1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

How big should the brooder be?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by first time farmer, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    The first week standard size chicks do good at half a square foot per chick. They will out grow it then and will need 1 square foot per chick for the next 2 weeks. Then add an addition half a square foot for every 2 weeks.


    edited to add: I have seen lots of folks lose chicks to the mess that ducks make. The ducks get everything wet and that includes chicks which die easily from a chill. I would keep them seperate.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010
  2. catdaddy66

    catdaddy66 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2009
    Lugoff, SC
    I also read 6-12 inches square per bird for 6 weeks. I am getting 25 chicks soon and have made 2-3 brooders. None will hold them all to 6 wks old, so I have planned to separate every 2 weeks or so to thin the flock and increase space. My question is this: Will the establishment of pecking order in each brooder prevent a seamless reintroduction into the tractor @ 6 wks old? Is this not a good idea or will it be manageable? I guess I could split my coop into halves to avoid a stressed environment. What do you guys think?[​IMG]
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:how many did u have?

    Twenty-three chicks
  4. first time farmer

    first time farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 31, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I got a bunch of free ply wood so i think im going to build it out of that. Im thinking it will be 8 by 10 or 12 by 2 feet high. I am going to build a top so they cant fly out. And i will use my old brooder(a rubbermade) for the ducklings.
  5. RAWR

    RAWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    who wants to know?
    Quote:how many did u have?

    Twenty-three chicks

    we had about that many and we just used the 55 gallon rubermaid
    they do fine just like that
    nobody got hurt or anything [​IMG]
  6. Judson

    Judson New Egg

    Jan 30, 2010
    Hi all, we are also getting our first chicks this spring and are trying to do all of the prep work asap. Unless I am reading something wrong, there have been suggestions of anywhere from 6 square inches to 2 square feet per chick. 6 square inches would be 24 chicks per square foot!!! This can't possibly be correct??? Can it? I'm just a city boy who moved to a rural area so I sure don't know, just checking.

  7. RAWR

    RAWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    who wants to know?
    Quote:i dont think it is...but like i've said, the best first time brooder is a 50-55 gallon rubermaid tub
    its an easy clean up, and it keeps the chicks safe
  8. catdaddy66

    catdaddy66 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2009
    Lugoff, SC
    Quote:6 square inces is 1/2 sq. ft., so 2 birds/sq. ft. 10 sq. ft of brooder space will hold up to 20 chicks (I believe to be correct.)
  9. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    6" square is actually 1/4 a square foot. 1/2 foot square and 1/2 square foot are not the same thing. And 6 square inches is yet something else!

    Yea geometry :p
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010
    1 person likes this.
  10. RAWR

    RAWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    who wants to know?
    ...i am completly confused........

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by