Inexpensive brooders for multiple species?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by GabrielBane, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. GabrielBane

    GabrielBane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there folks!

    So I'll be doing a pretty sizable order of poultry soon, and well, it's not ideal to have so many babies running around at once, but, we want to be guaranteed getting all the producers we want for our first year of operations, so it looks like we'll need to brood approximately 40 chickens (6 being incredibly expensive Ayam Cemani, meaning, i'd love to give them the absolute best at a good start at life, since I do plan on breeding for SOP as well as for supplemental income~) , 12 Poults, A trio of geese, and between 6-12 Muscovy ducklings.
    I do plan on using a several brooder system (Possibly dividing them up by geese/ducks in one, and poults and chicks in another, with a third mini brooder for my Ayam's) and using half of our two car garage with over-head lamps and digital thermometers (We purchased heat lamps that work wirelessly with thermometers to guarantee a steady temp. Once they arrive, I'll share pics, they are a gift from our parents!) , however, in the past I've owned exhibition poultry, I've sort of rigged brooders out of deep kiddy pools, shavings, and a custom made "lid" that prevented the chicks for jumping out of the brooder. I'm concerned that the poults and goslings will out-grow this fairly quickly (We're ordering NNs, so the slow growth of the breed may be my saving grace here), what are your thoughts about designs / what set up works best for you when indoor brooding several species? I know it seems ambitious, but a degree in Poultry Sciences has gotta get me somewhere, right? [​IMG]

    ETA: I hope this is in the right place! Please feel free to move if otherwise! I originally posted in coop/run design, but got no feedback on the subject, figured I posted in the wrong spot!

    ETAA: I'm so sleepy I forgot to mention that we'd love to invest in something we could use permanently as brooders, but while we figure out what think we'd like best, we'd want something more "disposable/able to be re-purposed", and moderately priced, since it'd be for a initial brood or two~
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If you have the money, go with steel stock tanks. That's what I use and love them. They're large enough I can brood a good amount of chicks for several weeks, easy to hose out when I'm between batches, and not made of plastic so they don't melt [​IMG]. Bonus of, they're very multi-purpose. Plus, if you decide you don't like them, they hold their value quite well on the secondary market. A simple ad on CL will sell them for pretty close to retail price.

    If that's not your route, good old cardboard boxes work great. This time of year, pumpkin boxes are readily available. Disposable, easy to obtain, and you can cut doorways between them and link them together if you feel you need more space. Some waterproof type pad underneath, especially for the waterfowl, and you're good to go.
     
  3. GabrielBane

    GabrielBane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You know, considering we ARE getting some ship, I don't know why stock tanks didn't come to mind right off the bat! Thank you for the suggestion, I'll see if I can even find some on the secondary market myself (I don't mind some mileage, nothing a little bleach solution and goo-gone can't fix, eh? ;) )
     
  4. penny1960

    penny1960 la la land awaits Premium Member

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    @GabrielBane I actually have used a kiddie pool as one on the lip of it we drilled
    holes then zip tied chicken wire up about 2 feet high with a center T to support it a
    door cut in the top to clean and feed.
    you could offer the two with lower cost the kiddie pool
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  5. GabrielBane

    GabrielBane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very true, at some point in my FFA days I beeeeeeeeeeeeeelieve had a connection to bulk hard plastic kiddie pools, if I could reconnect with them, I could buy a pallet of them for relatively cheap and use them as a permanent system. Although I'm pretty sure dollar stores in Florida sell them, I'll have to check out the selection and make sure they don't melt under lamps. ;P
     
  6. GabrielBane

    GabrielBane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just thought of a possible absorbent solution for bedding; sugar sand? Has anyone ever posted their experiences with this as brooder bedding?? I figure at the very least, I could definitely use it to help minimize the mess from water fowl.
     
  7. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm not sure what "sugar sand" is. I think that might be a colloquial term rather than a technical one. If it is fine and dusty I would advice against it, but if it is like beach sand that could possibly work. Personally, with my geese, I only kept them indoors in a brooder for about a week and then they were outside during the day and only inside for the night. Waterfowl are just too messy to want to deal with a 24/7 brooder setup for weeks on end, in my opinion and experience. Of course, I usually move ALL of my birds outside by one week at the latest, though now we are getting into cooler months. In Florida, that probably isn't so much of an issue. You are probably still having something similar to our summer weather. If you're weather is conducive to it and you already have their permanent enclosures set up, I would advise you to consider outdoor brooding. I know people say poults are delicate but I moved mine outside at ten days and they are all big healthy and strong.
     

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