possible, wish I had another dang wire dog crate heh) but would that be enough? It would have the clip on top, with hardware cloth over the window for the heat light. Thanks again for responding!
     
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Kitty hated it at first. She still tries to slip out the door every once in awhile, but after two years she's pretty much accepted it. We have another cat to keep her company now. The one way she shows her displeasure is in scratching at door frames and the couch. We offer plenty of scratching posts, but she's not interested in them. I found a product called Sticky Paws, basically strips of double sided tape. I put them on anything she likes to scratch on and she never tries it again.
    I would be hesitant about having chicks on an open porch. Ours being screend in means no animals like coons and such can come up and rock or otherwise disturb the brooder.
     
  10. amandarey20

    amandarey20 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2010
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    What temperature do the chicks need to be at? I will be keeping mine outside as well but living in Texas and it being the summer I wasn't too worried about keeping them warm.
     

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