Building an outdoor brooder, should I insulate it?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by shmccarthy, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. shmccarthy

    shmccarthy Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,384
    114
    173
    Mar 27, 2013
    Michigan
    I'm building an outdoor brooder, with some help of course, for this coming spring. I have drawn a rough draft but it is subject to change because it's just an idea of what I want. I drew up this design with a few ideas in mind.
    [​IMG]
    I want the brooder to have a spot specifically for the heat lamp so it can be secure and adjustable for when I need to move it closer or further to the chicks.
    I also want at least 2 access points, one on the top and one on the side. I want to be able to sweep out the shavings fairly easily so I thought a removable wall would be best for that.
    I have two ventilation points but I'm not sure if they're correctly placed or if I need more.
    I also want to put removable roosts so it's easier to clean.
    It's going to be right next to the run, and elevated off the ground. I'll have latches and locks on it so it can't be gotten into easily, except by me of course. The dimensions aren't exact, just relative to how I want the proportions to be.

    Now the big question is should I insulate it? I will definitely make it a bit larger to insulate it but is it necessary if I want to brood year round?
     
  2. Stewarts

    Stewarts Chillin' With My Peeps

    268
    20
    108
    Feb 26, 2013
    PEI, Canada
    Take into consideration how many birds you will have in there because you will have to make it bigger. Once chickens get bigger and depending on how many you have in there, they take up quite a bit of room. If you want it year round, I'd insulate it. That keeps it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

    [​IMG]
    My 10x6 coop is insulated with 6 nest boxes above the lower roost and little door leading into the 12x8 hutch.
    [​IMG]
    Inside the coop. The white roo at the back is coming in through the little door to the hutch.
    [​IMG]
    Amber and the rescue turkey hen wearing her saddle on the 2x4 high roost
     
  3. Stewarts

    Stewarts Chillin' With My Peeps

    268
    20
    108
    Feb 26, 2013
    PEI, Canada
    A couple more pics of what I've done.
    [​IMG]
    Good pic of the feeder on the right side. That's Amber my hand raised turkey hen.
    [​IMG]
    They use the top of the nest boxes as a roost so I put a feeder up there.
    [​IMG]
    Henny, meat hen, eating at the feeder close to the floor
    [​IMG]
    Rescue turkey hen on the water container with Henny looking up at her.

    My coop is 10x6, made of wood, insulated walls and ceiling, then plastic feed bags over the insulation with cardboard covering the walls. My birds grew up in an indoor cardboard brooder so they are used to the cardboard. I have a tarp covering the left wall to keep out the damp and drafts from the wind and its heavily strawed. The insulation, cardboard and straw help to keep the heat in.

    [​IMG]
    The coop with the hutch attached to the back. The tarps are to keep the rain and wind out. I have since made a double tarp covering for the roof to keep the cold from the snow at bay. My birds are well protected.
     
  4. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Good show looks like you have dune all that could be dune
     
  5. Stewarts

    Stewarts Chillin' With My Peeps

    268
    20
    108
    Feb 26, 2013
    PEI, Canada
    Thanks. I make sure my birds are protected and safe.
     
  6. sdm111

    sdm111 Overrun With Chickens

    8,117
    1,411
    366
    May 21, 2013
    S. louisiana
    IMO might as well go 8' instead of 6' less waiste on material and more room for chicks and larger vents say between front perch and front on one side and last perch and rear on other side covered with hardware cloth and roll up tarp curtains. Have a 2x2 stapled longways to bottom of tarp so it will stay down. Great prototype though. Happy raising
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  7. shmccarthy

    shmccarthy Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,384
    114
    173
    Mar 27, 2013
    Michigan

    Thanks, I probably will go 8 instead of 6. I have plenty of room where I'm putting it anyways. It will be sheltered so rain and snow won't go directly on it. I like the idea of the vents being covetable, I was a little worried about it getting too drafty in there.
    I'm wondering how tall I should make it? I want it to be elevated at least a foot off the ground and I want the birds to have some head clearance for when they roost and when they start to feather. I'm not exactly the tallest person in the world and I may have to use a step stool. Lol
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  8. sdm111

    sdm111 Overrun With Chickens

    8,117
    1,411
    366
    May 21, 2013
    S. louisiana
    IMO fresh air runs a close 4th behind food water and heat. Maybe 2' on the lower side and 3' on the taller part. It doesn't seem like much but once it's built it'll be high. Little ones seem to be soo much healthier when they aren't in stagnant air. Another thing to think about is that when chicks are hatched with an incubator and are in a brooder then they aren't exposed to cocci as when they are with a broody hen so the faster they can be put in a pen on the ground to be exposed to stuff the better to strengthen their immune system. Even just during the day when u have extra time. U can run into problems when u take mo. Old chicks that have never been exposed to cocci put them on the ground and then all of a sudden they have too much and become ill. Keep corid on hand just incase.
     
  9. shmccarthy

    shmccarthy Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,384
    114
    173
    Mar 27, 2013
    Michigan
    Thank you! I have a half a bottle of corid left in my medicine cabinet. Two of my really young pullets got cocci last summer and because they were already integrated with the flock by the time they were showing obvious signs, I treated the whole flock. Didn't lose a single bird. :) I'm ordering more types of medicines and whatnot though because I'll be hatching a lot more often. I heard that if you brood outdoors and the chicks are outside more they typically feather quicker? Not sure if it's true.
     
  10. sdm111

    sdm111 Overrun With Chickens

    8,117
    1,411
    366
    May 21, 2013
    S. louisiana
    Seems true to me. Also when I was taught back in the day my mentor drilled into me the use of vitamins and electrolytes in the water so mine get a teaspoon in their water their whole life from hatch I wish I could find it by the bucket full I go through a pack a week. And when mine go from above the ground to their first on ground pen they explode in growth seems that's just what they needed.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by