broody box in basement ok?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by blueridgefarmer, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. blueridgefarmer

    blueridgefarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    My husband built me a great broody box, perfect about 4x4. My question is my basement is pretty chilly right now, but I do have a heat lamp, my 2 week old chicks be ok? Right now I have them in a rabbit cage with a heat lamp in my son's room, but you can imagine the smell. I would like to use my great broody box, but I am a little worried about the basement being so cold. Would the heat lamp heat them up enough? I do have 12 chicks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015
  2. Soccerchicken

    Soccerchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    The eggs/chicks would be fine under the mother, but of course the yen is a problem. Do you know the exact temperature in the basement? (Especially at night)
     
  3. blueridgefarmer

    blueridgefarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't know the exact temp, but I am image around 30ish. I say this because that is what our outside temp are getting down to at night. I didn't know if they would just stay under the light? We have always kept them upstairs, but I have this awesome box I am dying to use, but not at the expense of killing the chicks.
     
  4. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Chicken Obsessed

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    I have brooded as few as 4 in my 2x8 brooder in the basement with a heat lamp from only a couple days old til they were about 8 weeks. It worked out fine. Just keep a watch on the temp in the brooder near the floor level. As long as it is about 85-90 they should be fine.
    I will say though 12 chicks will outgrow the 4x4 in short order.
    What bedding do you use?
    I found pine shavings absorbed a lot of the wet and reduced the odor nicely.

    Is your basement unheated? 30 is a really cold temp to have indoors.
    Maybe pick up one of the cheap temp gauges at Home Depot for like 5 bucks to get a good read on it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015
  5. blueridgefarmer

    blueridgefarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! I already have a temp. gauge. Yeah 30 is pretty cold, but when you live at high elevations, on the north side of the mountain, and unheated, things stay pretty cold!!!! I have raised over 30 chickens in the last 2 years from day old chicks so not a newbie. We have a small coop ( we call it the multi purpose room) with it's own run that we use when they get to big for the box, but are to small for the big coop and the acre that the rest of the girls, the turkeys, and the pig live. Maybe I should just wait a week or two more anyway. It is just such a catch twentytwo, do I risk it or not!?!? Maybe I should set it up and watch it for a few days and see how the temp holds, thanks for the advice!
     
  6. blueridgefarmer

    blueridgefarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Do you think if I raised the brooder off the floor a few feet it would help, it is on a cement floor.
     
  7. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Chicken Obsessed

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    I think since they are already getting feathers and you do have a heat lamp they should do ok. You could try it this weekend or whenever you can keep an eye on them. If they get to cold you will be able to tell early on and move them back to the upstairs.
    I have brooded chicks in the barn on the ground with a deep layer of shavings, no lid, and only one heat lamp. ( I knew so little about them when I got my first birds) I had about 20 and they all made it. It was getting down to about 35 at night back then. They were about a week old when I got them.
    Man that was so many years ago.

    I would raise it off the floor for sure. The concrete will keep the bottom of the brooder too cold IMO.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I think it would be worth moving them to the basement, especially if you are willing to do a test run for temps with the brooder for a few days first. They'd know to run under the lamp for a quick warmup. I think it was Kassaundra (boy, I hope I'm right there!) who shared an idea in the DIY Invention forum about hanging a feather duster just barely off the floor in the brooder. They love to run under that to get warmed up, and since it is warm from the heat lamp and soft and feathery it feels pretty natural to them. I'd worry more about the dust and dander from those chicks in his room making my son sick than I would about them being able to deal with a chilly basement.

    Just for myself, I won't brood chicks in the house ever again, although if I absolutely had to, and had a basement, I might consider it. I have a chick who is now almost 3 months old and he has thrived out in the unheated, un-insulated coop with a heating pad tent - we call it "Mama Heating Pad." And we've had sub-zero temps here in Northern Wyoming several times. Scout's story is a long, convoluted one, but he was in the house in his brooder pen for awhile. He got his feet soaking wet outside when it was below zero, ended up with frostbite and no amount of snuggling under his broody mom was going to fix that. Now, that was a fluke, not something that happens to most chicks brooded in winter. I only mention it because as soon as he was "back on his feet" he went back out the coop and he's doing great - he doesn't use the heating pad anymore so we took it out a couple of weeks ago, and he flies up onto the roost with the big girls every night and down again in the morning. (His story is linked in my signature) Your basement is probably free of direct drafts, relatively dry, and the cooler air around the brooder box seems to help them feather out faster.

    Now, all that said, I'm no chicken expert. And you know far better than I do what your situation is like. So follow whatever your gut instincts tell you to do. These little guys aren't quite as delicate as we make them out to be....chicks hatched under a broody in the dead of winter still spend much of their time running around exploring in the colder air and only huddle under Mom for a quick warm-up and to sleep at night. Good luck with them, whatever you decided to do.
     
  9. blueridgefarmer

    blueridgefarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Alright, THANK you for all your advice, I do need to cover the window, and put a table under it. I put a thermometer on the box and I am going to start to get everything together. I will keep you updated! Thanks and keep the great advice coming!
     
  10. dmbeard

    dmbeard New Egg

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    You say that 12 chick will quickly out grow a 4X4, what size do you recommend have seen 1 square foot per bird.........
     

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