Northerners--where do you brood your winter chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Rare Feathers Farm, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    So I normally do not raise chicks until May or June--but I was presented with an opportunity for some AWESOME eggs yesterday (1 dozen) and I was up all night thinking about it...I have not spoken with hubby yet [​IMG] because he simply will not understand. That said, it's below zero here at night & maybe 10 degrees during the day. I usually brood my chicks in a spare bedroom for a few weeks & then I move them out to the coop. However, my coop is over-flowing (I have 15 birds for sale right now). I was thinking of doing the spare bedroom thing & then I have a large reptile cage that is screen on two sides, glass on the other, wood on the back & screened's about 4 ' square...that I could brood them in the house in until they are feathered....but I dunno how hubby will react....

    What do you guys do with your chicks??
  2. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    All of mine start out in brooders in my upstairs office. I put furnace filters over the tops of the brooders to keep the dust down...and it works very well. My stage 1 brooder is a tote, and I keep my chicks in it for the first 2 weeks. Then, they're moved to a much bigger brooder (2x2x8), still in my office, until they've completely feathered...between 4-6 weeks of age. Then they're moved out to my garage in a 5x5x3 watermelon box brooder for a couple of weeks until they're acclimated to the colder temps. They're then moved out to the coop where they're SLOWLY introduced to the rest of the flock. When I move them to the coop, I have another box brooder out there with a big hole cut in it, just big enough for the new chicks to fit through. The new chicks are able to get out of the brooder box and meet the older birds, but they're still able to run back into the box if they're getting picked on. Eventually, the pecking order is established and everyone resides together.

    Edited to say: these different stages of brooders have had chicks in them all winter. The only one that's empty right now is my garage brooder...but not for long. I've got chicks due to hatch next week, so everyone's gotta move up a stage to make room for the new babies! lol
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
    1 person likes this.
  3. johnmayersquare

    johnmayersquare Let's Talk About Chicks, Man!

    Nov 17, 2007
    Port Orchard, WA
    I'm so glad you asked this question because I've been wondering the same thing........I have chicks on my dining room table right now and the dust is just unbearable......but I know it is too early to put them outside in the coop with the big girls. I think I may do the same thing and try the furnace filter idea! I've been trying to think of a way to keep the dust down, and that may just do it! I know they are cramped in the tote now, so I am going to have to move them into a BIGGER brooder soon! Good Luck!
  4. maine chicks

    maine chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2008
    Furnace filter on top-What a great idea. I am still sweeping dust from keeping my chicks in the basement in a refridgerator box last May/June. We went from the tote by the woodstove to the basement with lights,to the garage (a clean appliance box), to the coop. I only had two old ladies and they hung out in the old shed until I forced everyong into the new coop. [​IMG] Furnace filter.
  5. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    The furnace filters are AMAZING at keeping the dust down. Granted, there'll be lots of dust on the inside of the brooder, so you'll need to clean it a little more often. But dust inside the brooder is WAY better than dust all over the house! Try'll be sooooooo happy! You'll be so happy in fact, you'll want to raise more babies in the house! [​IMG]

    Edited to say: I believe I'm the first person on BYC to post about using furnace filters. I finally found a way to contribute! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  6. annmarie

    annmarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2007
    I kept mine in a small, mostly tiled bathroom, with the door closed. That way the dust was contained in that room, and because it's mostly tiled it was a very easy wipedown to clean everything up. Plus they provided grand bathroom entertainment!
  7. Steve

    Steve Ye Olde Henhouse Builder

    I have one of those large dog crates set up in my furnace room in the basement. It is a perfect place, warm and comfortable for them and an area I can clean easily.
  8. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    We have a closet under our staircase I refer to as the Harry Potter closet.
    If you've seen the movies you would understand.

    It's very temp stable in there. I built a shelf that we have up to three
    guinea pig cage brooders and 3 incubators going at any time.
  9. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    Wow!! who would have thunk it?? I love the idea of furnace filters; which grade do you use. The fiberglass or the others. Jean
  10. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    Quote:I just use the cheapy blue ones...about a buck each. They actually last quite a while. I take the filters outside every few days and blow them off with the air compressor. Then back on the brooders they go...good as new. Be sure not to have the pressure on the compressor too high,'ll destroy the filters.

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