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Can I brood outdoors?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CaliTX, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. CaliTX

    CaliTX Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2012
    Central TX
    We are picking up some baby chicks this afternoon. I have a place for them in an aquarium in the shed for now which I THINK will be warm enough but the aquarium is not very big and I think they will outgrow it very quickly. I built a brooder outside and am hoping I can keep them out there.. If I need to bring them in at night I will but I greatly prefer not to.

    The brooder I built is from wood, solid on the sides and half of the top is also wood while the other half has a wire lid where I will place the heat lamp. It's going to be in the high 30's and 40's the next few nights (60s and 70s during the day) and then after that it is supposed to warm up to high 50's and 60's at night.
     
  2. They should be fine as long as they have a heat lamp and everything is predator proof!
    Good Luck!
     
  3. CaliTX

    CaliTX Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2012
    Central TX
    Thank you!
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    South Georgia
    I won't brood anywhere else. It just takes a little planning so they can get warm if they need to. Be sure they have a draft free spot and a good layer of hay or similar to cuddle down into. I find they get accustomed to outdoor temps much more quickly.

    If you use one of those standard metal clamp-on heat lamps, be sure the socket is ceramic rather than plastic. Also be sure it is double hung, so if the clamp fails, the heat lamp won't fall on the litter and start a fire.
     
  5. CaliTX

    CaliTX Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2012
    Central TX
    Thank you! I was planning on sitting the lamp on top of the mesh lid so it can't fall
     
  6. topdycke

    topdycke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 25, 2012
    Magnolia, Texas
    Cali, there are a number of folks in the Austin area (and Dallas and Houston and West Texas) on the Texas thread. In the Houston area we had a little cooler weather today after the rain. The trees are leafing out and my horse is shedding buckets - definitely Spring!
     
  7. Boydfarm1

    Boydfarm1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 11, 2013
    Liberty Hill Texas
    Hi Cali, I live in Liberty Hill, and I just put some 2 week old chicks out in our brooder in the yard, I sure wish Texas would make up it's mind, I hope we don't get any more freezes.
     
  8. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 16, 2012
    It gets around 30 or so in the night here, but my Pekin ducks are outside in a building with a heat lamp in a big brooder box. I have a 250w and so far the lowest temp reached was 84...so no issues there. They were way too messy to have inside...then again the dust from the chicks is starting to get ridiculous inside now too.
     
  9. texas75563

    texas75563 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2012
    Linden, Texas
    My chicks from a couple days old to 5 that were 3 weeks old have been in outside brooder right at a week. 2 nights were below freezing (only by degree or 2). You know for it to be redneck certified, it has to have duct tape and baling wire.
    [​IMG]
    Duct taped plexiglass in both ends to look in on them.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    We had the water jugs in there until this afternoon. The box inside is 3' x 2' x 2' . It has a heat lamp at each end. There is a 4 inch gap at bottom. If they are cold they can go get warm or vice versa. There is an inline switch. Flip the switch and go from 2 heat lamps to 1.
    [​IMG]
    You can't really see them, there are stainless steel nipples on bottom of pipe. Took them 15 to 20 minutes to start drinking out of them.
    [​IMG]
    It has little roosting poles at each end.
    [​IMG]
    You can open the right half by its self. To open left half, open and lock right right half, then open and lock left side.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  10. CaliTX

    CaliTX Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2012
    Central TX
    Thanks everyone! I ended up putting them out a few days ago and they're doing really great, and I'm happy they're not inside. My brooder is very basic.. just kinda slapped something together out of free wood since it's temporary.

    [​IMG]



    The side with the wire is on a hinge that I can lift to check on them, the lamp is hanging (I had originally planned to keep it on top but was afraid it wouldn't be warm enough) down into the brooder. They are out of the elements, get some sunshine in the morning, and overall seem to be really happy with the new digs!


    texas75563, that brooder is WAY impressive! I love it! If I ever decide to brood chicks more frequently maybe I'll make something like that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013

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