dog kennel brooder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CityGirlintheCountry, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    I have a metal dog kennel/crate that is completely covered with hardware cloth (long story. Was used to travel with ferrets at one point). Would this work to start day old chicks until they are big enough for the coop? I had planned on putting it on the front porch. It only gets late afternoon sun. The day temps here are in the mid 90s and the night temps in the mid 70s. Any reasons why this is a bad idea? I figured it would keep chicks in and predators out. It has a slide out tray on bottom for easy cleaning. I'm only planning on 4-5 standard birds.

    thanks!
    CG
     
  2. alex

    alex Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well of course it would work. . .!!!as long as it's 60-80 degrees it would be (A-O.K) hehe

    -alex
     
  3. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    The crate would be a good brooder, however...if they are in the late afternoon sun....it might get a bit warm for them. Make sure they have shade, and cool water...and if they are day olds....evenings might be a bit cool for them...maybe a tarp at night, to keep the coolness off.
     
  4. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    Hmmm... we are well past the 60-80 degree mark! We are averaging mid 80s to mid 90s at the moment. I can certainly make shade for the little chickies, but can't do a darn thing about the temp. Should I wait until fall?

    I'd bring them inside until bigger, but I'm afraid the Mighty Hunter Kitty would aggrevate them. [​IMG]
     
  5. JillsChicks

    JillsChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2007
    Western NY
    Dear CityGirl in the Country -

    I'm using a dog kennel as my brooder in my dining room on the linoleum floor. My chicks are almost two weeks old. I stopped using paper towels on the bottom at three days old and switched to pine shavings. I change them every few days or so. There is no bad smell. BUT, the chicks scratch and fly up scattering the shavings a couple feet outside the brooder. I sweep or use a piece of cardboard to guide the chips back to the edges of the brooder several times a day. If you don't want a mess, maybe set the kennel inside a baby pool or some large container with sides. I also used big books or cardboard leaning on the outside of the brooder to keep out drafts the first week or so. Sometiemes I wonder if I should have used a big rubbermaid containter... I take my chicks out and put them in a box when I'm cleaning and sliding the tray out.

    Last night we had company. My husband insitsted that in the 90 degree heat we did NOT need the heat lamp on. I had left it off all day. But when company came the chicks went nuts chirping and calling. I'd never heard them this way. I said I was going to try to use the heat lamp and they quieted in seconds. Even if your room is hot, they sometimes need the lamp especially at night. I recommend the heat lamp over the bare bulb any day too. Here's a pic of my chicks in their brooder.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    oh, they are CUTE!

    At what age will you move them outside? Down here in TN it will stay hot well into October. Wouldn't the temp shift be too much for them from the high 70s in the house and the mid 90s outside the house?

    Also, I have Max the Mighty Hunter kitty in the house. He wouldn't be able to get inside the crate, but he could slip a paw in. Wouldn't he terrorize the poor chickies? (There are also two indoor/outdoor dogs, but they could be babygated away.)

    I'm assuming you don't actually put the heat lamp inside the crate. Do you just sit it/hang it on the outside? Is there a fire hazard with the heat lamp and the pine shavings?

    Have you had chickens before?

    thanks for the help!
    CG
     
  7. JillsChicks

    JillsChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2007
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    Hello!

    Yes, I have the heat lamp hanging above the crate, not in it. It's actually hotter in the house than outside. Right now I don't even have the light on as it's 75-80 in here. I was just considering moving them out to the barn and still using the heat lamp, but I don't think I will. My housesitter is comfortable with messes and handling chicks.

    This is our first batch of birds.

    Ann
     

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