Seeking Thread - Brooder with clear side - raising chickens more at eye level so they aren't afraid

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MsRiderUp, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. MsRiderUp

    MsRiderUp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2011
    Canton, Georgia

    I believe the above is self-explanatory. I seem to remember a thread on this site discussing why chicks usually grow up afraid of people (unless they're handled a lot!). Theory was that usually we are above their brooders, and they become afraid of us because of instincts to fear predators from above (like hawks, etc.). Someone had lots of photos up a brooder they'd made with at least one glass side so the chicks could see the flock they'd be joining. It was also fairly high up, so when the owner went to take care of the chicks, the later encountered people from their own level --- not as 'swooping down' and thus instilling fear. Well that was the gist of it. Can anyone help me find that discussion/ article please?

    PS - We tried a brooder with clear sides (outside in winter --- was fine with the 'heating pad mama'!), BUT --- didn't make it high enough. Chicks still became afraid cas I had to open the lid to care for them. Oh well . Will try again next Spring.

    Thanks for any help finding this thread / article.
  2. DancingWthDucks

    DancingWthDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2016
    Cumbria, UK
    I think you may mean the "Reasons for tossing out you inside brooder" article. My iPad won't let me paste a link, but try searching it in the search engine. Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
  3. JaeG

    JaeG True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Sep 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    Indoor rabbit/guinea pig cages up on a table are good for side access to chicks. The side access is the key. They have deep bases to protect them from drafts, have great ventilation due to the cage sides, a towel can be put over one end to further protect them from drafts. I've only used them with a (friendly) broody chicken for warmth, which also helps with the friendliness as they teach the chicks you mean food and are to be trusted very quickly. My girls that I use (they are bantams) let us handle their chicks right from the start whether they've hatched the chicks or adopted them. I choose girls that don't try and peck us while they are sitting - they just grumble. If you pick the right broody many people find they have friendlier chicks. Just another option.

    I personally like having chicks indoors as they see you more, are exposed to more noise (like kids!) and you tend to handle them or at least talk to them every time you go past them. Plus I've had chicks over winter and it's been so wet and miserable outside that they are much better off indoors. Our backyard is mud up to your ankles at the moment! And we are in for a wet spring. I'm just thankful we have wooden floors so the chicks can come out and play.

    And each chick has a different personality. Some are naturally friendly whereas others won't want anything to do with you (even within the same breed), though they tend to settle down once they start laying. I bought a 4 month old booted bantam pullet who'd grown up free range. She's an absolute sweetheart, very chatty, loves the kids, doesn't mind being cuddled and picked up. She's friendlier than the one I hatched under one of my broodies. I raised some Orpington chicks for my Mum under one of my broody bantams. One particular chick is super friendly, always has been, and takes any opportunity to jump up on my shoulder or knee for a cuddle. Even though she is now 16 weeks old and rather large. So there really is no exact science to it and different things work for different people.
  4. DancingWthDucks

    DancingWthDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2016
    Cumbria, UK
    I also use inside plastic rabbit cages (measuring 60m x 120 cm) and they work great! Very easy to clean and disinfect and I have raised lots of very friendly chicks and ducklings in them. I would definitely recommend raising the brooder- it makes a huge difference in the chicks personality.
  5. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2016
    That makes total sense the coming in from the side door. I raised my breeder bought chicks in the garage in a large long plastic box. From day one I trained them to a bell. Every time I went to feed them I rang the bell as my hand came down with their food. The first two days they ignored the bell sound, the third day I noticed they all looked up when I rang the bell. After the fourth day they all got excited when the bell started ringing, looking up for their food. Within a week they seemed to be trained to the bell. I kept this up the whole eight weeks they were in my garage. Now they free range over a third of an acre and they can be scattered all over but when they hear the bell ringing they come running to the coop not matter what time of day. But my chickens also don't seem too concerned about the neighborhood Hawk that flies around. Maybe I conditioned them not to be afraid of overheard dangerous? Haven't lost one yet; Thank the Lord!
  6. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies

    There are some photos of my side-access brooders. I used to used cardboard appliance boxes and I cut windows into them and a nice drop-down door to access the chicks. I shoved two tables together to place them on.

    But now I just brood in my run. It's so much easier and the chicks have lots of space to run around in. With the heating pad system you can brood anywhere.

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