Newbie breeder box questions

Erdin

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 26, 2014
8
1
7
Hi...this site is filled w/a ton of info and there is so much info in many forums but i am having trouble kinda organizing this so here are my questions re brooder box size and lighting.
1) we will be getting eight chicks. How big of a box should I get/make?
2) we live in Southwest Colo and the box will be in a spare room. Temp in the room this time of year will not get below the high 30's and will only increase from there. Can we use an incandescent light/trouble light for heat in the box rather than high intensity?
3) how long should the chicks stay in the box before I move them to the coop? No heat in the coop.
4) What breed do you recommend for first timers? We prefer brown eggs. Thanks..
 

mortie

Songster
5 Years
Feb 16, 2014
2,249
413
201
The Frozen Tundra
Hi...this site is filled w/a ton of info and there is so much info in many forums but i am having trouble kinda organizing this so here are my questions re brooder box size and lighting.
1) we will be getting eight chicks. How big of a box should I get/make?
2) we live in Southwest Colo and the box will be in a spare room. Temp in the room this time of year will not get below the high 30's and will only increase from there. Can we use an incandescent light/trouble light for heat in the box rather than high intensity?
3) how long should the chicks stay in the box before I move them to the coop? No heat in the coop.
4) What breed do you recommend for first timers? We prefer brown eggs. Thanks..
1. As big as you can. To start, my 15 had a 3x3 box and outgrew that within 10 days. It happens quick.
2. Are you talking about inside your house? I'm surprised you get temps that low indoors. They say red bulbs are easier on the chicks and white bulbs may encourage them to peck at each other. I used a red bulb. You can get lower wattage heat lamps. I'd go with a red bulb or a ceramic heat emitter.
3. You will read the standard advice is to start at 95 degrees and go down 5 degrees per week until you get to the outdoor temp. I beg to differ. My best advice is to have your warm spot (there should be a warm area under the light and the rest of the brooder should be cooler. The idea is that they run around in cooler air and then come back to warm up) at 95 or so for maybe the first week and then instead of decreasing it in 5 degree increments every week, reduce it however much your chicks will tolerate every few days. This might mean a couple degrees one time and as much as 10 degrees the next. I had my chicks in my basement since it was February and it was still below zero here. I had my light hanging from the ceiling because I don't rely on those clamps. Every few days I would raise the lamp some. If the chicks get cold, you'll know. They'll spend all their time huddled under the lamp instead of running around and just returning to the warm spot for a nap. After 2 weeks, I already had them acclimated to room temp which was 65 degrees. Had I gone with the standard advice, I would still have been holding them at 85 degrees or so. You can acclimate them much faster than you think if you just pay attention to how they are doing. After that they went to the garage where it was about 40 and it only took me a few more days to have them acclimated to that temp. At 5 weeks they moved outside to their coop with no heat and they are fine and the temps at night at still in the 30's. If your chicks are acclimated properly, you can move them outside as soon as they are feathered. By that time it will be much warmer out than it is now anyway.
4. So many brown egg layers to chose from! You can decide what features are important to you (egg laying frequency, cold tolerance, etc) and go from there. Try this.

Good luck and have fun!
 

Nightbird1001

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 16, 2014
43
0
65
Alaska
Breed is easy get buckeyes (they are known for catching mice almost as well as a cat) and speckled Sussex (colorful, calm, full of personality, and have great camouflage) they both lay light to medium brown eggs but if you want dark brown eggs get a Maran or welsummer
 
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