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Indoor vs. Outdoor brooders

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BackyardAR, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. BackyardAR

    BackyardAR In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2010
    In getting ready for my first chicks I noticed that most, if not all, of the literature talks only about indoor brooders. While I can see the benefit of it(stable surrounding temps), it definitely comes with it's negative points as well. I have noticed a time or two where members here mention their outdoor brooders, but wondered if those were only used for older chicks. I definitely see that the vast majority(if not 100%) do brood their new chicks indoors.

    I'm currently constructing a brooder that will hold about 30 chicks. It's rather heavy duty, made of left over lumber, but not so bad I can't move it from indoors to outdoors when I want. If I use a thermostat on the heatsource, is there really any kind of problem keeping them outdoors? I wouldn't plan on brooding chicks during the winter months, though early spring can have some chilly nights and I would likely have it indoors in those instances.

    Don't really have a question I don't guess.... just wondering if brooding new chicks outdoors is doable.
  2. CowboyColby

    CowboyColby In the Brooder

    Jun 17, 2010
    I brooded ( is that a word?) mine outside and have many more coming that will also be outside. By outisde I mean in a 3 sided coop with chicken wire windows/front. They are safe from anything getting in and they can't get out. After about two weeks they are jumping out of the brooder so I make sure to have food and water out of the brooder also. Have had good luck brooding chicks "outside" They are more subject to temp change but with the heat lamp and draft shield they seem to do just fine. How outside are you talking?
  3. BackyardAR

    BackyardAR In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2010
    My brooder is basically a plywood box with a slanted roof/lid. Inside is a separate hardware cloth "lid" so that if it's hot I can just leave the top open and that will keep them in the brooder. There will be space or vents at the top to allow for air exchange. Once it's finished, or least roughed out, I will post a pic.
  4. cbbantams

    cbbantams Songster

    May 11, 2009
    My brooders are 4x4 square and are 12in tall.I have them inside my barn and have never had a problem.I usually start hatching in December or January and only use 100 watt bulbs that time of year and they work great.
  5. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    with a thermostat , as long as the heating unit is high enought wattage to bring outside temp. up to the 90s would be fine. That is why the foam incubator have to be inside.

    If the brooder get to cold, chick will pile up and killed ones on bottom.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  6. CalebtheChicken

    CalebtheChicken Songster

    Jun 5, 2010
    Jeremiah, Ky.
    I raised all 28 of my chicks in the coop and I haven't lost one.
    But there are less risks with indoor brooding, I see the choice as a personal one.
  7. GAGE

    GAGE Songster

    May 22, 2010
    I have 19 which range from 2 weeks to 4 weeks in an XL plastic dog crate that is currently sitting in our mud room and just as soon as the hardware cloth is covering the windows and the door gets installed, they are heading to the 8x8 coop.
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Both my adult flock and the chicks I have now have been brooder outside only, on our screened porch. With a draft guard and protection from rain, they have done just great.
    The last batch (my adult birds) were brooded in April 2007, so they had a heat lamp until age 5 1/2 weeks. With these little ones, their heat lamp went off during the daytime at 2 weeks and off completely, day and night, at 2 1/2 weeks.
    As long as you can maintain the temps. necessary for the chicks based on their age, i.e., 90 to 95 degrees the first week, decreasing by 5 degrees a week until such time they are down to 70 degrees, at which point they should no longer require heat, protect them from drafts and predators, it doesn't matter where you brood them IMO.
    I know where Malvern is and I don't think your temps. are that far off of ours. If you had chicks right now, like I do, you'd be worrying about keeping them cool. We have to take the humidity into factor, too. My 4 week old chicks have a fan on them right now. If their coop was ready, they'd be in it and going outside during the day.
  9. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    I have an indoor brooder and an outdoor brooder coop. The indoor brooder is just a sturdy plywood box with room to attach a lamp.

    Before I bought ducklings my husband built a fully insulated 4x4 foot coop to brood them in. Ducklings, in my opinion, were too messy to brood indoors, especially in a wooden brooder. There's a pic of the brooder coop on my BYC page.

    Chicks weren't too messy or stinky to brood indoors for the first few weeks. After that, they were moved to the big coop with a lamp inside to provide heat at night.

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