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Is an outdoor brooder OK?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JoPop, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. JoPop

    JoPop Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 25, 2015
    San Pedro, Belize
    I'm anxiously waiting for my chicks to hatch (only on day 3)! My brooder is a decent sized area in the corner of our screened-in porch that is about 6' by 4'. It has a small dogcrate, a sandy area, and the rest is wood shavings. Daytime temps here are around 83 in the day and 76 at night, though it can be pretty windy. I figure a brooder set-up like this will be nice and big for them to grow into until they are integrated with the flock.

    Question is: Do you think I should have a smaller, indoor set-up to start them out in for week one? Even with a heat lamp, the porch brooder is pretty exposed to the elements -- two of the walls are just screens. Are they too sensitive for an environment like this right off the bat?

    Thanks for any tips! :)
     
  2. Bailey1204

    Bailey1204 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2014
    Wisconsin
    I recommend having the brooder indoors for at least the first 2 weeks for ducks and the first 4 or 5 weeks for chickens. Chickens don't grow waterproof feathers like ducks do and are more sensitive to that kind of thing. They also will need heat longer, but I like your thinking. But wit until they are 4-5 weeks old to put the brooder outside.
     
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    I would just put them in the outdoor brooder, however, I would cover the screened sides over with a chicken feed or dog food bag to cut drafts.
    I brood outside all year round because I can't stand the dust and mess they make in the house. Our high today is 42F, and we're supposed to have a low of 16. It was about the same yesterday, and my chicks are fine under their heat lamp ;)
     

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