Chicken Brood

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Backyard Bantam, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. Backyard Bantam

    Backyard Bantam In the Brooder

    So I just got a new incubator, and I am raising my first 'batch' of chickens. Their hatch date is about March 26. I would like to know if it is required to have a brooder to raise the chicks?
  2. Knittycat

    Knittycat Songster

    Feb 25, 2011
    Bay City, TX
    It's a good idea. Newborn chicks need protection from drafts and cold. It doesn't have to be fancy, just something with walls to keep them contained and keep the heat in and hold the bedding so you don't get a huge mess. Mine were in a rubbermaid tub for the first week and are now currently residing in a very large cardboard box. They've got a heat light, food, water, and a couple of toys to keep them from pecking at each other.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    [​IMG] Welcome to the forum! [​IMG] Glad you joined us! [​IMG]

    First, let me say that almost every recommendation on this site is a guideline, not an absolute law of nature. If you violate the guidelines, you are not absolutely guaranteed failure. And if you follow the guidelines you are not absolutely totally guaranteed success. The guidelines are intended to improve your odds of success, sometimes greatly improve your odds. Just because someone violates the guidelines and gets away with it does not mean the guidelines are worthless. We all have different circumstances, goals, and conditions. There is seldom only one way to do it or one right answer for all of us. And sometimes people will say something on here that makes absolutely no sense. But later they add some detail that explains it all. There is a world of experience on this forum and a lot of good people that try to help. Just try to understand what someone is really saying and try to pick out the parts that apply to your situation.

    With that in mind, yes, I think you need a brooder. Chicks need a certain amount of warmth until they feather out. The recommended range is, in Fahrenheit:

    1st week - 90 to 95
    2nd week - 85 to 90
    3rd week - 80 to 85
    4th week - 75 t0 80
    5th week - 70 to 75
    After that, they should be totally feathered out and should not need supplemental heat.

    Wind chill can kill a chick. You need a draft guard around the brooder. This is usually somethign 12" to 18" high that stops breezes from blowing on the chicks.

    They need predator protection. Young chicks are very vulnerable to many different things, much more than older chicks and grown chickens. Snakes and rats are two very easy examples.

    Very young chicks are not necessarily real bright. If they wander too far away from food and water sources, they may not be able to find their way back. For the first few days of their life especially, they need to confined pretty close by the food and water.

    The way I do it is to put the brooder in the coop. It is wire top and sides so it has plenty of ventilation and predator protection, including protection from the adult chickens. I put a sheet of plastic from the ground to about 14" to 16" all around it to stop drafts. I heat one area of the brooder to the proper temperature but let the far corners of the brooder cool off, often 20 to 30 degrees cooler than the recommended temperature range. For the first couple of days, they pretty much stay right under the heat source, but by the third day, they are playing all over the brooder, coming back to the heat when they need to warm up.

    Good luck and once again [​IMG]
  4. Backyard Bantam

    Backyard Bantam In the Brooder

    Okay, thank you so much! Is it ok to keep the brooder inside? Or should I just go ahead and buy ( or make) a brooder and put it in my coop?
  5. foREVer

    foREVer Chirping

    Mar 10, 2011
    SE Michigan
    Quote:I have my chicks in a cardboard box lined with a trash bag and filled with wood shavings inside of my house, but it is completely up to you. Some like to keep their chicks in a box in the garage. If you put it in the coop, like Ridgerunner said, make sure they are protected from the adults and wind.
  6. Backyard Bantam

    Backyard Bantam In the Brooder

    Very good idea! and thank you so much, I have some chicks that should be hatching on March 26, and I have never raised (or incubated) chicks before. So I am trying to learn as much as I can![​IMG]
  7. foREVer

    foREVer Chirping

    Mar 10, 2011
    SE Michigan
    No problem!- I'm glad I was a help!
  8. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Hubby told me that I can't brood them in the house anymore. Last time I did there were 20 of them. We had a really cold early spring and I couldn't move them outside until they were about 12weeks old. Had to repaint the master bathroom when they went out, it was that bad!
  9. Backyard Bantam

    Backyard Bantam In the Brooder

    Quote:Oh wow! I don't think I am going to be hatching that many eggs![​IMG]

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