Chick brooder setup

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chicanewbie, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. Chicanewbie

    Chicanewbie New Egg

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    Dec 28, 2016
    We are getting chicks this April and we had bought a paw hut coop with the roof that opens . We were wanting to use that for our chick brooder for 6 chicks and use it inside our home. It is 4 square feet inside the coop area. Would this work? We were thinking about an Eco glow chick brooder
    as well because I worry about fire with heat lamps. Will this setup be adequate until they can move outside? We are building a 4x6 coop for them to move outside after.
     
  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Overrun With Chickens

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    How long do you plan on them being in the brooder? After about 3 weeks, that's going to be too small, and they might not be ready for the coop until 4 + weeks.
     
  3. Chicanewbie

    Chicanewbie New Egg

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    We are new to this so I wish I knew, lol. I could maybe split them to a second space if need be.but I guess I would need more heat for it too. ? How long must they be inside ? we are getting them in mid April in Ontario Canada. I want to move them outside as soon as I can. We were going to get pullets but decided based on availability of the breeds we want to get chicks instead so any info appreciated
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  4. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Overrun With Chickens

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    It depends on the weather, but my chicks are usually without a bulb by about one week old during the day. By two weeks old they don't need it during the night. I like to brood outdoors.

    It also depends on how feathered out they are. So some chicks might be big enough and ready to go out by four weeks old, while others need to stay in a while longer. I'd say you could put them in the coop when they are 4-5 weeks old if they are acclimated to the weather out there.

    What breeds are you getting?
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    If they are kept in the house, it does take them longer to feather in. If you keep them in a garage, shed, or other unfinished and unheated space, they feather in much faster and are already acclimated to the cooler temps of outside. With the Eco glow, chicks can be fully feathered and ready to go outside as early as 4 weeks old.
     
  6. Chicanewbie

    Chicanewbie New Egg

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    We are getting 2 each of buff Orpingtons, black australorps, and Plymouth barred rocks.
    I really like the idea of the Eco glow or similar alternatives to heat lamps. Do you think our setup needs to be bigger? Could we use the Eco glow brooder outside in the bigger coop and move out earlier ?
     
  7. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, that is definitely a possibility, and the option I'd likely go with. Those breeds are pretty cold hardy, so you shouldn't have problems.
     
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  8. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Lots of people brood their chicks outside right from the start. As long as the temps are not getting below freezing overnight, they should be just fine in the outdoor coop with the eco glow.
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I don’t believe in any magic numbers for chick or chicken space. There are just too many variables. I do think that is small, not because or square feet per chick but because you don’t have a lot of room in there for food, water, that Eco Glow, and for them to play. If that is in the house it isn’t too bad because you have steady temperatures to deal with, but to me the best brooder is one that keeps one area warm enough in the coolest temperatures and cool enough in the warmest temperatures, however you provide that heat.

    That can be harder to do when you are brooding outside. I am in lockdown now and in a few days will be putting chicks in my brooder built into the coop. According to forecasts they will have overnight lows below freezing and a little later will have daytime highs well into the 60’s. I get around that by using heat lamps (securely wired in place because I am concerned about fire potential) to keep one area warm enough when it’s below freezing but my 3’ x 6’ brooder is big enough and well-enough ventilated that the far reaches will be cool enough even in the warmer weather.

    I have never used an Eco Glow so I have no idea how cold it will work, but Junebuggena usually knows what she is talking about. I’d trust her.

    How soon they can go out depends on a few things. If they are exposed to cold they feather out faster. They acclimate also. I was once living outside Cadiz Spain in 90F (32C) weather and flew to Edinburgh Scotland where it was right at freezing with a snowy slush mess falling and the wind blowing. I was dressed appropriately but still froze. Acclimating is more than just feathering out. Lots of people that brood in the house or another building that is fairly warm take the chicks outside for a while in cold weather. They are usually surprised at how well the chicks handle that. But just a short while in cold temperatures really helps.

    How you feed them has an effect in how fast they feather out. A chick Starter at 20% protein will help them feather out faster than a 16% Grower, for example.

    The facility they are moving into has an effect. It needs ventilation but you do not want a breeze blowing onto them. My grow-out coop has a top that is mostly hardware cloth with a raised roof to keep rain out. Great ventilation. But the area down where they are is extremely well protected against any wind. Chicks from my brooder have gone through nights in the mid 20’s F (-4C) in this unheated coop before they were 6 weeks old.

    I don’t know what temperatures you might see in Ontario in May. I don’t know how you are going to raise them. But especially if you expose them to cooler temperatures seven weeks sound long enough to keep them inside.

    Good luck!
     
  10. Chicanewbie

    Chicanewbie New Egg

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    Dec 28, 2016
    This is the coop we have, and there is an additional area of almost 2 square feet in nesting area too.i was hoping it would be useful for a brooder as we quickly realized we wanted more than 2 chickens and are building a larger outdoor one. I was hoping that it woukd do. At how many weeks could we open up the coop to the outside run part of this coop to the chicks ? would that make a difference ?

    https://www.wayfair.ca/Pawhut-Delux...h-Run-and-Nesting-Box-5663-1319-PWHU1076.html
     

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