Size of brooder and number of chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AnnieOK, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. AnnieOK

    AnnieOK Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 31, 2011
    Southcentral Oklahoma
    Hi all,

    I'm in prep stage now, hoping to get chicks sometime in Feb. Quick question: is an aquarium that's 12" x 20" large enough for 12-15 chicks? For a week? If not, I can find something else. Was planning on using the aquarium when I was thinking of getting 6-8 chicks, and now I'm thinking more chicks. Naturally.

    Is there a 'rule of thumb' amount of space per chick? Babies and as they get bigger? Thanks!
     
  2. Wink

    Wink Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I raised my first batch of chicks last year, so I'm pretty new, too. However, even though I have bantams, they quickly expanded in size! I can tell you that the number of chicks you would like will grow quick as wink and will outgrow the size of home you're planning on raising them in. Add in the water and food source, it cramps it up more. I think a week, then you're pushing it as they grow and start exploring and flapping their little wings. I DID start with 25 bantam chicks in a kid's pack in play (portable crib), but I also had planned to give several a way iafter a couple weeks. Happy endeavors!
     
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  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    No it wouldn't be large enough. Here is a link and space requirements are on the page:
    http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/chickcare.html

    Some folks get those rubbermaid plastic bins that are quite large, or use a box. Be SURE they can get away from the heat lamp, check temperatures carefully, and hange your lamp at least two ways not including the clamp - think flying chickens! And they WILL fly out unless you cover the brooder with mesh or make it quite high.

    Here is a link I really think you will like:
    http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry//BRKRaisingChicks.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
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  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    In a word? No.

    Chicks grow very fast. No point in starting right out too small. The bigger the better. My brooder is 5' by 8' and a dozen chicks use it all. They also do not outgrow it quickly.

    Waterer takes room, as does a feed trough or feeder of some kind. You've got time to find a bigger box. An appliance box would be much better to get started.
     
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  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Follow up question? Is your coop and run ready?
     
  6. AnnieOK

    AnnieOK Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 31, 2011
    Southcentral Oklahoma
    Thanks everyone for your replies. Just the info I needed. I suspected it would not be big enough, and I do have some other options, including some large dog crates that I might try to put two together, or a large box. We save everything. Just in case we might need it sometime. :)

    Fred's Hens, no, the coop and run are not ready yet, but I don't need to build a coop, just clean out and do some repair work on an existing coop. I do need to build a run though. Years ago, when my mother kept chickens they used the coop and had the run of the very large fenced 'yard' next to the 'around-the-house yard. We now have three goats in there and it is the 'goat yard' now. I think hawks got a few of hers back then, and some flew over the fence, got on the road, or just otherwise disappeared. I want to do it differently, and would like to build an enclosed/covered run for them. It can be a large one, as the goats have plenty of room to roam when I open up the gate to the pasture during the day. I am picturing building a run attached to the coop, using t-poles, fencing of some kind, with a heavy wire added to the fencing, and then the heavy wire or something on top. They will have shade from trees.

    Wish I could describe it better, to get y'alls thoughts on how it would work. I am going to look at the setup some friends from church have made for their chickens, they were saying that their main goal was protection from predators. I've been looking at the pics here on BYC to get other ideas too. I am planning on starting work on the coop and run in the next couple of weeks, and work on it as weather allows. I can call on some people to help too, if I need it.

    The existing coop has nine built-in nest boxes, a row along the back side of the coop that are like attached boxes with a round entrance hole. Are nine nest boxes enough for 12-14 layers?

    Again, thanks all of you. Appreciate the help.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    9 laying boxes would be enough for almost 36 hens. They always share, make clutches, follow the lead of "senior" hens in the pecking order, etc. Rarely are they all used.

    Just a word, keep the nests covered or blocked until the pullets are red in the face, squatting, rich red combs or about 19 weeks of age, roughly. Any earlier exposure tends to allow them to just sleep, poop and mess up the boxes and is a bad habit. Sounds like you're about all set.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
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  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Wow your place sounds like chicken heaven!

    Your chickens will have a nice home. [​IMG]
     
  9. AnnieOK

    AnnieOK Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 31, 2011
    Southcentral Oklahoma
    Thank you, I hope so. The main thing will be protecting them and keeping them safe.
     
  10. AnnieOK

    AnnieOK Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 31, 2011
    Southcentral Oklahoma
    Thanks, Fred, for that tip about covering the nest boxes at first. I wouldn't have thought of that. And glad to know that I don't have to have a nest box for every chicken.

    I'll be back with more questions, I know. Thanks again, all of you.
     

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