Size of brooder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by magoochie, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. magoochie

    magoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

    745
    8
    121
    Dec 26, 2010
    Grantsburg, WI
    I have gone through most of the BROODER THREAD. But I have a question.

    This is my first time brooding baby chicks. It will have to be done inside because it still gets close to -20 degrees at night.

    We ordered 25 chicks from McMurray. Plus the extra rare chick they send.

    So I have 26 babies coming Feb 6-8th.

    I have a wooden brooder that we have set up that is 4'x3.5'x3'

    How long do you think all those chicks will have enough room in that brooder? A week? 2? 4?

    Help! Never done this before......

    We did baby pheasants before but it was outside and the brooder was 4x10 feet and it was july.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  2. Petej

    Petej Chillin' With My Peeps

    539
    1
    123
    Dec 6, 2010
    PDX area
    My brooder measures about 2' by 2.'5 by 2' or so.

    Click the Pic....
    [​IMG]

    At two weeks old most of my chicks ( I have now 7 chicken chicks) still have TONS of room too run around. [​IMG]

    I'm glad I have a cover on mine as they are beginning to fly! [​IMG]

    I moved the Quail into their own cage, as they are going to their new owner tomorrow! [​IMG]
     
  3. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
    172
    316
    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Quote:Petej, you mentioned in your video that you grind layer feed down into crumbles with a coffee grinder. I'd recommend against that. Layer feed has added calcium. Chicks this age do not need the added calcium and it is actually not good for them to get too much of it. Since the cost of chick starter and flock raiser are roughly the same as the layer feed, why not just get them the crumbles designed for their age?

    Mgoochchie, my brooder is one of those old laundry tubs - about 3' by 2' by 18" high. I made a cover for it out of chicken wire so they can't fly out of it. I got a delivery once of 26 chicks and the first week, they had tons of room. I sold off most of the chicks. By the time the remaining chicks were 4 weeks old, there were only four of them left, as they were the ones I was keeping. It seemed crowded for four. Its amazing how fast they grow. I honestly can't imagine having a brooder space that would provide 25 chicks enough room to grow out to four weeks old based on that experience. [​IMG]
     
  4. magoochie

    magoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

    745
    8
    121
    Dec 26, 2010
    Grantsburg, WI
    We do have a cover for them. Dont want them getting out, or the cats getting in!

    We are planning on keeping all of the birds. I have a feeling within 2 weeks I'm going to be adding rubbermaid containers to thin them out some..... [​IMG]
     
  5. Petej

    Petej Chillin' With My Peeps

    539
    1
    123
    Dec 6, 2010
    PDX area
    Quote:Petej, you mentioned in your video that you grind layer feed down into crumbles with a coffee grinder. I'd recommend against that. Layer feed has added calcium. Chicks this age do not need the added calcium and it is actually not good for them to get too much of it. Since the cost of chick starter and flock raiser are roughly the same as the layer feed, why not just get them the crumbles designed for their age?

    Mgoochchie, my brooder is one of those old laundry tubs - about 3' by 2' by 18" high. I made a cover for it out of chicken wire so they can't fly out of it. I got a delivery once of 26 chicks and the first week, they had tons of room. I sold off most of the chicks. By the time the remaining chicks were 4 weeks old, there were only four of them left, as they were the ones I was keeping. It seemed crowded for four. Its amazing how fast they grow. I honestly can't imagine having a brooder space that would provide 25 chicks enough room to grow out to four weeks old based on that experience. [​IMG]

    I did that, and no it's not recommended, but my FIL has been doing it like that with great success for years. I found starter pellets at the farm store, which I had to grind down, which was equally as annoying is grinding the layer feed. I've gone to Starter crumbles now. I haven't noticed any difference in the birds since the switchover....

    Also the Quail got moved to a different cage, with it's own light and are given Game Bird feed.....

    Having separate feeds for adults and babies allows me to see how much they are actually consuming in their separate groups. Which is good, since I was going through 50# of layer feed a week and not knowing how much the little's were actually eating vs. the big birds.....

    Ugh, blame it on the learning curve....

    I'll make a new video here soon, with the corrections. To tired to do it today......
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  6. justtoni44

    justtoni44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2010
    oregon
    I make my brooders using peg board.then held together with slip ties....
    I can move one side easily to make the size I want.also breaks down easily for storage.
    I have 12 chicks. 5, three weeks, 7, 4 weeks and the are using about 1/3 of the space at this time.
    I got the peg board from home depot.$11.00 and they cut it into 4 2' high pieces.so brooder 4x4.2 ft high.
    I do cover the top. I bought plastic fencing at Home depot for $8.00.
    Do not think this would be strong enough to keep the cats out though.
    Good luck [​IMG]
     
  7. Petej

    Petej Chillin' With My Peeps

    539
    1
    123
    Dec 6, 2010
    PDX area
    Quote:If you staple the fencing to a wooden frame that lays over the top, that would probably be strong enough for your purposes.

    Filming my new brooder set-up vid now....

    Edited for spelling errors.....[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  8. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

    987
    7
    141
    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    I built and used a brooder last year that was 8' x 4' x 2'. I divided off a section that was about 3' x 4'. I had about 30 chicks. At 3 or 4 weeks (I don't remember exactly what day) I removed the divider to let them have access to the entire brooder. They still had plenty of room when I moved them to their coop at about 8 weeks.
     
  9. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

    10,510
    14
    281
    Sep 20, 2009
    Pride, La.
    Mine is 7x3x3... I think you'll be fine for a good while!! I wouldn't expect you'd have to move them any time soon!!
     
  10. Petej

    Petej Chillin' With My Peeps

    539
    1
    123
    Dec 6, 2010
    PDX area
    My Corrected Video of my brooder set-up.

    I like this better anyway....



    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by