New chicks coming 1/11. Brooding outside

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Traceaskew, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. Traceaskew

    Traceaskew Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi there. I read up on Blooie's MHP brooding method and I'm definitely going to go that route. I will have 10 chicks, and will be brooding in my garage. There's no heat in there but it never really gets below 35 or 40. On the absolute coldest days. I plan to have them in there from day one. I really don't want them in the house if I can avoid it. I have a very large dog crate big enough for a big lab or shepherd. Can I use that with the heating pad cave inside? Is it too big to start out with? When can they go to the coop in the brooder?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    They can probably go in the coop right away. It likely isn't any colder than the garage. As long as you have a warm enough spot, the space should be large so they can get to a cool space. That's just like a mother hen. She doesn't warm all ambient air. She provides a hot spot where they can warm up but most of the day they are running around in the cold.
     
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  3. AuntNomi

    AuntNomi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do mine in the coop. They have an area that is always warm, they can easily get to it when needed. They have done well.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Please let us know where you are located. But assuming you live in a moderate climate zone, I would skip brooding in the garage and set up the heating pad system right in your coop.

    I brooded two batches of chicks this past year right in my run using the heating pad system. Not the coop, but out in the enclosed run. My babies had a large safe pen from day one in which to grow and develop. The temps for the first batch ranged from 30s F at night to the 50s F during the day. They did splendidly.

    Are these ten chicks going to be the start of your flock or do you have adult chickens, too? Regardless, you can still brood in your coop. The advantage of brooding in the coop is that the chicks will grow up there and will be able to avoid the stress of transitioning from the garage to the coop later. It will make life so much easier as they develop. I had to transition my chicks from the run to the coop when they were five weeks old. I didn't brood in there because the coop is much too small.

    So, brood the chicks where they will be living and be done with it.
     
  5. Traceaskew

    Traceaskew Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2015
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    Thank your your reply! I live in Maryland. Our winters are kind of all over the place. Sometimes they're snowy and cold and then you have years like this one, where its 65 in Dec! Either way, we don't have many nights below 25 or so and average coldest days are just at or below freezing. Oh I almost forgot, these are my first chickens!
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
  6. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Then you have every reason to brood in your coop. Go for it!
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    My brooder in the coop is 3’ x 6’. I’ve put chicks in there straight from the brooder when the outside temperature was below freezing. I know how you sometimes read about keeping the young chicks near the heat the first few days but I don’t bother. Mine are extremely good about self-regulating heat from the start. I would not worry about that dog crate being too big.

    I use a couple of heat lamps instead of the heating pad tunnel but that is just a detail. The goal is to keep one area warm enough and let the rest cool off enough so they can self-regulate. Sometimes there is ice in the far end of my brooder but the other end stays toasty.

    This photo was taken during a warmer period so I just had a draft guard around the bottom. In really cold weather it is wrapped a lot more.

    [​IMG]
     

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