Critique my brooder please!

emandmikey

Songster
11 Years
Apr 30, 2008
225
0
119
Wake Forest, NC
Ok, everyone - here's what I put together last night. My brooder is in my sewing room against a wall and under a craft table. The brooder is supposed to hold 6-8 chicks. I've got a 125W infrared heat lamp on a dimmer switch hanging above the left side of the box, pointed straight down. It's got the cardboard around the right side (but none on top), and it's holding a temp of 95 degrees directly below the heat lamp (which is at about 4/5 power right now. Over on the side away from the lamp, it's more like 86-87 degrees. I'm planning to put aspen bedding (left over from having guinea pigs) down with some paper towels on top for the first several days, then just have the aspen bedding (and will probably switch to pine when I run out of this). I have a mason jar chick feeder and waterer that I'll be using until they go outside.

I'm guessing I'll have to keep them in here until my husband finishes building the outdoor shed-style coop and they get too big to be in here, and I'll move them out with the heat lamp hanging in the coop if I need to... Oh - I got a remote indoor/outdoor thermometer too, so I can see what the temperature is remotely. (that's the thing with the little blue square in the right corner of the second picture) Maybe you can click to see the pictures bigger?




Another question - have many of you ordered from McMurray before? When they say that they're shipping on 9/29/08- when will we get the chicks? The next day? Two days later? Do they usually get there in the morning or afternoon? I'm so impatient!!! Em
 

JohnL11935

Songster
11 Years
Jun 1, 2008
216
0
109
North Fork Eastern Long Island
I like your brooder, looks really good. It seems like you've given it a great deal of thought and gathered all the right materials. If you really wanted to spoil them I would get a small piece of scrap wood to make a mini roost. After that they may not want to leave!

With 6-8 chicks arriving I suspect they will start getting a bit cramped within 4-5 weeks so ask you husband to get moving.

When my chicks shipped they arrived at about noon (2nd truck) the next day. This was using USPS Express Mail.

Good luck and have fun!
 

mom4morecritters

Songster
11 Years
May 4, 2008
140
2
134
Northern Minnesota
Nice brooder.

I'm still a newbie (I'm a first year chicken-mommy), but I haven't ordered from MM yet. I've read a lot of great things about them though. I have ordered from Ideal and had really good service with them. The chicks took a couple days to get here and my post office called me at 6am to let me know my live animals were sitting there waiting for me. I went to the back door, before the PO was open, and picked up my babies! Let your PO know you are expecting chickens.

When do you expect your hubby will be done building the coop?

~Anne
 

ChickaD

Songster
11 Years
Aug 6, 2008
618
4
141
central Vermont
When we ordered several times from Murray McMurray (it's been a while), I think it took two days for the box of chicks to arrive, as we're a ways from their location...and so are you. Our local PO's got them in the morning, but I'm not sure how yours would be. I'd notify your PO to let them know what to expect, and how early in the morning it's OK for them to call you. It's so exciting!

Your brooder set-up looks fine to me, but I feel unqualified in a way, since we always used a cardboard box, which changed the amount of heat from the light. With the sides all enclosed, we could only use a regular 100 watt bulb, or just a 60, based on chick behavior and comfort. But since you measured the temp, that sounds good.

My only suggestion is not to start the chicks out right away on any type of wood shavings because they may eat them. Just go with your paper towels. Check the Raising Chicks forum and see if you should wait 3 days or 1 week to use chips/shavings.

Have fun!
 

emandmikey

Songster
11 Years
Apr 30, 2008
225
0
119
Wake Forest, NC
Do they like to roost right away? I have plenty of scrap wood... a 1x2 would work well right?
I hope my husband will get started later this weekend - maybe Sunday?
I really want to have a nice looking outdoor coop, so I will be patient - I am a little impatient for him to start working though!
I've ordered some chicks with someone else, so we'll have to get them and divide them up once they get here. (they're going to the other person's house)
 

emandmikey

Songster
11 Years
Apr 30, 2008
225
0
119
Wake Forest, NC
[
Im not sure what the aspen bedding is made out of, just make sure it isnt ceder

Aspen bedding is made from aspen trees... it's not aeromatic like the cedar - and it's supposed to be safer for small animals who are sensitive to that sort of thing. I'm sure it's OK.
 

brandywine

Songster
11 Years
Jul 9, 2008
381
6
131
Western PA
Depending on the size of the chicks, it's possible that they will be able to slip through the bars of the guinea-pig cage.

This is easily solved with a cardboard ring about 6" high until they get a bit bigger.

Remember, chicks are mostly fluff. They look a lot bigger than they are. I was astounded at how easily mine walked through walls.
 

JohnL11935

Songster
11 Years
Jun 1, 2008
216
0
109
North Fork Eastern Long Island
Quote:On day 2 I had a few brave ones trying to get up on the small roost I built.

By day 5 they were all up there.

Day 10 they were playing King of the Hill with the waterer trying to knock each other off.
 

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