Question on Plastic Tub Brooder

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Sweetp528, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. Sweetp528

    Sweetp528 New Egg

    Apr 20, 2009
    We are getting 6 chicks on Wed. We have a Rubbermaid 45 gal tub that we converted to a brooder. We cut out center top of lid and put in wire. This gives a lid to the coop. We purchased a heat lamp.. 250 watt / infarred lamp. Question: Do we need ventilation in the sides? Will the lamp get too hot for the Rubbermaid tub? Should lamp remain on top of lid or inside the tub?
  2. One Acre Wonder Farm

    One Acre Wonder Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2009
    Not sure about the ventilation in the sides. I have chicks in a rubbermaid now, with no lid, and it seems they have plenty of fresh air. I am also running a 250w red heat lamp. Its currently about 18", maybe 2 feet above the top of the brooder (probably about 3' from the bottom of the brooder) and the thermometer in my brooder is reading 90 degrees (the temperature of the room is 70 deg). You'll probably have to figure out a way to control how much heat the brooder gets, either by moving the lamp or by putting it on a dimmer switch. I'm guessing that if the lamp is inside or on top of the tub it will be too warm in there. Hope that helps...
  3. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    Northern California
    I'm using a plastic tub right now. It's great, keeps the chicks and their mess INSIDE the brooder. lol I drilled 22 3/8 inch holes around the perimeter of the tub and on the lid. You want some cross ventilation. I put them all at the top. I don't think you can put too many holes.
  4. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    We just put a screen over the top of ours and put the light on the top of the screen at just one end so they can get away from it if it gets too warm. They're doing very well with this set up.
  5. SilkieBaby

    SilkieBaby Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 15, 2009
    Bakersville, NC
    I am using a rubbermaid tub for my Silkies and Brahmas right now and it is working really well. I am also using a 250w red heat lamp with no lid on the tub. I had to play around with the height of the light to get the temp adjusted just right.
  6. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    I used the same thing and just drilled a couple holes in each side for ventilation. worked well. Good idea on the lid, I ended up doing it that way on the fix. I also had a 2x2x4 attached to the side because I found I had to move the lamp up and down to get the right temp and it was quite a ways up.
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Y'all might want to try lower wattage bulbs. Unless this is in a 40s F basement, you are really very unlikely to need that wattage. I'm currently running a 175w about 18" above the litter in a 2.5x3' topless brooder, in a basement that is 52 F. (Only 10 chicks in there but the pool of warmth would be big enough for 25+)

    There are three advantages to a lower wattage bulb. 1) less chance of fire (from melting the tub or any other method). 2) lower electric bills. And 3) creates a smaller 'pool' of heat, which in a smallish brooder you kind of *need* so that there can be too-warm and too-cool areas to let the chicks regulate their temperature by where they hang out.

    You can get floodlight bulbs at 100, 125 and 175w, either red or clear if you look at enough stores; they work perfectly well as brooder lamps.

    Good luck, have fun,


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