Is an outdoor brooder OK?

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

  1. JoPop

    JoPop Out Of The Brooder

    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

    Aug 25, 2014
    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

    Apr 11, 2011
    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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