Question Concerning Brooding Baby Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by pwog, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. pwog

    pwog Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2011
    I expect to have my first ever coop in 3 - 4 weeks. My thoughts are to buy 5 - 6 pullets locally after the coop arrives. It has occurred to me that pullets may not be available to me at that time. If that is the case, I will most likely purchase chicks from a hatchery. I have 3 indoor cats and I am concerned about brooding the chicks in the house safely. I was thinking of using an old aquarium (with a cover) to house the chicks - that way I can keep them in a container that the cats can't get into.

    Does anyone have experience with this situation or see any real drawbacks?

    Thanks!

    -Pwog
     
  2. Navi723

    Navi723 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2011
    Bethany, Oklahoma
    Hi there! I'm new, too, but sound like you. [​IMG] I have two indoor cats and just yesterday received my first order of chicks from McMurray Hatchery. 27 little fuzzy butts. So cute. Right now they're in a large box in the kitchen with a piece of heavy duty wire fencing over the top. Oddly the cats have shown little interest, but even if they wanted a midnight snack, they couldn't get through the fencing on top. I think as long as you make sure your brooder is cat proof, you should be fine.

    Good luck!
    Kim
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don't know where you are located or what your set-up will look like. I brood mine in the coop. To me, that solves a lot of problems, but you do need electricity to the coop to do this. Here is what mine looks like, but you can build one so many different ways or use so many different things that you are limited only by your imagination. All you need is something predator proof that you can keep a section of in the right temperature range and keep out drafts.

    [​IMG]

    To me, some of the drawbacks of brooding in the house are, the dust, the noise, the dust, possibly the smell, and the dust. Those are all easily resolved by brooding in the coop if you have electricity to the coop.

    Many people use aquariums and such. One of my really big concerns in a brooder is to keep the temperature right. Many of us do get away with violating this, especially when they get a little age on them, but the recommended temperatures are to start out in the range of 90 to 95 degrees and drop the temperature 5 degrees a week until they are fully feathered out, which should be around 4 to 5 weeks. Then they do not need supplemental heat. Too much heat is more of a danger than too little heat.

    I'd go crazy trying to keep a brooder the perfect temperture throughout. I set it up so the heat in one area is about the right temperature, but let the rest of the brooder cool off as much as it will. The far corners are often 20 to 30 degrees cooler than the recommended temperatures. I find that the chicks play all over the brooder, including the cooler areas, and come back to warm up when they want to. They really do not spend that much time in the heated area except when sleeping. This way they find their own comfort zone. If the brooder is too small, they cannot get away from the heat if it is too high. That can be dangerous to chicks.

    Good luck!
     

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