Chicks in brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tandcfox, Mar 17, 2018.

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  1. tandcfox

    tandcfox Hatching

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    Mar 15, 2018
    I have a Rhode Island Red chick and a Golden Comet chick in a 6 sq ft tote brooder, about 20in tall with a screen lid. How long should I, or could I, keep them in there?
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    They'll fit for a couple weeks.
    Is your coop ready?
    Got power for heat out there?
     
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  3. tandcfox

    tandcfox Hatching

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    Mar 15, 2018
    Oh I was under the impression that they could stay in there for 4-8. The coop is semi ready, it needs more modifications. No power, from what I’ve read it isn’t safe to heat them at least with a heat lamp or something.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    6sqft isn't much space......2'x3'.....once you get a feeder and waterer in there.
    Chicks grow fast!
    It's also hard to heat with a lamp as it's easy to overheat them.
    Yes, heat lamps can be dangerous, anywhere.
    I'll post my notes on Chick Heat below.

    But first,
    I wanted to Welcome you to BYC!
    Adding your location to your profile can help garner better answers/suggestions,
    way to do then it's always there!
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    Here's my notes on chick heat, hope something in there might help:

    They need to be pretty warm(~85-90F on the brooder floor right under the lamp and 10-20 degrees cooler at the other end of brooder) for the first day or two, especially if they have been shipped, until they get to eating, drinking and moving around well. But after that it's best to keep them as cool as possible for optimal feather growth and quicker acclimation to outside temps. A lot of chick illnesses are attributed to too warm of a brooder. I do think it's a good idea to use a thermometer on the floor of the brooder to check the temps, especially when new at brooding, later I still use it but more out of curiosity than need.

    The best indicator of heat levels is to watch their behavior:
    If they are huddled/piled up right under the lamp and cheeping very loudly, they are too cold.
    If they are spread out on the absolute edges of the brooder as far from the lamp as possible, panting and/or cheeping very loudly, they are too hot.
    If they sleep around the edge of the lamp calmly just next to each other and spend time running all around the brooder they are juuuust right!

    The lamp is best at one end of the brooder with food/water at the other cooler end of the brooder, so they can get away from the heat or be under it as needed. Wattage of 'heat' bulb depends on size of brooder and ambient temperature of room brooder is in. Regular incandescent bulbs can be used, you might not need a 'heat bulb'. You can get red colored incandescent bulbs at a reptile supply source. A dimmer extension cord is an excellent way to adjust the output of the bulb to change the heat without changing the height of the lamp.

    Or you could go with a heat plate, commercially made or DIY: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/pseudo-brooder-heater-plate
     

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