Is this brooder acceptable?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by nbenevento, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. nbenevento

    nbenevento Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is the first time I have ever hatched eggs or had chicks. I have read a ton of info about setting up a brooder but Friday is hatch day and I would like to get some opinions on my temporary brooder set up. I am expecting probably as many as 20 chicks to hatch this weekend. The tub is about 4' x 4', roughly. I tested the heat lamp and it seems to be at a perfect height to be at 99 degrees. After the first full week, they will be moved to a larger area on the floor in my office but I am not ready for that yet. In the picture, this is an unused shower / tub in the bathroom of my home office. I took one picture with the heat lamp off and one with it on. I am looking for feedback because I don't want to use this brooder set up if I am not thinking of something. PLEASE, any feedback would be great! Thanks.

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  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Some marbles in the water tray to prevent drowning would be good. You will also want a brick or the like to raise the waterer just as soon as they can reach, or the water will be full of pine shavings in no time. It will work for a week or so but is small for much bigger than day olds to week olds. You do know they will jump over that lip in a day or two, right? If you close the shower door to keep them in, it would be good to leave it cracked 1/2" or so for fresh air. Of course if you can close the bathroom door, they will enjoy exploring the bathroom....

    The height of the heat lamp really should be adjustable. That actually looks to me like it will be too warm. It's always recommended to double hang the light, anyway,so if that clamp fails, the light won't land on the pine shavings and set them on fire. I hope the light socket is ceramic rather than plastic.
     
  3. OCpeep

    OCpeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I might be concerned about is how slippery the floor of the shower is. Looks nice and warm though.
     
  4. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

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    99F is too much. You want to be at 93-95F the first week.
     
  5. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    99 is OK if that's only under the lamp and it's cool elsewhere. Mama hen's body runs around 100. The problems I see are that they'll fly out by 2-3 weeks and you're getting 99 with the lamp that high and diffused so it's probably overheating the space. Having a cool zone is just as important as having heat for their sleeping space. You're trying to replicate a hen with the light, not make a warming oven. The clamp doesn't look secure enough for me either. I'll keep my thoughts on using a space where a human will later bathe to myself.
     
  6. canesisters

    canesisters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it looks ok. Especially if it's just for a week or two.

    As far as the light goes - if it were mine, I'd get something HEAVY - like a stock pot full of sand - sit it on that little ledge and wire the light to it's handle. And, maybe use a smaller watt bulb for that small of a space.

    It wouldn't hurt to find something that could block off the opening too - like a piece of plywood.... or an old card table... anything that would raise that edge up a couple of feet.
     
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    You can also layer some paper towels on the shavings for first few days to week. Gives them firm footing and keeps the feed and water trays clean until they are bigger to be able to raise them on wood etc. to keep them above the pine shavings. In about a week they'll be jumping out of the shower stall no problem. I use a large plastic tote to brood in and need to put a screen over it after two week or they fly out of that.

    Always make sure your heat lamps are very, very secured.
     
  8. nbenevento

    nbenevento Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you everyone for the feedback! That is just what I needed. Just to update you, I have raised the light a bit and secured it much better. It is angled somewhat toward the side so that the whole tub is not getting a direct blast of heat. There is zero chance it can fall, short of an earthquake. The height is adjustable now as well. I am using a shower curtain pole and as a backup, I have it tied off like a pulley system. If the pole gives way, the light will still be suspended in the air.
    I am also using a piece of cardboard to make the side higher and I will be putting a box on the corner "seat" so they don't jump up there and get chilled being away from any of the heat.
    As far as using a bathtub, this tub is not operational and I have no plans of making it operational. It is in the bathroom connected to my home office.
    I put cleaned marbles in the water tray. I may try putting paper towels down under the water tray and a few inches around it to see if it at least minimizes the shavings in the water.

    on another note, this is day 19 and I can hear them chirping within the egg and through the incubator! A few of the eggs are even showing a little movement. I think this is freaking awesome and my wife is even more excited about it than I am! Thanks again for all the feedback!
     

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