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Thinking about incubating some eggs but not sure with brooding outside

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Smokin Silkies, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. Smokin Silkies

    Smokin Silkies formerly browneyebuttafly

    Mar 27, 2009
    Western, PA
    I came across 2 Lavender Silkie Hens and I'm thinking I should probably incubate some eggs. I have a Black/Lav Split nice roo to put in with the girls once their quarentine time is up. Anyways I've never incubated in the winter. I just cleaned out my furnace room (where I've had chicks all spring/summer) It was a disgusting mess and took a good 8-9 hrs of cleaning EVERYTHING! I don't want to keep chicks in the house right now. I don't have a basement either. I'm pregnant and I have asthma so I have a hard time breathing. I was thinking about making a small coop to put on my porch outside for them. I have most of my porch wrapped in tarp for the winter so the draft would be alot less. I'm not sure if the babies would survive out there with a couple heat lamps or not. I'll make the coop so there isn't any drafts, but some ventilation. I won't make it too big, maybe 3 ft x 2 ft and only 3 ft high so the heat will be contained more. I'll just use plywood and maybe throw a tarp over the whole thing??? I really really don't have the money to buy alot of materials, but I don't want to skimp on anything and have the chicks die.....I'm just not sure what to do. The only reason I'm thinking about doing this now is because I'd like to have some adults ready for Spring. My Lav hens are PQ and need alot of improving but I have a really nice roo to help. So I'm trying to get a head start. I'd keep the babies in the house for a couple weeks but no longer unless I have to....I don't want them in the house at all but... lol. Any suggestions would be so helpful! I've searched online and found some info but not enough. I live in PA and we get some really cold days/nights sometimes. Also, any suggestions on how to keep the dander down in the house? Usually I just have the babies in a big plastic bin (from Walmart) Not sure if doing this in the winter would be a great idea or not?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2010

  2. bigdawg

    bigdawg AA Poultry

    Jun 28, 2009
    middle tenn
    i hatch and raise chicks year round. i built my first brooder out of srap plywood. 3 foot tall, 3 foot wide and 8 foot long. i used quarter inch hardware cloth for the bottom and plywood for the top and sides. two pieces for the top. with hardware cloth windows. one 250 watt heat lamp is plenty. i have it out behind my house with tarp over it like a tent. summer time i leave the windows open. winter time i cover the windows with some scrap plywood. plenty of room to grow. i had 35 guinea keets in there this summer and they did fine. i am going to add another heat lamp to all my brooders and have them hooked up to a thermostat in case a bulb blows. then it will come on as backup. i wish i had some pics but i dont. hatch chicks now and have roos for the freezer and pullets ready to lay eggs by spring. works for me........
  3. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I would think you could do something quite successfully on your porch. Lots of people up north do. If I were you I would stop brooding in the house. I won't ever do it again, that's for sure. Not really anything you can do about the dust and dander, it just comes off the chicks all the time -- and then there's the smell and mess. Well, you know....

    I think if I were you I would go ahead and build some sort of brooder on my porch, then put a heat lamp in there, turn it on and play with it til you get the temp where you want it. Then hatch away, secure in knowing they have a place to go besides your house. Sounds like you will need one.
  4. Surehatch

    Surehatch Songster

    Nov 16, 2009
    Quote:Sounds like real sound advice
  5. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I'm in Florida and brood my chicks in an open bay of my workshop. I've successfully brooded them down to twenty degrees. Even had a power failure once at just below freezing and did not lose a chick.

    I use the Ohio Extension Service Brooder Hover that Robert Plamondon has plans for on his site: http://www.plamondon.com/brooder.shtml

    brooder box that I use is based on a 4x8 foot sheet of plywood with the walls being the same plywood two feet high. The two long sides are hinged about halfway up for access to the inside. The top of the box is covered by half-inch hardware cloth stretched on a 2x2" frame. I use pine shavings for bedding.
  6. Smokin Silkies

    Smokin Silkies formerly browneyebuttafly

    Mar 27, 2009
    Western, PA
    Thanks for all of the advice everyone! I think I'm going to give it a shot! Even being on the porch though, I won't be able to have any open area except for ventilation at the top. Even though my porch is closed in by tarp, theres still 1 side thats open to the wind. I'll just make windows but with plexi-glass or something and close everything else in. I'm not going to breed the Lavs that I wanted to, but instead breed my Lav splits. I only have 1 hen, so I won't get that many eggs, if she's even laying lol. I'll have to seperate them and see. So I won't have to make the brooder too big. Well, anyways thanks again and I'm open to more advice if anybody has some [​IMG]

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