How many times do you upgrade your brooder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Desirai, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. Desirai

    Desirai Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 12, 2011
    Okay so obviously chickens grow really really fast.
    If you get 1 day old chicks, how fast do they outgrow their brooder(s)?

    I've seen lots of brooders for tiny babies but not many for larger babies.
  2. DMRippy

    DMRippy Pallet Queen Premium Member

    May 18, 2011
    Well that all depends on how many chicks you have. I have two small brooders and had 15 chicks in one till they were 4-5 weeks. I had 26 in that same brooder and they had to be moved to a bigger brooder at 3 weeks and at 6 weeks they are in a 4 x 8 tractor. I now have 26 in one brooder again and will need to divide them into two brooders, cuz I don't have another bigger brooder.... YET! I think I need two more bigger brooders (4 x 4) cuz these guys will be inside a while since it is going to be winter soon.

    BTW from the tractor they will go to a growout pen till they are 16 weeks and can be put with the flock.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011
  3. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Never if you plan right. There is this thing called "Chicken Math" you need to look it up but it has to do with never having to few kids. LOL

    OK down to it. If you build a brooder box keep in mind that you will need 3 cuft per adult hen 1 1/2 cuft per adult bantam. So the brooder box seems to big so one out grows it fast bc when the kids grow up they need 3 cuft per adult chick.

    Next.... I have learned to do things now that are comfort to me. ie The coop is walk in if I was to re-do it. Typical 6X12' coop but I did not think I would be in it as much as I am cleaning, changing, visiting, moving and feeding and need to have the coop 5 to 6 ft high. I would build the brooder box with it being just under waste high instead of knee high and not always on the ground kneeling instead of bending over with it higher. Instead of having a dinky door to work through in the brooder I would make the entire side of the brooder be on hinges and throw back a simple barrel bolt and the entire side drop down and you have access from that side to work on the inside. Then do the very same thing on the other side. I would have measured poop trays and started using them right from the beginning. Put larger Vents on the brooder and put linoleum on the floor of the brooder for easy cleaning. There is my dream coop and brooder. Dont worry about the nests just make a free area and they will all go to the very same spot. 10 girls and they will sit in 2 of the 5 boxes. Hard to believe, just wait. LOL
  4. Sonic Pug

    Sonic Pug Chillin' With My Peeps

    I did it 3 times for 10 chicks. First they had a plastic tote for about a week. Then they had a 2 x 4 plywood brooder for a couple of weeks. Finally, they upgraded to a 4 x 4 plywood brooder before heading out to their big girl coop.
  5. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 2, 2011
    New Hampshire
    I had 2 brooders. I used a rubber maid largest I could find floor space wise, which was pefect for the first week after that it was clear I would need something larger- I planned large enough until transition to coop-

    here is a picture- we used scrap wood and left over hardware cloth from constrcution of the coop. We have 5 chicks and it is roughly 2' wide x 3' long and 2' tall. I also wanted the chicks to be able to see out the side, as I had read that makes them less agitated as they can see whats coming at them etc. this set up worked fine with wood pellets, when I added pine shavings, they kicked the shaving all ove the place, so if I ever use it again, I will put some plexiglass up the sides. Also this pic doesnt show the cover, but it is hinges so you can open eighter side, which was important as they tried to fly out every time it was open!!

  6. CupOJoe42

    CupOJoe42 CT Chicken Whisperer

    Apr 11, 2011
    I had 5 chicks in a large plastic crate, and when my 16 chicks were delivered, I moved everyone into my brooder. Still have 16 chickens in there waiting for my coop to be finished. It's amazing how many of us "put the chicks before the coop."

  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I believe the question is a very important one.

    8-10 small chicks, as day olds, could be brooded in a large appliance box for a while, but they do indeed out grow things quickly. The best way to brood, is right in a pen so that they can continue to grow in, right through to adulthood. I like to brood out in the barn, or at least in the garage. Never in the house.

    Imagination is helpful. I like to use this box sided utility trailer. By the time the chicks out grow it, they can go straight to their pen and I can hook the trailer up to the tractor and pull it to the garden or compost area and sweep it out.


    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  8. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2011
    Indiana, PA
    I start mine in a rubbermaid container then move into something bigger, usually 1 sq ft per chick until week 5 then out to the coop!

    Quote:So true, chicks before the coop! I have done it 2x, you'd think I would learn! I am sure my DH cringes when he hears "more babies" because he is thinking "Oh Crap, time to build another coop!"

    And Fred, what a great idea using the trailer. Easy set up and even better...Easy Cleanup!
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  9. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Fred's Hens has great setup. For me the answer to the question is, I don't. They brood in a pen in the coop until they can be integrated, which goes better because there is only chicken wire between them and the adults.
  10. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    My setup is alot like Fred's Hens. I brood mine right where they will grow out. Always outside also, no more chicks in the house for me.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by