Room for how many?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Bigbody, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Bigbody

    Bigbody Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2016
    I've read books and several threads on here about how much space is needed to raise a chick. I'm still fairly new to raising chickens, I started last spring. I bought 12 chicks and originally started them in a large Rubbermaid tote, and after the 1st week I learned that the 6"x6" per chick is not nearly enough lol. So on short notice I made a brooder out of cardboard I had on hand. But by about week 4ish they had knocked over their waterer enough times to where the cardboard was soggy and smelly but I still needed to keep them in the brooder another week or so. We have enjoyed our chickens and the eggs quite a bit, and I'm looking forward to raising more this spring and I'm drawing plans for a longer lasting brooder box lol. It will be 4'6"x4' so 18 sqft. My question is how many chicks can I keep until they are 4-5 weeks old without the overcrowding issues? Sorry I took so long to get to the point, and thanks for any advice or feedback
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    My recommendation is 1 sq. foot per bird, and if you can give them more than that, they will appreciate it! I also recommend that you think MULTIPURPOSE. I built a chicken tractor that was 3' x 6'. This will fit through doorways, and can be used as a brooder, or outdoors as a tractor. Have you checked out the following 2 sites:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/956958/mama-heating-pad-in-the-brooder-picture-heavy-update

    That tractor has been used as a brooder for 2 sets of chicks, a broody cage/tractor for Mama hen and her babies. (In this case, they were in the tractor during the day, but back in the big coop for the night.) It really wasn't difficult to move them back and forth with a cat carrier and a little bribery. It has been valuable to allow chicks to be out on the ground, given the hawk predation we have here.

    After trying the MHP brooder, I vowed that I would never brood chicks in the house again. I don't even want them in the garage. I will allow them to stay for a few days if there are medical issues that need tending, but after that, out they go.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
  3. Bigbody

    Bigbody Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2016
    Thanks for the info, so as is, I should be able to keep up to 18 chicks, I probably won't have that many, but nice to know. I have two chicken pens, I let my current chickens free range but their coop has a run (20x8) for the times we're unable to let them out. I have built a 2nd run slightly smaller (12x8), just for chicks until they are big enough to join the flock. I built my brooder where it does come apart, when in use I plan to bring it in the house in the spare bedroom, it will be held together with bolts and wing nuts, and when not in use will be in the shed. So when they are ready for trips outside I will take them out to the smaller run using a pet carrier, eventually moving them there full time.
     

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