Starting to panic about brooder


11 Years
Feb 12, 2008
first 10 Chicks arriving next week.

I have a carboard refrigerator box that is 3' x 5' and about 15" high. I have a gallon waterer, a feeder, feed, pine shavings, paper towels, thermometer, heat lamp and 250wt infrared bulb. I called P.O. today and they actually seemed interested in me and took time to make sure they had all neccessary info.

I have the heat lamp offset to one side and have FINALLY got the temp to hover around 92-96 degrees. The other side of the brooder is around 60 degrees.

I am starting to second guess the setup. Do I need another heat lamp? Is 3' x 5' to big for day olds? Is 60 degrees to cool for the one side? What if the heat lamp dies in the middle of the night?

Would welcome any thoughts or feedback on my questions.
Sounds a little big for 10 chicks to me. I suggest going down to Walmart and buying a plastic tote, they work very well for doing this inside. Make sure too that you have a red bulb for the heat light, and put the feed and water on the opposite side of the heat lamp. Good luck!
I thought about the platic tub from walmart but I know at week 3 I am going to be very happy to have a 3x5 area. Maybe I will just insert a cardboard wall to cut the space in half for the first 10-14 days. ???
You'll be glad for the extra space later on. I think one light is enough for just 10 chicks. I have two lights on 52 chicks and they are perfect. I use a cardboard homemade draft shield on the barn floor and litter for bedding. Its much better to have too much space then too little. The light provides the heat, not the space. The more room they have the healthier they will be
You will be GLAD of the extra space!

We brooded our 23 chicks in a 3 x 3 water heater box, about 15" high. They lasted a grand total of a WEEK before they decided to make their great escape over the side of the brooder and explore the wide wide world that comprised my family room.

At that point, we put them out in our very secure brand new coop, with two heat lamps. They are still out there as I type, at 5-ish weeks old, happily creating their own special brand of chicken mayhem, outside of my house.

With a bigger brooder box and less than half as many chicks, you'll have bought yourself more time than I did, but NEVER underestimate how fast they grow!
Your set up sounds similar to mine; and I've already taped on an additional box for some 'running room'. But then again I have many more chicks than you do. If you are really concerned about the size right now, find another box and cut off the top/bottom and put it inside you larger one in order to create a small area, when they are a bit bigger you can remove the inner box, or for fun cut a door in it and let them explore into the larger box on their own. As long as they have a warm spot under the lamp they will huddle there if they are cold; regardless of the ambient temps outside of the enclosure. Just for the sake of safety, I purchased a 2nd bulb just in case the first one burnt out I wouldn't have to frantically run to the store.

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