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How long can chicks stay on hardware cloth?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Schroeder, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Schroeder

    Schroeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 9, 2008
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    My Coop
    I've repurposed a quail brooder into a chick brooder. It has 1/2x1/2 hardware cloth floor (with metal drip pans beneath.) I'm thinking for the first several days I should cover 1/2 of the floor wire with cardboard, covered with paper towel. This will get them used to pecking at food crumbs and expose them to cocci (am I right about this?). After about a week I would remove the cardboard and paper towel so they would have no choice but to walk on the hardware cloth. I'm hopefull the poop would mostly fall though the 1/2 in spaces until they are 3 to 4 weeks old. Is this a reasonable assumption?
     
  2. Mak

    Mak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep. I have a GQH brooder with the same set up. I put my chicks on the wire from the start and they do just fine. Most of the poop falls thru to the bottom. Some does get stuck on the wire, but not much. A stiff brush will take it off quickly.
     
  3. Mak

    Mak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Londonderry, NH
    Oh, also, I put a strip of foil in front of the feeder trough area with feed scattered on it for a day or so, just so they can find it. They seem to find the troughs quite quickly once they realize there is food there!
     
  4. Schroeder

    Schroeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 9, 2008
    Central Indiana
    My Coop
    Thanks Mak. I thought I'd read that if they aren't able to walk and scratch in poopy litter they won't build up natural resistance to coccidiosis. If they walk on the hardware cloth from day one am I increasing the potential they will develop cocci when they are older?
     
  5. Mak

    Mak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 12, 2009
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    I haven't had any trouble with cocci. And the lady I bought the brooder from raised chickens (meat and eggs) for years and said she had better luck with the wire brooder. I've not raised dozens of chicks in it over many years, so it's not exactly proof, just what I've experienced. The new ones I get next month are going in it.
     
  6. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays Premium Member

    You can see pictures of our outdoor brooder on my page link. We raise most all our chicks in it until about five weeks old, never had any problems. We do put paper towels under the feeders for the first couple of days to help them learn where the food is, but otherwise it's all hardware cloth floors.
    Brood several hundred chicks a year in it.
     

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