Outdoor Brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Gyoza, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. Gyoza

    Gyoza Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 29, 2011
    Hi,

    I have 54 RIR that're 4 weeks old. They are creating a big mess in the house. I'm thinking of moving them outdoor. But my chicken coop is not yet built (wet weather). So I'm thinking of building an intermediate brooder that'll last till Feb when weather improves.
    Temperature here fluctuate between 25F to 40F. Anyone here built an outdoor brooder before that's suitable for cold weather?

    Thank you
     
  2. jtr

    jtr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i wouldn't take the chance unless what you have is completly enclosed and has a heat lamp in it. personly if it were me i wouldn't move them unless i had to
     
  3. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

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    Hi [​IMG]
    Four weeks does seem a little young to me, my chicks only moved outside from about 6+ weeks, and we live in Australia where it's hot too! [​IMG]
    I understand about the mess. Is it possible to put newspaper down below their brooder? It was a nightmare when we had chicks indoors and hadn't got round to taking out the carpet yet. [​IMG]
    Good luck!
     
  4. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    ray's two cents :

    Hi [​IMG]
    Four weeks does seem a little young to me, my chicks only moved outside from about 6+ weeks, and we live in Australia where it's hot too! [​IMG]
    I understand about the mess. Is it possible to put newspaper down below their brooder? It was a nightmare when we had chicks indoors and hadn't got round to taking out the carpet yet. [​IMG]
    Good luck!

    The last one's we put outside were only 4 weeks old, and that week it was in the 20's at night a few times. We have them in our original small coop (built it at the beginning before we knew what we were doing). The picture is below. The coop section goes under the stairs. We placed a piece of plywood between the run section and coop section, and hung a 90 watt red bulb in there. As you can see, the roof is pretty close to the ground and even on cold nights it kept a nice toasty spot for them. After another week of that, we started weaning them off the light, and at 6 weeks are fine at night. We have 8 inside that are a little over 2 weeks old, and they'll be moved outside around New Year's eve to make room for the new ones (hatch crazy we are). I have zero fear, though I might just put a second light out there in case the first one goes. It's good to weather harden your chickens. They don't need to be sitting inside at 85 degrees until fully feathered.

    If you provide a closed environment, of course with ventilation, and a heating lamp, they'll be fine. When it gets cold out, they'll get under that lamp and stay nice and warm. Just install the light first and put a thermometer out there, and make sure it's over 70 degrees at night.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. kjxoxo1

    kjxoxo1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 16, 2011
    I completely understand!!! I was where you are now last weekend!!! I have about 65 chicks/guineas and yes they were messing up the house! I kicked them out! My house was stinking, dusty, the whole 9 yards....they were flying everywhere!! I put them in a goop with the run and put a brooder light on them.... They went into the run yesterday and I couldn't get them back nice the coop.... I checked on them this morning and they were up eating!!! The temps yesterday evening here was 40 and I'm sure it got down to at least 35.... I have about 6 inches deep pine shavings in the coop and about 3-4 piles in the run...... That's what I did as I couldn't take them in the house anymore!
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I would worry about "temporary" housing being vulnerable to predators. You can easily make it warm enough.
    I've brooded birds that age down to the teens in an unheated, uninsulated building.
    I never keep them in the house. I wouldn't like it for more than a couple days and my wife would slit my throat in my sleep.
    Chicks, given a warm spot and plenty of access to cool zones will be able to handle cool temps sooner and feather out better.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    St. Louis, MO
    If you watch chicks with a broody, they really don't spend much time under her, even in cold weather.
     
  8. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wowee - 54 chicks is a LOT to be raising in your house. I usually raise about 6-10 at a time and have to chuck them out by 3-4 weeks cause that's as long as I can stand the stink and the dust that they kick up. If they're mostly feathered, they should be okay even with quite low temps. If you put their heater/lamp out in the brooder with them and make sure there aren't any bad drafts, they should be absolutely fine.

    I have 6 chicks in an outdoor shed, with a chick heater on the floor. By choice, they've ignored the heater and been roosting up on the perch for the last month, even when our temps got down below freezing and we had 6" of snow. They've been outside since they were 3 weeks old and they've been fine.
     
  9. ozark_chickies

    ozark_chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have one, with an insulated sleep box, attached to a small run. It is sort of a mini coop, that we could (but haven't) put a heat lamp in.. You would have to build something pretty big to keep that many chicks in, for that long. I would go ahead and build the coop and put a heat lamp in it till they get used to being outside.

    edit for spelling
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
  10. Gyoza

    Gyoza Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 29, 2011
    Thank you everyone for the help. Seeing some of you having your little chicks outside in the low 20 even teens I'm not too worried now.
    The little ones are feathering out nicely only 5~6 still got chick hair on their back.
    I have a 250 watt heat lamp I'll build a box a test out what the temp would be like first.
     

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