Going to get brooder supplies today!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Desirai, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Yes :)

    5 vote(s)
    62.5%
  2. No :(

    3 vote(s)
    37.5%
  1. Desirai

    Desirai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Help me with my list! I was going to order off the internet but shipping is $35.

    Chick feeder (Steel or plastic?)
    Chick waterer
    Chick starter feed (Brand recommendations please?)
    Bedding (wood shavings? shredded newspaper?)
    Heat lamp
    Heat bulb (should I get the red bulb? What wattage?)
    Thermometer

    The container I'm going to try is a 3' x 3' x 3' cardboard box. Going to pick up some mesh or wire or something to put over it.
     
  2. ragerkid2

    ragerkid2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I recommend using plastic 1 QUART water and feeders. I just use the purine chick started that TSC sells. I think it's a yellow bag. Make sure you get the right % of protein. Wood shavings for bedding. Red heat lamp. (better for pecking issues). Sounds like your off to a great start!!
     
  3. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    That's why I shopped at Ozbo for their big chicken feeder and food storage bin (among other things). $4.95 flat-rate shipping AND reasonable prices.

    And yes, plastic can go through the dishwasher which is a handy feature so I used plastic for food and water. I made sure I bought a base that could screw onto a standard mason jar (there are a few out there that only fit with the plastic jar they come with). The weight of the glass makes the feeder less tippy. As they get bigger, scraps of lumber make a good platform to get the feeder up out of the litter and a cardboard cone taped to the top of the feeder keeps them from roosting on it (but do give them something else to roost on at that point). I used an ice cream bucket with nipples for water but if you're not going the nipple route, I'd get the waterer version of the feeder and use the blocks of wood there as well.

    I used a simple hanging brooder lamp with guard wires and a ceramic socket. Just don't use a clamp lamp -- too many clamp failure stories with sad endings on these boards.

    I presume since you're using cardboard that the brooder will be indoors. Red heat lamps are hard to find in wattages lower than 250. I found a couple really nice ones in 100 and 175 BUT they were ordered online and shipped from Canada (localfarmsupply.com). Even with shipping, they were a whole lot more reasonable and better quality than anything that could be found at the pet store (i.e. reptile heat bulbs). Indoors, you wont need more than 100. Just adjust the height to adjust temperature or get a brooder lamp with an inline dimmer so you can reduce wattage.

    ETA: I bought a pair of the Miller 11# plastic feeders for their big chicken feeders and they are terrific feeders.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  4. wilbilt

    wilbilt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I initially bought a 125W heat bulb, but it was not enough to keep the temp up overnight (my house stays fairly cool). I replaced it with a 250W red lamp which is working well. I hung it on a lamp chain over one end of the brooder so it is easy to raise and lower. I do have to raise it or turn it off in the afternoons due to the brooder being located in a tub that is under a couple of south/west facing windows. When the sun shines in there it gets pretty warm.

    The brooder lamp is one I bought at TSC with the guard and aluminum reflector. it did come with a clamp, but I removed the clamp as I have it hanging from the chain.

    I'm using some plastic 1qt feed and water dispensers from TSC and Purina Start & Grow medicated feed.

    The brooder is a 45 gal plastic tote with 1/2" hardware cloth for a lid. I bought a short roll (10') and cut the mesh a few inches longer than the tote, folded the sides and ends down and secured the corners together with zip ties. Be careful with the hardware cloth, it will bite you while you are working with it.

    Equine Fresh pine pellets for bedding, which work very well and are easy for the chicks to walk on.

    The thermometer is an Accurite plastic dial-type about 4" in diameter propped against the side at the warm end of the brooder. The chicks are fascinated by the thermometer and peck at it often. Sometimes they all gather in front of it as if they are watching TV. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  5. Desirai

    Desirai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wait.. I've read that chicks have to have a temperature of 95 degrees then reduce the temperature.. how do you reduce the temperature on a heat lamp?


    Also, how fast do they grow? My coop isn't done yet. it's maybe 40% done.

    I've been putting off the brooder and everything so that I don't get too impatient. Haha
     
  6. featheredroots

    featheredroots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You change the temp in the brooder by raising or lowering the heat lamp it's self. This site is great, but you may also want to get a how to book on raising chicks, it'll cover all the supplies you need, show different types of brooders, give you options and pointers on which food to choose, explaine how to use the brooder lamp, and most importantly how to care for your new bundles of fluff. This is my second year raising chicks and I still use my book quite a bit, along with posting questions here.

    Chicks grow quite fast, but need to be under the brooder lamp until they're fully feathered(about 4-6 wks). I'd highly reccomend waiting until the coop is done before getting the chicks though. We made that mistake last year, and then had to scramble to get it done....talk about stressful. [​IMG]

    My brooder is similar to wilbilt's, just a tote with the lid cut out and covered with chicken wire. I use Swheat Scoop wheat cat litter so I can scoop out their brooder a couple times a day, and if any water gets spilled it soaks it right up, so the babies don't get wet( chilled chicks are not good). Last year I used a plastic water and feeder, this year I'm using metal. I like the plastic feeder better because it's easier to take apart, but I like the metal waterer, because I can use a glass ball jar, which is easier to keep clean. As far as feed goes, I'm hand mixing my own organic, and adding a bit of food grade diatomaceous earth to it for worm control. I also add a tsp or two of Apple Cider Vinegar and a clove or two of garlic to their water, to boost their immune systems, and also prevent worms.
     
  7. FreedomLover

    FreedomLover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We just got our chicks at TSC yesterday. For the brooder we bought a chick-n-hutch (placed cardboard over the wire bottom then covered with paper towels & a bit of pine shavings), feeder, waterer, heat lamp, medicated chick feed, red heat lamp bulbs and pine shavings.

    I ended up having to change from the 250 watt red heat bulb to a standard 100 watt bulb because it was just too hot in there for the chicks. Since I changed the bulb, they are happy little peeps, snoozing and running around like crazy.
     
  8. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    You can raise and lower the lamp to adjust the temp to a point. Raising it makes a larger circle of less intense heat, lowering makes a smaller circle of more intense heat. But, having a cool space in the brooder is just as important as having a warm space. Chicks need to be able to get out of the heat to play and then return to rest (just like they would with a hen). So, if you have too hot a lamp (250W) and you raise it up high enough to get 95 below it, it will be heating the entire space and then you have a problem. The 250W red bulbs are meant for use in barns, sheds, etc. where it's much cooler than in a house.

    ETA: and I second finishing the coop first. Once you have them,you'll want to spend your free time watching the chicks, not out working on the coop. And, you can brood them in that coop (provided it is good and secure and you can get a lamp in there) once you realize how dusty they are making your house.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  9. ragerkid2

    ragerkid2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also agree with have the coop ATLEAST 90% done before getting your chicks. My dad decided he wanted to have a shed attached to my coop, and the chicks were in the garage until about 4 months[​IMG]. They free ranged every day. That was VERY stressful. I changed to a white bulb when they were older but this year they are going I the coop at six weeks so I'll just transfer it up there because of the temps.
     
  10. Desirai

    Desirai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks for everyone's advice!!

    I went to TSC to get supplies based on your suggestions :)

    I'm going to monitor the temperature for the next few days to see what it does when it gets cold outside. (We're keeping it in our sunroom which has no heating or cooling system)

    Right now the temp is at exactly 95 degrees directly below the lamp, and it's 60 degrees outside with a chilly wind blowing.

    I'll see what the temperature looks like tonight, it's supposed to go into the 40s I think.
     

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