how long can they be in the brooder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lilrosc, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. lilrosc

    lilrosc In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2011
    Northeast CT
    So, work on the brooder is 50%ish complete (it depends on whether you ask me or the perfectionist building it), and I am curious how long they can stay in it, as it seems like progress on the coop with be delayed a bit longer as I'm not allowed to walk yet.

    The brooder is 4'x4'x2'. I shall post pics once it is complete, but there will be an area with the heat lamp, feed and water not too far away, a sand pit and some logs and sticks to play on. Will probably add a short roosting bar as well, and possibly another light in the middle so the entire thing stay warm (room it is in hoers between 60 and 65 degrees).

    For 6 chicks, how long will they stay relatively happy in that set up before they absolutely need the coop? I plan on building a decent sized playpen so they can have outdoor time once they are either 3 weeks old, or temps stay warm. Currently I think it's gotten to about 60 here in CT, but not exactly sure.

  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    6 weeks of age. They really want/need to be outside at that point. They look half grown, are very active, can fly over the sides by week 3, so you'll have to have netting/screen top, of course. By week 3, their poop grows quite strong as well (ok, they reek!!) and dander dust is everywhere. Spring is rolling along and summer is coming. Good chick keeping and enjoy.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  3. Doopy

    Doopy Songster

    Dec 16, 2009
    Indiana, USA
    Yup, 6 weeks is about the limit in a confined brooder. You may extend that to 7 weeks if you allow them to free range outdoors every day and then put them back into the brooder at night. At about 4 weeks I usually start to slowly lower the temperature in the brooder and also start to get them used to dark nights, too.

    About every other year we get a dozen new chicks to replace some of our flock. Hawks, coyotes and our dinner table usually take care of a dozen chickens in two years. Our chicks this year are about 6 1/2 weeks old and I moved them from the brooder to a coop today.
  4. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Crowing

    Apr 7, 2011
    SE Wis
    Brooders don't need to be perfect, just safe, dry, warm & draft-free. [​IMG]
    Mine is a rabbit cage, about 3' x 4' x 2', currently with 4 chicks in it. Two years ago I raised 6 chicks in there until they were about 6 weeks old. Then they went out into a much larger cage out in the garage until it was warm enough to go out into the coop with the rest of the flock. (I'm in WI-gets cold at night).
    At 6 weeks they usually don't need a heat source any more, but that depends on the weather. If the nights are chilly, I put the heat lamp on for them until they are bigger.
  5. lilrosc

    lilrosc In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2011
    Northeast CT
    Is it a big enough size where the box can be moved outside for them? Though, 6 weeks does bring me to mid May, we should have plenty of time hopefully. Thanks

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