Newbie Brooder Questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 3KillerBs, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    North Carolina Sandhills
    I'm still hoping to find someone who will raise a few chicks for me along with her own, but in case I can't I have a few questions.

    Where in an ordinary, suburban ranch house do you put a brooder? We've got no basement and no garage -- just a carport, an unenclosed back porch, and an unheated shed which has electricity but very poor ventilation. We are bursting full of kids, teens, and cats and do not want odor and dust inside on top of everything else.

    How big a brooder is required for 4-8 chicks? I'm thinking that, just like the plants I start, it would be a good idea to get more than I want in case some don't make it.

    How long before they no longer need to be in the brooder with the heat lamp and can be in the tractor with no supplemental heat?

    Are there any issues involved in brooding mixed heavy breeds rather than all the same kind? In a perfect world I'd try Australorps, Delawares, and Light or Dark Brahmas to see what suited us best though I have no idea what sort of chicks I could get.

  2. Ultimately you will have to decide where to brood. A laundry room would work great for a week or two. You can utilize your shed but then you won't see them as much more than likely. Attention to them as chicks is important. Feed, water and warmth are all needed and they shouldn't go even a short time with any of these.

    Use as big a brooder as you can. Maybe a 3'X3' box will be about as small as I would go.

    A heat lamp is a great idea for at least 4 to 5 weeks in most places. If you put em out in a tractor at 4 weeks old they should do alright if it is warm enough. But to be on the safe side, string a heat lamp to your tractor for a couple more weeks.

    You can mix em. Won't hurt a thing.
    1 person likes this.
  3. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Crowing

    Feb 12, 2013
    Eastern WA
    chick charm I like your coop here is mine.[​IMG]
  4. WickeeChickee

    WickeeChickee Songster

    Feb 28, 2013
    Madisonville, LA
    We are in the same situation with no obvious place to put a brooder. If you have the coop built you can basically enclose them there and use the heat lamp (carefully) and turn the coop into the brooder temporarily. Or, you can do what we ultimately did, which was put 6 chicks in an 80 gallon aquarium/stand in the living room! Works out well as the tall, solid sides contain the dust. Good luck!

    Heres our brooder setup, and a curious chick observing us in the living room!


  5. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Songster

    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    I think it is possible to find someone to help you raise your chicks. Most hatcheries have a minimum order number and that number may be much more than you really want or need. If you can find someone who only wants 3-5 new chicks, but is willing to combine an order to include your birds, and you pay the cost of your birds plus the proportional cost of the shipping, feed and bedding, many backyard enthusiasts will probably be willing to help. You just have to figure out how best to ask in your area. Craigs list might work.

  6. chickpea7

    chickpea7 Hatching

    Mar 22, 2013
    I'm a newbie too. I ordered my first babies and will get here next week. I had to order 15 for the minimum and I hope I don't lose any...but I didn't want that many either. I called the hatchery and this is what they told me. The brooder can be out in your garage but their area/box needs to be 95 degrees...every week lower temp by 5 degrees. When they have feathers and it is 50-60 degrees outside you can start introducing them to their coop.
  7. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    North Carolina Sandhills
    Thank you for the thoughts.

    DH has now decided that we should have a non-mobile coop and run. As is the family habit, he over-engineers EVERYTHING, and is convinced that a tractor with 32-40 square feet of run can only be too heavy for me to move without him and too rigid to flex over the numerous tree roots in the backyard.

    So electric in the coop could be a backup option as of a breakfast discussion this morning. [​IMG]

    I'd still rather find someone to raise some chicks for me though since buying the chick-sized equipment for one use for a handful of chicks doesn't seem like a wise investment at the moment.

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