Does a brooder need a top?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dancingmama, May 15, 2010.

  1. dancingmama

    dancingmama In the Brooder

    Jan 17, 2010
    Ann Arbor, MI
    We are going to use a box that is about 17" high, with a heat lamp. We have no pets.
    Do we need some sort of mesh or wire top, or can I just leave it open? At what point can they
    get out of something that high?

    Thank you!!!

  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I never have a top on, I can't say the exact age where they can fly up and get out, but you'll know when it's time to put them into a coop or put some type of lid on it.....
  3. gettinaclue

    gettinaclue Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    We didn't have a top on ours at first. That change when they were just a few weeks old. It doesn't take long for them to start flappin' all over the place LOL
  4. We have a lid - but I don't use it when the chicks are young.

    Once they hit 4 weeks or so, they do start flying out, and I use the lid. It's just chicken wire, but it keeps them in. I keep them in the brooder (which is BIG) until they are big enough to handle mixing with the big kids. [​IMG] So the lid is handy. Otherwise - it's chickens on the loose in the carport!
  5. dancingmama

    dancingmama In the Brooder

    Jan 17, 2010
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Wow, thanks all!

    So, will they still need the heat lamp when it's time for a lid of some sort?
    Or will they be done with that by then....?

    I'm sooo excited -- getting 3 chicks this week. I'm in a small city that allows up to 4 backyard
    hens. I know, tiny compared to most here, but nonetheless....
  6. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Songster

    Dec 28, 2009
    regardless to how many you are are living the dream. go for it. I keep mine in the house out of the bator for about a week to two and then to a brooder outside that is about 17in. high and about 8 feet long and 1 1/2 feet wide with 2 heat lamps on them for about 6 weeks and then into an aviary which I can walk into and feed them and handle them until I can put them with the big chickens and they are ready for laying pellets...
  7. Manda0227

    Manda0227 Songster

    Mar 30, 2010
    For me, I just feel safer WITH a top. Even though my lamps are secure.. I'm always paranoid of it falling in, and ON the chicks.. or worse falling in and starting a fire. Thats just me though. I know others have had chicks for years, and no tops at all! I *am* the person that kind of stuff happens to! Not taking any chances here! I had to make a temporary brooder for 3 chicks (they were sooooo small, and newly hatched) and I DIDN'T have a top on it. I was so worried about it. The lamp didn't fall in, but I found one of my cats in there sleeping with the chicks. Lets just say I freaked the heck out, and it had a make-shift top on it, and the next day they were in with the rest!

  8. One batch of chicks were flying up on the edge of their Rubbermaid brooder when they were just 2 weeks old! I use a window screen and hang the lamp from the ceiling...adjust til I get the heat just right.

    Good luck with your babes. [​IMG]
  9. Penturner

    Penturner Songster

    Feb 1, 2010
    Reno Nevada
    I have a 5 week old White Japanese Bantam that can get 2 feet in the air or more already. has been able to do that for over a week. A lot depends on the breed though. some fly better than others.
  10. felidaet

    felidaet Songster

    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    I would suggest a lid to keep them from flying out. If you have the brooder in a cool place, such as a garage, a lid can help keep the heat in. My brooder is built from wood. I have a thin wood lid covering most of the brooder. The end where the heat lamp is located has a lid made from hardware cloth.

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