how long do they stay in brooder?


8 Years
Sep 2, 2011
New Hampshire
so we have taken the plunge, ordered chicks and borrowing a brooder from a friend. Right now the plan is to keep the brooder in the basement-it's warm, heated and half finished, chicks will go in the unfinished part. I am wondering how long we will be able to keep them in the brooder, do they get big really quick? what about smells, they will be in my husbands work bench area and he will not be happy if they are really stinky!

I am guessing once the coop is built we can move the brooder to the coop is this true? We have an electrical source nearby.
How long they can stay in the brooder depends on how big it is and how many chicks you are putting in there. Yes, they do grow very quickly! I have a 4 x 2 foot brooder box and my 8 standard chicks stayed in there until they were 5 weeks old. And that was too long! They were really ready to be out of there before that.

The brooder box should be kept clean and dry with the result being very little or no smell. I keep my chicks on pine shavings and I sprinkle a fresh layer on each day. Once a week I remove all bedding and start over with fresh. Never had a smell problem at all.
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thank you, I havent seen the brooder yet, but from the description I was given sounds about the size of yours, and I have 5 chicks coming.

Just have to get hubby moving on the coop. Glad to hear odors shouldnt be a problem.
X2 here, with 5 you should be fine. I would suggest get moving on coop. they will b ready b4 u know it. That what i found out
I had 4 in the same 4x2 brooder and at 5 weeks they went into coop
They do smell some. I have 10 chicks in a 6 x 4 foot brooder and change everything twice a week. There is some smell, but not bad to me. Hubby, who hates my new hobby, thinks they really smell. I probably don't need to change all bedding twice a week but I'm trying to prove him wrong.
I understand....I am not so sensitive to the odors but others in the family are so I am pre-warning everyone trying to avoid having to listen to complaints

I dont know I am looking at this brooder and it seems they would be too tall for it after just a couple weeks. it's probably 2' x 4' but it isnt very tall.
Mine will be 5 weeks this coming weekend. They grow so fast!!!! Make sure you have a top. I had 2, one day old babies in a sep brooder with no top
within the week I found them perched on the top of the brooder which was 24 inches high

My 5 weeks old will be moving this weekend. I too change the shavings once a week while adding fresh everyday:lol:. They are messy and HUNGERY
Hmmm. I never notice any smell till they're about 3 weeks old, then after that I never notice anything BUT the smell till they're out of the house. And it's definitely not because of a lack of cleaning - I can tip out all the old shavings and refill the box with fresh ones, and ten minutes later I can smell chick poop again. I don't really mind it too much, but my boyfriend absolutely frickin' hates it and whines non stop till I move them outside......
Everything depends on your weather.

Your question is really too general to be answered in a helpful way.

For example,
When I hatch in Jan. they stay in the brooder until fully feathered. In May they stay about 3 weeks, because in South Carolina our temps are generally quite hot by then.

The weather is already beginning to cool. They need good feathering fast. If you live in upper-MI or some God-forsaken place like that then you could have frost in the next 6 weeks. If you keep them under the lights too long they won't have time to get acclimated.

Give me some more information and I'll be glad to help you out.
I live in a COLD climate, NH so I am concerned about the transition to outdoors. They are due to arrive the week of Sept 26th, so by the time they go out our average low temp will be around 30* with a day time temp of about 50*

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