Hatchling (first 3-4 weeks) space considerations. Help, please???


Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Jun 7, 2020
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
So, I know the usual rules of thumb for full grown birds 1:4:10 sq ft/bird ventilation, house, run. Have certainly repeated them enough, and have more than adequate for my existing flock, soon to be expanded further (new chainsaw mill, **MUST** go out and "play")!

I have a reconfigurable PVC and netting grow out box I keep in the safety of the barn for my month-olds to put on bulk before it joins the main run to begin integration after month two. It can go from 4x6 to 4x10 to 6x10 as needed, and I generally allot 4 sq ft/bird for their space between weeks 4 and 12 inside, which has worked so far.

My problem is that I have 4 birds in the brooder (31 INCHES x 21 INCHES) box about to be moved out to the grow out box to make room for up to 12 eggs in the incubator. 60 square inches is no place to put 8-10 (if I have a decent hatch rate) hatchlings for more than a day or three. But I'm living in an RV, space is at a premium. Assuming I can't build a new brooder box wider than 3', nor longer than 5.5' in which to house the new birds for a month as they bulk up, what is the minimum space in which I can raise those birds, their first four weeks? Can I get by with 2' x 5.5'? 3'x4'?

I assure you, this is a one season only type affair. The building of our house is well behind schedule, and the space I normally use as a brooder in my (powered) shed is currently protecting sensitive plants as our overnights drop into the low 20s, or they would be there. Or should I bite the proverbial bullet and restructure the shed to get the plants up and out of the way to make space for my hatchlings (I have a 4' x 4.5' area I normally use for that - when the plants aren't there)
Well, I think they would be fine. Maybe a bit cramped, but i usually have about that same ratio in a water trough brooder for the first month or so. Give them a branch to perch on if possible

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