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New home made brooder

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BarredR, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. BarredR

    BarredR Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 30, 2014
    Gold Bar WA
    Just wanted to share my new brooder I built. It's 6'long X 3'wide X 2'tall with fixed mounted porcelain light sockets and 250 watt infrared bulbs. Please feel free to comment.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    It is gorgeous!!!

    Just 2 little things that might worry me... cage over the bulbs to keep the chicks from burning themselves, cuz they will jump up and flap about as they get bigger...
    And dimmer switches for the bulbs so you can regulate the heat...
    Other than that, it is amazing... great job! :thumbsup
     
  3. BarredR

    BarredR Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 30, 2014
    Gold Bar WA
    Those are great points RavynFallen I appreciate your input. I was actually afraid they wouldn't get enough heat I live in Washington State temperatures are dropping already and its in the garage. My lamps are about 18" from the shavings. I will definitely address those issues i dont want burnt chicks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  4. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    :frow

    Was born and raised in Skagit County, lol... know your temps well... each week you want their temp to go down 5 degrees til they are at your outside temps and fully feathered... once feathered they will keep themselves warm just fine, they just need to stay dry and draft free...

    Only coldness concern would be the radiant cold from the garage floor... maybe get a thick rubber mat or even a chunk of styrofoam to go under the brooder...
     
  5. BarredR

    BarredR Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 30, 2014
    Gold Bar WA
    I already have a sheet of 1" Styrofoam insulation. :thumbsup
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    Perfect!! It is beautiful... wish I had made mine look that good, lol... :D
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nice size!
    How many chicks and long will they be in there?

    Heat lamps definitely a shade with 1/4" hardware cloth screen on it.
    Might only need one lamp, they need a cooler end of the brooder to regulate their body temp.

    It's amazing what temps a chick can handle if they have a place to warm up.
    Broody hatched some here last winter, temps were well below freezing.
     
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    x2 The brooder looks great, but the chicks absolutely need a cooler end. A broody hen doesn't heat the entire area for her chicks - they just scoot under her for a quick warm-up and then they're back to exploring, regardless of temperatures. You'll find that you won't have a way to keep their food and water cool without an unheated section as well. And the others are right, you do need some kind of guard around the bulb. They'll fly right into it. I raise my chicks here in Northern Wyoming with just a heating pad cave and they are outside in a pen within the run. I raised three groups of chicks out there without a single loss or sick baby, and our temps were in the teens and twenties with an occasional snowstorm and 60 mph winds just to keep it interesting! They thrived and did much better than the chicks I raised the traditional way last year.

    Smart thinking about the styrofoam under the brooder, too! Very nice setup! But be prepared - they'll outgrow it fast! [​IMG]
     
  9. BarredR

    BarredR Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 30, 2014
    Gold Bar WA
    The reason I did two heat lamps is because the brooder is so long. Im gone working about 12 hrs a day and was afraid a bulb might burn out. This way I had a back up heat source. There is 3'to 4'between lamps?
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Well, I can understand wanting a redundant/backup...but they do need a cool spot.


    Here's my notes on chick heat, hope something in there might help:
    They need to be pretty warm(~85-90F on the brooder floor right under the lamp and 10-20 degrees cooler at the other end of brooder) for the first day or two, especially if they have been shipped, until they get to eating, drinking and moving around well. But after that it's best to keep them as cool as possible for optimal feather growth and quicker integration to outside temps. A lot of chick illnesses are attributed to too warm of a brooder. I do think it's a good idea to use a thermometer on the floor of the brooder to check the temps, especially when new at brooding, later i still use it but more out of curiosity than need.

    The best indicator of heat levels is to watch their behavior:
    If they are huddled/piled up right under the lamp and cheeping very loudly, they are too cold.
    If they are spread out on the absolute edges of the brooder as far from the lamp as possible, panting and/or cheeping very loudly, they are too hot.
    If they sleep around the edge of the lamp calmly just next to each other and spend time running all around the brooder they are juuuust right!

    The lamp is best at one end of the brooder with food/water at the other cooler end of the brooder, so they can get away from the heat or be under it as needed. Wattage of 'heat' bulb depends on size of brooder and ambient temperature of room brooder is in. Regular incandescent bulbs can be used, you might not need a 'heat bulb'. You can get red colored incandescent bulbs at a reptile supply source. A dimmer extension cord is an excellent way to adjust the output of the bulb to change the heat without changing the height of the lamp.


    Or you could go with a heat plate, commercially made or DIY: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/pseudo-brooder-heater-plate
     
    1 person likes this.

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