Brooding Outside?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Blue, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. Blue

    Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

    912
    12
    143
    Apr 6, 2010
    Virginia
    Does anyone brood chicks outside and have good luck with it? I just received my 2nd chick batch of the year a couple days ago, and since it's been so insanely hot here for the last 2 weeks, I decided I'd try to brood them in a cage out on the front porch instead of in our cold basement where I have to keep a lamp on 24/7. It seems to be working well so far; I just throw an old rag rug over the cage at night so that the slight temp. drop doesn't give the chicks a chill and remove the cover in the morning.
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
    172
    316
    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    A lot of people brood outside and at this time of year as long as you have a way to keep them safe, I can't see an issue with it. I usually brood in the Spring and enjoy having them inside so I can watch their antics, but if I were brooding in July/August, especially with the heat wave we've been having, I'd really consider doing it outside instead.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    115
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I brood outside on our screened porch. Never lost a chick.
     
  4. bishopschickens

    bishopschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Cumberland, VA
    I wouldn't do it. Here in Virginia you can get those late night storms that pop up. Winds can change. Always keep chicks in secure enclosed area away from any drafts and especially the weather.

    brandon
     
  5. Wildflower_VA

    Wildflower_VA Chillin' With My Peeps

    It was 100 degrees here in my part of Virginia, today, and the chicks were suffering. My chicks are 11 days old and I had fans blowing on them and ice packs in the brooder. Several of the chicks spent the day snuggled up to the ice pack. I am worried about heat stroke, not getting a chill from a draft.

    The only reason I didn't put them outside was because it was so hot I needed to have them inside where I could somewhat control the heat with fans.
     
  6. Blue

    Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

    912
    12
    143
    Apr 6, 2010
    Virginia
    Thanks for the all the responses! I don't think the heat will be a big problem; the porch is enclosed with a roof and a gated brick wall around it, just not screened in, and the cage is back right next to the house, so it's shaded all day. I went out there to check on the chicks several times today, and the porch was much more pleasant than out in the direct sun. The cage is an old ferret cage with a high-sided plastic bottom that is taller than the chicks are, which I think works well to keep drafts down, and at night I cover the cage. The chicks weren't acting like they were too warm or too cold, but I do keep a check on them throughout the day to make sure.

    On the other hand, the pop-up t-storms are something I hadn't considered. In the location they're at right now, I think they're fairly well protected as it's rare for rain to blow so far into the porch that it hits the back wall, but now that I'm thinking about it, it would probably be better if I moved them closer to the middle back portion of the porch instead of to one side where they're at now. Rain would be even less likely to get to them then. I could also switch to covering the cage with plastic/tarp at night in case of rain. Hmm, I need to think about this more. The storm issue is one that I hadn't taken into account when I planned to set the brooder out there. Ah, well, if all else fails, they may just end up back in the basement like my first batch of chicks.

    Thanks again for all the advice!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by