From Crib to Brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dreamwallaby, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. dreamwallaby

    dreamwallaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Camden County NJ
    I bought this crib on craigslist and I am using it for my brooder. It came with drawers underneath that I actually set where the mattress would go. This will keep the chicks close to their heat source, food and water with it's divider for the first few days. The drawer doesn't reach the back of crib so I used styrofoam and cardboard to fill that space in. This will also insulate them against my basement wall. The crib has a drop down side, so when they get bigger and I lower the floor to give them some height, I can drop the side for easy access. The heating plate is a premier 1. I also provided a UVB bulb (not shown but it sits on a screen lid over right side of the crib) to provide "sunlight" necessary for proper metabolism and bone growth.
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    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  2. pinebarrens

    pinebarrens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2015
    south NJ
    Hi fellow South Jerseyan [​IMG]

    I really like your creative solution. I bet the baby chicks will enjoy perching on the divider in the middle of the drawer after they are a week or two old, too.
     
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Agreed, it looks great. One question though...how are you going to close the top? At 2 weeks old, the chicks will probably enjoy perching on the sides, and flapping down to run amuck in what appears to possibly be your basement...
     
  4. pinebarrens

    pinebarrens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2015
    south NJ
    You can drop the mattress of a crib down far enough to keep most two-year-olds inside, wouldn't that be enough for a couple-three weeks? I don't have much experience at all, but my chicks are between 2 and 4 weeks old and they don't seem to fly up higher than about 12-18 inches yet.
     
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Maybe, maybe not. My smooth Sizzles (most of my birds are frizzled or Silkies and don't fly at all, so I'll use them as an example) had no problem escaping the 4 ft fence that surrounds their chick run at just 2 weeks old. The fence is covered in hardware cloth to prevent them slipping through, so they definitely flew over. The run is big, and their brooder is much bigger then that crib, but apparently the grass was greener on the other side....
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    When I used to brood indoors, I covered the brooder with cheese cloth. It worked splendidly to keep the chicks from hopping out, which they are perfectly able to do by age two weeks.

    The crib makes a very nice brooder. But if you plan on more than six chicks, it will be too small before they're done with it.

    Chicks double in size each week. Keep that in mind.
     
  7. dreamwallaby

    dreamwallaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Camden County NJ
    I have more of the plastic chicken fencing over the top of the crib to keep any flyers inside. As for size... I'd seen others using those water troughs and figured this was bigger than that and I can offer some height for when they do start their flapping and jumping around (by dropping the mattress floor down) but I guess worse case I can always build something else because this will need to hold 9. Once the weather gets nice though, they spend most of the day outside and only come in at night or in lousy weather.
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I think nine chicks will be fine for four or five weeks in their "crib", especially since you plan on giving them field trips during the day.

    I began day outings at two weeks. I'd load them into a cat carrier and haul them out to the run where they had a safe pen. I would open the carrier, they would poke one head out at a time, then within a minute or two, they'd be flapping and flying and running all over their spacious pen. At first, especially if the day was on the cool side, they'd end up huddled back inside their carrier, then I'd take that as a signal to bring them back inside to their brooder.

    By the time they were three weeks, they'd be mingling with the adult flock using the "panic room"portals in their safe pen. I moved all my chicks into the coop with the adults at five or six weeks.
     

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