For those with plastic tote brooders...


Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
14 Years
Nov 9, 2007
SW Arkansas
a few questions. I'm getting 23 chicks (actually 25, but 2 are going to hooligan after a day's rest). The largest plastic tote I can find is 90 quart. That means I'll have to start them all in one tote and then move half to another as they grow. I'm thinking of using a 25 or 40 gallon rubber stock watering tank instead. The 40 gal. one would mean I'd never had to seperate them and then re-introduce them in the coop. Which option do you think would be better? Also, our local hardware store has a great deal on a 250 watt halogen work lamp on an adjustable stand. I know halogens get hot, but would it get too hot? I liked the idea of the adjustable stand (up and down) and thought I could raise it up as the chicks need for higher temps decreased. One drawback I see is that I don't believe I'd find a red element for the work lamp.
Thanks in advance for your imput.


12 Years
Aug 2, 2007
I just purchased a smaller rubber stock tank for my new chicks. I only have 16 but they will be in the house for quite a while as we live in MN and it will not be warm enough for a lloonngg time! SO far so good. They get along great and like you I did not want to have to separate them.


12 Years
Jan 8, 2008
South Dakota
We used the work lights, on the stands last year, and they worked awesome! I never did use a red bulb, until this spring, and I'm using those only because it's what my husband bought for the calves this winter. These work lights came from Sears (I'm sure there are different kinds) and there were two to a stand. I ran them both for awhile, and when the chicks got bigger, I would shut one off and let it cool down, and then switch.

As far as the tanks, we have a...either 75 or 100 (not exactly sure) gallon rubbermaid stock tank, that works wonderful-have two actually, but I'm only using one *right now*
We do have one of the smaller "shorter" ones, that my father in law had for watering sheep, but I think the chicks would be jumping/flying out of that one in no time.


12 Years
Mar 28, 2007
the rubbermade water trough will make a good brooder.should have enough room to brood them for 2 or 3 weeks.i would use a 60 or 75 watt light bulb.the 250 watt heat bulb will be way to hot for the dont want to get them to hot.


In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 9, 2008
Blountville, Tn
the chicks need to be kept warm, but given the option of getting away from the heat if they want to. The long oval tubs work good, were you can put the light on one end. If they are too warm they can go to the other end. We keep ours covered with old window screens that keep them from flying out as they get older. Mine are 4 weeks old and starting to want to roost and fly around a lot in the tub.


Chicken Beader
11 Years
Mar 20, 2008
NW Kentucky
I agree with the others...go with the bigger one to keep them all together. As for the lighting, as long as it keeps them warm and they can get away from it when they need...go for it.


In the Brooder
11 Years
Feb 11, 2008
southwestern pa.
I have the 90 quart also with 15 chicks. They outgrew it in 2 weeks, now im using a 60" x 40" box and i framed some 1x1 pieces of wood and nailed some chicken wire to the top for a lid. They are a month old now and its already getting tight.


12 Years
Jan 7, 2008
Jackson MS
I agree - go with something larger. I started out with a 95 qt plastic container with 26 chicks. One week later I had to add another 95 qt container.
Less than a week later I was searching again for something to seperate chicks. Ended up with a dog crate I found on sale at Wal-Mart. I never worried about having to re-introduce since at cleaning time I would just transfer chicks around so I could empty, wash, clean containers. Since I had to do that twice a day the same chicks were never together longer than 24 hours without seeing all the others.
I have another 22 chicks coming in a couple of weeks and have to much money invested in these brooders to trash them so I will have the same 3 brooders in my house with the same transfer, clean
system. But bigger would have definately been better or me.

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