How big should my brooder be?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by polishchickens111, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. polishchickens111

    polishchickens111 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2011
    Over there
    It is for 6 day old chicks.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Looking at your signature, I'm guessing you mean six chicks that start out at one day old.

    The size of the brooder to start with is not as important as the size after they have grown a little. You will be amazed at how fast they grow and how soon they can really jump and fly. If you want to keep them near the heat source the first few days, you can make a little enclosure out of cardboard or such to keep them in the area around the heat source, but I don't. Mine is a 3' x 5' brooder, but I have more chicks at a time than six.

    I don't know where you are planning on keeping the brooder or how long you plan to keep them in the brooder. With those breeds, they should feather out at around 4 to 5 weeks of age, so they really don't need additional heat after that unless you are in an extreme climate of some sort. But you may have coop or integration issues.

    Since there are so many unknowns, instead of giving you a specific size, I'll mention some things to consider. Bigger is usually better with chickens when it comes to space. They grow real fast. Go bigger than you think you need. And have a cover that can keep them from flying out.

    Heat can be your enemy. Chicks do better if the temperature is a little cool as compared to being too hot. I'd go crazy trying to keep the entire brooder one specific temperature. I suggest having a brooder big enough that you can keep one area in the right temperature range but let the rest cool off. The corners of my brooder are usually 20 to 30 degrees cooler than the area I keep in the right temperature range. They play all over the brooder, coming back to the heat when they want to warm up, which really is not that often. Set it up so they can find their own comfort range instead of driving yourself silly with worry about keeping it just right.

    You need room for food and water. It is nice for them to have some room to play. One of their favorite games is to run/flap/fly from one side of the brooder to the other, going as fast as they can go. Maybe build something like this for them to play on. [​IMG]

    You can use a whole lot of different things for a brooder, build something yourself or just a cardboard box (refrigerator boxes are nice) or tape two cardboard boxes together, dog crates, aquariums, kiddie swimming pools, or about anything else you can imagine. You are limited only by your resources and imagination.

    One real danger in a brooder may be your heat source, especially a heat lamp. Make very sure it is secure where nothing can knock it down. Do not depend on the clamp that comes with it. Tie it up with wire or something very secure.

    That is probably enough. Good luck with it. You should have fun.

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