Outside Brooder Box Venting?

Buttercup Chillin

11 Years
Oct 27, 2008
SouthEast TX
So, DH is making me a new Brooder Box for outside. I can't get the 2 x 5 growout pwn to hold temperatures, so great in summer but not winter as a brooder.

So he is making all wood sides 2W x 3L x 2H, 1/4" wire floor, 1/2" wire top that slips on/off, but with split wood top that the lights will have holes cut out to fit over the wire on box. Or he can put them inside? So that during the day when its nice I can prop open one of the tops for more air and natural light. He'll build them a screen room later.

My question with the tops down, Light(s) on the wire floor is the only air way. Is this OK? Is it enough air? Or should he put vents in the little front doors?

I have looked at the Brooder thread in the Chicken section (over a hundred pages). Not many outdoor winter brooders. Most show wire on doors and lots of other wire that are obviously kept in a building of some kind. A few don't show other venting but no one edited back to let people know how their brooder worked out. My 2 x 5 is pretty open that I tried to close up, but we have made it more open during the summer and I just can't keep the heat up over 70 now. Those babies are starting to stink in here, I am ready for them to be outside.
How old are the chicks you are going to put outside? An open bottom cage will not work as a brooder for very young chicks when it is cold, you just can't keep the temperature up. I have a solid bottom under the light , with bedding, to keep in the heat. Or you could skirt the cage, but I still have my doubts about its effectiveness for really good warmth.
I plan on skirting it with tarp or canvas for winter if need be. For that matter the whole area where I keep the Coturnix Quail.
It has a solid wood pull out tray for droppings several inches below wire floor.
I can rubber mat it if I need to to help get temps up, when I first put them in. But I doubt that will be necessary.
With this set up keeping the heat up to 85 at night should not be a problem.
But to me it seems pretty closed up and I wonder about their air.

That's why I was wondering if the floor wire is enough ventilation. Never had one this closed up before.
All my pens and hen house, duck house are pretty open. The old grow out pen had a box house on one side, but we removed most of it because of the extreme heat this summer. That's why I can't get the temp. up.
For the other houses I just cover screening with tarp or burlap window curtains in the winter. I have a brooder house for chicken chicks that is closed up except for wire at 2 doors and eves. Which I cover with burlap curtains in the winter and the Pink Styrofoam sheeting when it is going to be below 40 degrees.

I keep the chicks in the house until they are 10 days old. By then they are eating enough that they start to smell and cause me breathing problems. I start them out at 95degrees and lower temp 1 degree every day. By 10 days they are at 85, healthy and ready for more room and ready to move out. So this is for chicks say from 1-4 weeks old. By the way the ones that need to go out now are at 85 degrees and pretty feathered out already at just over 1.5-2 weeks old.

Normal temp at night in winter is 38-45. Light freezes in mornings for a few hours, at times. That said, last year it froze for 3 days straight but that should not happen again for another 12-15 years.
Not 10 weeks. 10 days.
I put them outside at 10 days old. Here in the south I can do that most times of the year. But in Winter, I need more of a closed brooder box for them to keep them warm until they are fully feathered out.

They are fully feathered by 4 weeks, and are mature at 6 weeks, and keep growing until around 12 weeks. Some say they keep growing beyond 12 weeks, but I haven't seen that.
Brooder Boxes Are A Pain In The Donky!
They Can Be Challenging To Get Right, Difficult To Keep Temperature In And Impossible To Saniize.

I Use The Sterilite Totes And They Work Like A Charm. Way Easier To Keep Warmth In, Will Not Let The Lil Boogers Get Wet In Windy Rainy Days, Can Be Sterilized Easily And Cleaned Easily. And Double As Temporary Housing For Injured Birds Or Birds During Moving Times, Etc. Much Faster And Cheaper To Build Too!
JJMR I use the totes inside too. But I really need to move them out early because of my COPD. DH don't want them in his garage and he is using glues and what not in there all the time, wouldn't be good for the birds either. Besides the breeders, out in back of the garage, hear him in there and they are starting to sound like saws or drills, zzzzzz, zzzzzz, I am begining to notice they mimick him.

So anyway he made me the brooder box. I am just wondering about the ventilation?

Guess I'll have him put screen in the two little doors on the front with some wood to slide down over it when its real cold at night. I don't plan on hatching all winter, but then I didn't plan on the hatch I have going on now either. So who knows.

And my neighbor came over today. Says what you got out there? As if he didn't know. Cause he knows full well what's out there, seeing he has enjoyed them here before. I took it for the hint that it was and gave him a little bag of quail. But I think I might need to grow out some extras, more than I was thinking.

I know its going to be a pain. But I got me a Pressure Washer to disinfect that sucker with when the time comes. That's what I use on the chicken Brooder House. Never had illness in that house.
I Understand, But I Use The Totes Both Inside And Out. They Start Here In The House, At About Day 5 Or 6 They Go Out To The Brooder Room In The Barn, They Stay There Until I Am Ready To Move Them Into Outdoor Pens. I Have A Brooder Room In The Barn With A 3 Tier Shelf System On 2 1/2 Walls... Lotsa Outlets, And Everything For Brooding Including All Brooder Bins Cleaned And Ready For Assembly, A Stack Of Newspaper About 4 Ft High, Towels, A Cabinet 1/2 Full Of Fresh Light Bulbs And A Couple Dozen Light Assemblies Ready For Use, Usually A Case Or So Of Bleach, Even Have An Old Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink And Fawcet Out There That Works--- So All My Stuff Is There Closeby. Plus The Barn Has A Ventilation System Built In So During The Dog Days I Can Turn It On And Keep The Lil Fuzz Ballz From Overheating.... Yep Full Service Hatchery And Brooder Shop Out There... So Once They Are About 4-7 Days Old, Out They Go!
Well, I don't have a barn. Got a shed but it does not have electric. I have the back of the garage and its roofed, no side walls. But I am going to tarp or canvas for walls for winter. I have electric there.

Only out building I could put them in is the brooder house. Right now I have 14-15 week adolescent chicks in there that will move at 16 weeks to the hen house or the freezer. Actually, a few Roos will be going to freezer camp in the morning. I will be cleaning it and sterilizing it then for end of season. If I have to, I can put the brooder box inside the brooder house or put the totes inside the brooder house. What I will do if we get a prolonged freeze like last year. But I will be needing it in February/March for chicken chicks. So that is only a temp solution. That's why he made the brooder box.

Besides he already made the brooder box, I just need to refine it. Actually he is painting it now. Should be ready tomorrow and a good thing, because I am already starting to cough. These babies have been in here to long already.

I haven't tried yet, but it just might be big enough to put 2 of the big totes inside of it.

But I still have the ventilation question. Actually, if I have him cut the holes a little bigger in the top for the lights, they will have ventilation there. Under that is the 1/2 x 1/2 wire top that fits over the whole pen, so they are still protected. That should be enough ventilation and better air flow.

We'll put the lights on top instead of inside. Not like I am dealing with freezing weather all winter. Coarse then I would have a barn or a bigger shed with electric.

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