Can a "brooder" be outdoors?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by DianeS, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. DianeS

    DianeS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2010
    My husband has agreed to me raising meat chickens (I'll be doing 25 Cornish X), IF the chickens are 100% outside from day 1. Not even in the garage.

    It can certainly be under cover, and protected from wind - I have an existing (predator proof) chicken run. It's roofed and I can hang heavy tarps on the sides to stop wind. And of course I can use heat lamps in it.

    So - is that possible? Acceptable? All the directions and photos I'm finding about the brooder stage have it indoors in some fashion.
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    You're gonna run up quite an electric bill with the heat lamps in use OUTDOORS. Friends of mine have a large wooden brooder they built, with a screen door lid (which means the size of the box is smaller than the screen door by a couple inches on each side). It was on their back porch under the overhang, up against the house.

    And it worked, but they used an EcoGlow50 unit instead of heat lamps.

    No shed in which to house it?
  3. kjxoxo1

    kjxoxo1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2011
    My brooder is outside.... My 50 Cornish x have been there for the last 3weeks. I refuse to bring them in the house and waa scared for them to be in the barn where there may be predators.... I bought a large rabbit hutch where the top lifts and front screen opens. I did have to use 4 brooder lights and I plaaced a thick rug over the front and kept side vents open for circulation. This time around my experience is much better than the first time when I was brooding in my house!!!!! It was awful in the house!!!! Never again for me under no circumstances!!!!!! So fast so good for me. Temp tonight is 44.... I actually had to turn two lamps off because chicks were panting. Good luck
  4. trademan53

    trademan53 New Egg

    Feb 24, 2012
    as long as you keep the wind off of them and a place to keep warm, any where is fine
    also the more chicks you have the safer it is, their body heat and movement amongst themselves help keep them quite warm
    mine are outside in an apple bin with a 100w heat lamp and have had single digit temperatures with no problems

    PS, I live in the cheapest county in the US for electricity, my bill does Not show it :)

    good luck!!
  5. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    If they have protection from the weather and from drafts, they will be OK.

    I suggest that you place a brooder hood over your heat lamp to keep the heat close to the ground. Otherwise, you are heating the air up at the ceiling.
  6. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    Apr 18, 2010
    I've brooded in our shed - I just decreased the size of their coop area, and covered it. It's doable, best if you can box in the area so the heat is contained better.
  7. Montana-Hens

    Montana-Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2008
    Buxton, Montana
    You have convinced me that I don't have to have them inside even a week or two as in the past. Yahoo!
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    We never, ever brood indoors, as in, in the house. My wife would never put up with the smells and dust.

    We brood out in the barn or in a garage. Brooding in a cooler ambient environment is actually easier for them to adjust their own body temperature. They sleep around the fringes of the heat circle, but most of the time, they are off playing and scurrying around in the cooler, 50 degree portions of the brooder. Not a problem. If they need to warm up, they lay down under the lamp for a bit.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I also never brood in the house. House is for humans and a select few pets that are dependably housebroken. I think you'll be fine if, as mentioned, you contain the heat somewhat the first few weeks or so.
  10. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    If you're worried about cold - why not create a straw-bale brooder with a vented top (of course protected from rain or other weather elements). I've seen (and used) multiple straw bales to create a 'box', using 1/4" hardware cloth and some old 2x's to make a 'lid' to hold the lamps upon. Yes, use shields for the lights to help reflect the heat. It'll work.

    Then again, a post on here was describing their homemade heat brooder box. Check that out - might be what you're looking for!

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