Size brooder&heater for 15 chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Noi, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. Noi

    Noi In the Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2019
    Montpelier VA
    Hi! Me again :)
    What size heating pad and brooder space do I need for 15 day-old chicks?
    I'm going to set up an XL plastic dog crate with the MHP in our run, just want to make sure it will be big enough for them. I can possibly set up 2 MHP's if I need to but our budget is limited so I'd rather not if not necessary :) I will make them additional weather shelter as necessary come winter.

    I'm starting them outdoors, in VA, where by the time they arrive (around May 1st) it will be averaging 50's (nights) into the 80s (days).

    They will also have another shelter right next to the crate - a big nesting wooden box. I'm also looking for some pieces of fencing or cardboard to block of the rest of the run so that they don't get too far from their heat, food and water for the first couple of weeks.

    P.S. if there are already good threads about this topic that you can point me to - as I'm sure there are - please let me know!
    TIA for all the input and help.
    Noi.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    An extra small Premier One heat plate at 10X10" is big enough for 15 chicks.
    This time of year, they likely won't need heat more than about 4 weeks.
    The more space, ventilation and cool area the better. They'll find the heat when they need it.
     
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  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    My Coop
    Depends on how big the crate and pad are.
    10x10 might work at temps stated.
    Personally, I wouldn't use anything smaller than my 12x24 for 15 chicks.

    You have no coop?
     
  4. Noi

    Noi In the Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2019
    Montpelier VA
    Thank you both.
    So you don't think I need to limit their space initially?

    @aart - I have no coop, just a very big run and a big shelter. See picture. 20190420_183329.jpg
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    Predator proof, I hope.
    If they are outside - outside, you may need more warmth.
     
  6. Noi

    Noi In the Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2019
    Montpelier VA
    Yes, it's predator proof.

    More warmth- you mean now for the chicks, or in general even as adults?
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Is that shelter waterproof?
    Closer pics, inside and out, please?
    Do you have other birds living in there?

    If they are right on the ground they may be susceptible to water infiltration along the ground as well as just general dampness from the ground.
     
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  8. Noi

    Noi In the Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2019
    Montpelier VA
    It seems water proof, yes. It rained a lot yesterday but it was dry inside today. I can take more pictures in the morning, gladly.

    No other birds now, the land lord used to raise chickens there, and this year he's letting us use it for our little flock.

    I was planning to put hay/straw/shavings/etc. in there for both insulation and dryness, is that a good idea?
     

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