1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Chicks in garage with van and tractor - too many fumes???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by aart, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Plan on doing a hatch in February and want to brood chicks (after 3 weeks in house) in the attached garage but am concerned about fumes from the tractor and van.

    Brooder will be a refrigerator box with mesh top, ceramic heater hanging inside.

    I don't drive a lot, but would starting the van and pulling out, then closing garage door...then the return trip create enough fumes to asphyxiate chicks? Same scenario with tractor/snow thrower.

    Any thoughts??

  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Your garage appears to have a lot of area with room for tractor, car, snow blower and room for refrigerator and the lot. I'm completely jealous. Especially after the 8 inches of snow last night here.

    With that kind of air volume I think you'd have to leave the car and tractor running while getting sidetracked on the phone with that relative who doesn't understand social ques like "I'm about to head out the door." or "I'm running late to pick up the kids." You know the one I'm talking about, we've all got at least one. My partner has one that would keep babbling even if I said "The house is on fire!"

    Air exchange for garage doors opening is very significant. I'd not worry about it.

  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    It’s going to depend on how much air exchange you have, how big the garage is, and how well your vehicles are tuned. A poorly tuned vehicle can put out some nasty fumes.

    A bird’s respiratory system is more sensitive than a human’s. Miners often carry canaries down in the mines with them. If the bird dies, it’s time to get out because the air is bad, maybe even becoming explosive. People disarming “chemical” weapons often keep birds in cages with them for the same reasons. If the bird dies, get out!

    Will you be OK brooding in there? Probably. Many people do. Just take the reasonable precaution of not leaving the vehicles running in there for extended periods of time like Egghead mentioned.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Thanks for your feedback folks.

    Am aware birds are very sensitive to respiratory intoxicants, have had house pet birds in the past...why I asked, hoping someone who had actually done this would respond.

    Not sure I want to take the risk, may have to leave the van outside and hope we don't get more than a few inches of snow end of March. Would hate to wash away 6 weeks of effort, not to mention living beings, for the sake of convenience.

    I have a generous two bay garage, 24' x 24' x 8 1/2' ceiling, in lower level of walkout ranch house, two powered doors.
    One bay for 2005 Chrysler T&C van, the front half of other bay holds my 1987 John Deere 216 L&G Tractor that mows and throws. Adding the fridge box brooder would take up half the back part of the tractor bay...which would put it close to the exhaust end of the van.

    Van is in good shape, stored backed into garage. Tractor is old and doesn't burn incredibly clean, but the exhaust is very close to door.

    I don't idle the vehicles in the garage, unless the tractor battery dies and needs jumping, nor do I chat on the phone in the van...lol.
  5. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Songster

    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    I would just open the garage door before starting your vehicle. If you start it get in and pull it out of garage while the door is open I don't see how it could build up enough fumes to harm your chicks.
  6. chickensinwasillaAK

    chickensinwasillaAK Songster

    Feb 2, 2011
    Wasilla Alaska
    Well, I'm in Alaska and in February it can easily be -30, so I don't open the door before starting. I have both a gas car and a diesel truck and run brooders in the garage. I start the car, hit the button. With an 8x10 door, it changes the air in the garage pretty fast. Just be aware that everything and I mean everything will be covered in dust. Every surface will have dust, no matter how big the garage is. Tolerable in the garage, would hate it in the house.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Ahhhh.....Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Got dust on everything anyway.

    What kind of a brooder do you use?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by