More newbie questions.... :-)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickie_momma, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. chickie_momma

    chickie_momma Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 20, 2008
    I have been debating on what to keep my chicks in when they get here. I ordered just 5 standard size babies.

    At first I thought an empty fish tank would do- but that seems much to small for them and all their gear...

    Someone had mentioned that they use one of those plastic kiddie pools...and I think that might work for me...

    Do you think they would jump out of the pool long before they go out to their coop???

    I live in PA- do yoiu think 8 weeks would be too early for them to start living outside?? We plan on using a sort of "wrap" for the outside of their pen to keep the cold breeze and snow out.... just wondering!!!

    Thanks!!!! [​IMG]
  2. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    You'll have to surround the pool in something. By 2-3 weeks they'll be out of it otherwise.

    I would have a solid 4 sided shelter. Both for the cold weather that far north and it goes a long way to keep them safe at night. Just covering a pen isn't going to work nearly as well. If you have a little coop then they should be fine outside at that age.
  3. Bi0sC0mp

    Bi0sC0mp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2008
  4. chickie_momma

    chickie_momma Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 20, 2008
    the plans we are building includes a house like structure and a 8x6 pen for them to run in when we are at work...does that sound big enough???
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Since you mentioned the wading pool brooder, here's a pic of the one we made:


    We used PVC with Ls and Ts to make the brooder guard and wrapped it in heavy duty plastic. Total cost, including the pool, was less than $20

    It worked just fine for a couple of weeks. Then some of the girls decided they liked the draft guard better than the brooder:


    They were two weeks old when that pic was taken. Most of the time they would jump back into the pool after they were bored with roosting, sometimes we had to pick em up and remind them where they lived.
    My chicks never lived in the house. They've been outside since day one and have done just fine; but of course mine were spring chicks, not early winter ones.
    As for your coop size, you need 4 sq. ft per standard breed chicken. Double that for your run, so your run size of 8X6 should be fine; especially if you allow them to be out of it when you're home. Consider getting bales of hay to stack around the outside of the coop to insulate it.
    Good luck to you.
  6. cherrychicken

    cherrychicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Quote:ooh, what kind of chicks?

    an empty fish tank wouldn't be a good idea b/c when you use the heat lamp it will heat up the glass and be far too hot for their little fluffy butts!

    the kiddie pool will need something around it to keep them in, but sounds cool

    i think eight weeks would be fine.

    Best of luck-

  7. chickie_momma

    chickie_momma Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 20, 2008
    we are doing 4 golden buffs and 1 ameracauna... any input as to their temperment/disposition?

    we were planning on insulating the inside of the actual coop bu the hay on the outside sounds like a nice extra precaution...

    i hope that will be sufficient cause i dont think we will have electric out there this winter for them.

    what do you guys use to sterilize the inside of the coop when you clean it out? we were thinking of having the bottom floor placed in two sections and having the middle seam be beveled at 45 degree angles so they fit together nice and having it locked from underneath outside so when i clean it- I just unlock it and the floor will open in half letting all the hay/shavings/whatever fall underneath to be scooped out....what do youthink??
  8. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    I've been using fish tanks for all my bantam chicks and they aren't too hot. In fact I had to drop my light directly onto the mesh for this batch because they were all huddling together. In cold northern states especially as it gets later in the year it definitely wouldn't be too warm. The problem is fish tanks are quite expensive for their size and most people don't have multiple 3-4' tanks sitting around their house like I do. The plastic storage containers would be a much cheaper option and work about the same.
  9. Riocotesei

    Riocotesei Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2008
    gritsar, what breed of chicks are those? They are so pretty!
  10. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    For a brooder, you can make out of plastic storage tubs, kiddie pool, cardbord box, laundry basket fish tank. I bought a small mesh wire brooder. and put it in my barn with a 60 watt bulb on top.I didn't introduce them to the coop until they were approx 6 weeks old.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2008

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