Good brooder?

melodyrg

Songster
8 Years
Oct 31, 2012
67
4
101
I'm ordering my chicks for late February and I thought I would re-purpose my old rabbit hutch as a brooder. Do you think it'll work well? I'm housing ten chicks and the dimensions of the hutch are 3' 6" X 1' 9". I plan on putting a piece of cardboard on the floor which is a metal grate and also over the front which is also a metal grate. After the chicks are 8 weeks old I plan on letting them out of the brooder and letting them right into the coop (not yet built) but that should be 5' X 6', with a 8' X 8' run. Is this enough space for my chicks?


 
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stevetone

Chicken Advocate
11 Years
May 3, 2010
322
45
191
Stoughton, Wisconsin, USA
Do you have heat in it? Generally they need heat for the first 4-6 weeks, starting at 95F and gradually decreasing to 70F.

Space-wise, at 7 sq. feet you are tight, and at 8 weeks it will be way too small.
 

stevetone

Chicken Advocate
11 Years
May 3, 2010
322
45
191
Stoughton, Wisconsin, USA
Oh, and since it had another animal in it, if you decide to use it clean it thoroughly and disinfect it well. I am not sure what list of diseases can be passed from rabbit to chicken, but I wouldn't want to find out!
 

Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Since you haven't yet built your coop, build it MUCH larger. Bigger is better in every way. Room for nests, set a crate during integration, room for roosts, inside feeders, and yes, that awful need you will likely have to add just a few more birds. LOL

BTW, the chicks will want out of the brooder long before 8 weeks.
 
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TurtlePowerTrav

T.K.'s Farm
7 Years
Jul 29, 2012
3,382
186
208
Oregon City, OR
My Coop
My Coop
I'm ordering my chicks for late February and I thought I would re-purpose my old rabbit hutch as a brooder. Do you think it'll work well? I'm housing ten chicks and the dimensions of the hutch are 3' 6" X 1' 9". I plan on putting a piece of cardboard on the floor which is a metal grate and also over the front which is also a metal grate. After the chicks are 8 weeks old I plan on letting them out of the brooder and letting them right into the coop (not yet built) but that should be 5' X 6', with a 8' X 8' run. Is this enough space for my chicks?


For your brooder if you can enclose the legs with hardware cloth or chicken wire, cut a 6"x6" hole in floor on left side that you can open and close and run a ramp down to almost the other side. That would give them enough space for when they are 4-8 weeks old. Now for your run once the coop is done, general rule is 10sq ft per bird, so you should make it 10'x10' or 8'x12' or 8'x 14'. More space is always better. And yes you will need a brooder lamp to heat them up. But make sure there are areas to get out of the heat too.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
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581
Southern Oregon
For your brooder if you can enclose the legs with hardware cloth or chicken wire, cut a 6"x6" hole in floor on left side that you can open and close and run a ramp down to almost the other side. That would give them enough space for when they are 4-8 weeks old. Now for your run once the coop is done, general rule is 10sq ft per bird, so you should make it 10'x10' or 8'x12' or 8'x 14'. More space is always better. And yes you will need a brooder lamp to heat them up. But make sure there are areas to get out of the heat too.
What a good idea! I wa thinking the box would be big enough for maybe 3-4 weeks, but by 8 weeks they'll be WAY too big to all fit. But enclosing the bottom would be a good way to go.

Your coop and run need to be lots bigger. Or you need to get less birds. Keep in mind the dimensions lumber comes in and plan on sizes that are divisible by 4 and 8 feet. Go for as much space as you possibly can and you'll lessen your chances of posting on here next summer about your birds picking/pecking/eating eggs/bullying/or other wise behaving abnormally.
 

MANNA-PRO

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