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QUESTIONS ABOUT WINTER CHICK RAISING IN MINNESOTA

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ALPHAROOST, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. ALPHAROOST

    ALPHAROOST New Egg

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    AS MOST ALREADY KNOW, WE HERE IN MN. CAN GET SOME TERRIBLY COLD WINTERS. I HAVE ORDERED 50 GOLD STAR CHICKS THAT I AM DUE TO PICK UP OCT.23RD. I AM WONDERING A FEW THINGS BEFORE I GET STARTED BUILDING THEIR BROODER. IS 4 FT. BY 4 FT. BIG ENOUGH TO START THEM? I HAVE A VERY LARGE PERMANENT COOP FOR MY EXISTING CHICKENS THAT I LET USE DURING THE MILD MONTHS. ONE END OF IT IS INSULATED (5FT.X12FT.). I PLAN TO BUILD A BROODER CLOSER TO THE CEILING SO THAT NOT ONLY THE HEAT LAMPS I USE FOR THE CHICKS KEEPS THEM WARM BUT ALSO THE HEAT FROM THE LAMP FOR THE GROWN CHICKENS (CLOSER TO THE FLOOR) WILL RISE AND HELP IN THIS PROCESS. COMMON SENSE WOULD TELL MOST THAT THE TIGHTER THE LIVING QUARTERS THE WARMER THE BODY WILL STAY. BUT WE KNOW CHICKENS DON'T WE? I KNOW HOW THEY CAN SMOOTHER EACH OTHER TOO AND I WOULD LIKE TO REFRAIN FROM THIS, :HENCE MY 4FTX4FT QUESTION:. I FIGURE THAT IF I CAN RAISE THEM UNTIL THEIR FEATHERS START TO GROW, I CAN THEN MOVE THE GROWN CHICKENS TO THE UNINSULATED PART AND LET THE LILL GUYS HAVE THE INSULATED PART UNTIL I LET THEM OUT THIS SPRING. ANY ADVICE WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.
     
  2. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    I'd say you can brood them in there for the first week or two, but they grow FAST. They do tend to pile, so keep an eye on them. As long as you can keep them draft free, but with good ventilation, and warm, you should be fine. That many birds in a small space will poop a lot, though, so be prepared to be cleaning on a daily basis. I had 25 chicks in a 4x4' space, and I had to clean it every day to keep the moisture/ammonia from building up.
     
  3. MNKris

    MNKris Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 1, 2007
    I am in MN also (central part). We have chicks at this time of the year all the time. I like getting the eggs right away in the next year from the new birds. In fact, I have eggs in our incubator right now, so hopefully I will have chicks about the same time as you do.

    However, the general rule of thumb is 1/2 ft of space per bird for the first few weeks. A 4 x 4 will hold 32 chicks. You could probably put the 50 in there for a week or so, but like Mrs. AK said, they do grow fast. Before you move them too far, you would want to make sure they are more than just starting the feather out. Our chicks don't leave the brooder to go to the "play pen" until they have full wing feathers and have started a good set of feathers on their backs. That way, if the power were to fail, which we know it does, they won't freeze to death right away.

    We do a similar thing to your idea of having the brooders over our egg boxes. It works great because we heat our laying pens anyway, so we are able to use the heat from the brooder to heat the whole area when the brooders are being used.

    Now you got me thinking...I just realized both my brooders are full with hens that hatched out chicks. What to do with the new hatch in 3 weeks...hmm...[​IMG]
     
  4. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    Quote:[​IMG] Don't you HATE that?!? Musical Birds... I play that every three weeks! LOL!
     

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