Chicks outside in garage. Too cold?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Foghorn, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. Foghorn

    Foghorn Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    I want to get my chicks and start raising them. However, I don't want them in basement because I have heard that the smell and dust can be terrible. I was hoping that I could raise them in my coop I am building in garage. I plan on putting an insulated brooder (homemade) inside the coop. I will of course use an infrared lamp, or possibly two if needed above brooder area.
    The coop is 6x8 with a roof 5 foot high. The garage is not heated. I live in Connecticut. I suppose I could get a thermometer and place it in brooder and moniter temps. But I thought I'd get some opinions from this forum. Any ideas? Thanks.
  2. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    As long as they stay warm enough and out of drafts it shouldn't matter where they are. Yes, a reliable thermometer is a very good idea, but you'll also need to keep an eye on them through the night when the temps drop to their coldest. Once they feather out it won't be so crucial but the first month or so is their most vulnerable time.

  3. Use real caution with those big heat lamps. I brood all my chicks with just regular household lightbulbs, have had too many scares with the big lamps and read too many posts about coop fires for me to trust them.

    If you get some of the insulation that you use to wrap hot water tanks (it looks like bubble wrap made of tin foil) and build a tent with that put 2 trouble lights like you might use to light up under your hood for repairs. I always have at least 2 so if one burns out the chicks are not without heat. Have the tent hanging and have one edge shorter so at first they have to go in and out that way, but as they age and the temperature is to go down just lift it up so they have more freedom. Use a thermometer to decide what wattage of bulbs you need to have in there.

    This is called an electric hen as the chicks have the freedom to come and go from the warm more like natural. I find they harden off faster and are generally healthier than chicks that have no choice, and I don't have the issues with Cocci as not all the bedding is warm and moist.

    Here is a picture of one I set up for 50 turkey poults. I have feed and water both in and out. The center of the tent was supported by an old ironing board set down low and the lights hung from it. The front had a flap that hung down to keep them warm but was turned up for cleaning and feeding and for this picture. The opening was supported by that stick you see.

  4. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    Wow, April, that is quite a nice setup! I've got to find some of that insulation! Thanks!

  5. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007

    That is a nice set-up that I wish I had. Although I would need more coops for all the extra birds I would have.

  6. Servant

    Servant In the Brooder

    Feb 6, 2007
    Aberdeen, NC
    Hey new to this site! I raise New Hamshire Reds, Rhode Island Reds, White leg horns, Buff Orpingtons,Barred Rocks, Black Cochins, Black sex link which i got from breeding my, rhode Island red roaster with a barr rock hen, and I have made the Production Reds from crossing Rhode Island reds with New Hampshire Reds. For fun I have batams that run free the Red and Brown Old English and a few ameraucana.

    I have done all my brooding in a wood box about 3 feet by 6 feet and i have a heat lamp at one end of it and water and feed working to the other end. This allows the birds to find the own warmth they need. For the first few days to the chicks know what food is, I cover the wood chips with sack cloth. I cover the box with ply board and a safety blanket from wal-mart found in the camping dept, it is one of the silver looking blankets, all this keeps it draft free. Out of each incubation I may lose 2 chicks in the brooding which is not to bad from 48 hached. This has worked well. Yes they give off lots of dust. I made the mistake of raiseing my first chicks in the kittcken in a large box and after moveing them out side after they got there feathers we where cleaning dust from them for months.

    I am about to start a brooding a new batch around feb 16 my box is just sitting in the back yard by the chicken house which is a metal building 8 by 10. my two pens are 20 by 20. I am able to sell enough to keep to my breeding flock on one side of the house on the other I keep my layers which supply the feed for all the chickens. I live in NC so the weater is not as bad as up North of me.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2007
  7. soonerdog

    soonerdog Songster

    I have found from experience that one light or heat lamp can fail you in the middle of the night. When this happens the babies can die very quickly. So, I always have two or three lights now. Too many times the bulbs burn out and if you've got more than one on then your safe if one bulb goes out. I too, like adoptedbyachicken, use regular household bulbs as my heat sources. Also, I test where to place my heat source by holding my hand underneath the lights at the same level of the chicks feeling for warmth that is tolerable, but not too hot. You want to be sure your not frying the little critters by having the lights too close. The chicks should have enough room to move about and get away from the heat if they become too warm. They will move closer to the light when they need warmth. Having lights to heat the little fluff balls is critical, but I think like adoptedbyachicken, it can be dangerous.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2007

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