New box for two week old chicks!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JonieV, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. JonieV

    JonieV New Egg

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    Dec 29, 2013
    Clinton, Tn
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    Ok. Here are my 2 week old Reds, Barred, and Sex-Link chicks. As you can see they are crowded so my husband brought home this box (36" x 22.5") from work. I think it will do until I can get them outside which I hope to do by the end of the month or early April. My question is how many ventilation holes does he need to drill and how big should they be. My thought is to cut out a large section of the top, which is shown propped against the box, and attach chicken wire to it so that the heat light can of course be used. I also have a concern of how to do routine poop management while using this box...it's not as easy to carry this wooden box outside! LOL

    I would love any advice to help us make this an efficient and healthy set up for my babies! :)

    Thanks,
    Jonie
     
  2. GermanChick

    GermanChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2010
    NW Missouri
    I have a wooden brooder box, kinda like yours. mine is 3ft by 6 ft. I don't have any ventilation holes in the side but the top is just a frame with hardwire cloth. I put the heat lamp right on top of the wire. I got my new chicks today and since it is so bitter cold I just put a big piece of wood over half of the top to keep more heat in.
    For litter change I just put the chicks in a temporary cardboard box or whatever you have handy and use a big metal dustpan to scoop up the pine shavings.

    Since your chicks are already two weeks old I would recommend to make the whole top wire.
     
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Same here. My husband made a wood framed wire top for my wooden brooder box so the top is completely open.

    As for cleaning it, I just line the bottom with newspaper and top that with pine shavings. When I want to do a complete cleanout I just roll up the newspaper and carry it out.

    Just as an aside....I don't know that your birds are going to make it even in their new box for another month. They are going to be pretty good size by then. You'll either need a larger brooder or some other way to let them out for exercise each day. I take mine out in a pen for a few hours a day at about 3 weeks of age but where I live we usually have nice warm weather when I'm raising chicks. But even an exercise pen in the garage would work. You just don't want them getting stressed and aggravated and have them start pecking each other.
     
  4. JonieV

    JonieV New Egg

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    Dec 29, 2013
    Clinton, Tn
    I'm changing the litter twice a week cause we have the box in my living room right now! Well, since we homeschool the living room is actually the schoolroom...sort of Life Science in progress!! My husband wasn't wanting to make that big of a opening in the top but I think it would be best. They would end up getting too hot. I hadn't thought about taking them into the garage to play! The back porch is closed in with windows. Since it is warming up a little I'm more comfortable putting them out there within the next week or so. It doesn't get below 45 on the porch and with the heat light they should be fine. Thanks for you advice!
     
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Sounds perfect actually. They'll be fine going for a little run on the porch with a heat lamp. I do agree with leaving the top of the brooder box mostly open, it's best to have plenty of ventilation and natural light. Have fun with your birds, I think raising and caring for chicks/chickens is a great experience for kids!
     
  6. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    I use a horse feed scoop for all of my bedding cleaning duties. Works great.
     
  7. UrbanFarming

    UrbanFarming Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 12, 2013
    Santa Cruz, CA
    I'm in a similar situation. How big should a box be for 4 two-week olds?
     
  8. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    2 square feet per bird should hold them til they are ready to go outside.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. UrbanFarming

    UrbanFarming Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 12, 2013
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Thank you! I'll start working on a bigger brooder with that in mind.
     

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