Chicks in tents ($12, 30-square-foot brooders)...PIC HEAVY!!


12 Years
Jan 8, 2010
Central Louisiana
I meant to post this sooner, but the 60 chicks currently inhabiting my living room have kept me busy the past two weeks, LOL! Due to the unusually cold weather in February (for Louisiana at least) I decided to accept 'packing peanuts' in my chick order, thinking I'd probably end up with 4 or 5 extra chicks... Was I ever WRONG, LOL!! My order of 40 chicks was split between two shipping dates and arrived with a grand total of 20 packing peanuts. I was grateful for the extra warmth and healthy chicks, but it left me in serious need of extra brooder space. They'll be in the house the first 8 weeks while I build the coop, but my little 4'x2'x2' brooder was barely big enough to hold them for the first couple of days.

The solution? Two $12 6'Wx5'Dx3'T 'junior dome tents' by Ozark Trail Outfitters...that's 60 square feet of brooder space for $24 and they fold up into tubes 14" long x 3" in diameter. They're flame resistant, have waterproof floors/lower walls, ripstop upper walls, and have large screened vents in the top and door for fresh air exchange and viewing. One bag of pine shavings covered the floor ~3". The brooder light is attached to a chain that is securely fastened in two places inside and outside the brooder. A 100-watt red bulb hung 10" from the top easily maintained a 95-degree area under the light. It's week 2 now and I'm down to 75-watt bulbs in both tents. I moved the chicks in as soon as they were ready to go on pine shavings. The door unzips in both directions from the TOP, so I can easily unzip just the top to reach in and change water/food, reach chicks, etc...

The Buff Orps and Easter Eggers are in one tent, the Barred Hollands and Welsummers are in the second, and the 'red packing peanuts' are in the regular brooder.

Here are a few (ok, more than a few) pics:



Easter Eggers and Buff Orps:



Barred Hollands and Welsummers:




'Red Packing Peanuts' (RIR maybe?):


That is a great idea! How do you think that will hold up to chick dust? That might be a good investment for me if it helps keep even half of the dust from floating around my guest bedroom.
I put down a fair amount of Sweet PDZ on the bottom, added the shavings, put some Sweet PDZ on the top and lightly mixed it. I spot clean the heavily used area around the food/water, but they keep the rest of the shavings turned over and mixed in...kind of a mini-DLM, LOL!

So far it's done a wonderful job of minimizing chick dust compared to the regular brooder....the dust is attracted to the lower 6" of the inside tent walls where it can be wiped down with a handful of wood shavings. Some of the dust still makes it out of the vent screens though.
Yours is the newest and "coolest" idea for a brooder I have seen in a long time! Thanks for sharing.

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