Thinking ahead -- anyone start peeps in August?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Uzuri, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    I was pretty sure that I wasn't going to be able to do peeps this year, what with all I've got going on through the end of July -- but then the thought hit me: I can raise them in August!

    Anyone here do this often? I know spring is the usual time. Anyone manage to do it without supplemental heat, at least during the daytime? Anyone have a creative way to do it with supplemental heat -- but without electricity? I was thinking of using hot water jugs and doing away with the lamp altogether, since I will have to raise them outside this year as I've lost access to a garage that I don't have to ask permission to trash with chick dust. Two years in a row I've done lamps without being at all scientific (what's a thermometer again?), so I'm pretty well convinced that some temperature variation won't hurt, within reason.
  2. hensonly

    hensonly Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2008
    upstate NY
    I started chicks the third week in September. I put the brooder box in the chicken house with a heat lamp. I'm in upstate NY, and we get frost often by the end of September. I don't think I could have raised them successfully without the lamp. I don't believe anything else would supply enough heat at a steady enough rate to get them through our September weather. Perhaps you'd be ok since you're planning a month earlier. I've seen a lot of posts on this forum from folks who raise chicks outside in spring with minimal heat.

    Though you want air circulation, you might consider using my method of keeping heat in the brooder: I use a heavy cardboard box, four feet by four feet, two feet deep. I lay two baby gates across the top, with wool blankets spread over. Of course, in my case, I have to keep them away from the heat lamp. Partly it will depend on how many chicks you have. Lots of them can keep each other warm, but if they pile up in a corner trying to keep warm, they can also suffocate the ones on the bottom.

    It'll be interesting to see what ideas more experienced folks have on this. There are reusable hot/cold packs that you can buy at a drugstore or in the pharmacy section at WalMart. They have some kind of gel inside a heavy plastic pouch. YOu would not want something the chicks would puncture, but you'd have to make that judgement. You might need so many that they wouldn't be practical. Soda bottles full of hot water, maybe, or gallon milk jugs, the bigger the container, the longer it should stay hot.

    My crew that I got in September is now thirteen weeks old and they are doing fine. I'll be interested to see what others suggest. It's always good to have backup ideas in case your power goes out while you're brooding!
  3. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

    Dec 19, 2009
    Southwest TN
    Build a small south facing pen, with the south end like a little greenhouse, closed in with wire and plastic covering the wire, build the other end enclosed and a little more shaded so that they can bask in the warm, but if it gets too warm, they can move to the other end. Put the feeders/waterers in the middle so that they pass them on their way to which ever end. I'd build it short too, as heat rises, it may not maintain enough warmth if it is too tall with them on the ground/floor. I had thought about doing this before, but never got around to doing it. I am almost 100% positive it'd work though.
  4. owler

    owler Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 11, 2010
    Northen NJ
    I got mine on 11/10/10 and have been raising them in the coop with two heat lights since. Most nights it has been below freezing since they have been out there. No problems.
  5. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    I think I'm going to do it!

    Just don't tell my folks. They may change all the locks while I'm out [​IMG]
  6. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
    Last summer I hatched some chicks August 28th. It worked out really well, with the temps being warm so I could move them out of the basement earlier than usual. They were old enough to move to the big coop by the time winter came in December. Only downside was they didn't start laying until February and then started molting in September, so I didn't get many eggs out of their first season.
  7. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    Seeing as I has a spring chicken decide to molt on me this year, I can't say that I'd be losing much there. I seem to have terrible luck with autumn laying.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  8. matimeo

    matimeo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    My current batch were born early-mid August of this year. It actually got a little too warm at times for them in the garage and I had to bring them in the house. However, I did need supplemental heat since they didn't feather out enough to be outside at night until about two months, and by then it was getting into the 40's at night. You might want to start a little earlier than that if you can, and you'll need less supplemental heat (depending on where you live).
  9. Chickenkate17

    Chickenkate17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2010
    My girls were born August 3rd.
  10. eggbuster

    eggbuster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2010
    Quote:This is good but during the hottest part of the day, it will need to be opened up or they will cook. Make it so there is ventilation at the top at both ends or sides; easiest to just roll up the sides a bit. Place large plastic bottles of water in full sun on the green house end and they will release heat at night for the chicks. If it is going to cool off at night, cover the structure with a heavy blanket in late afternoon to help even out the temp. and effects of frost. If you have access to fresh manure mixed with bedding, layer the bottom of the brooder 8" deep or more, cover with wire and then your regular brooder bedding on top of that. The composting manure will keep them toasty and have the added benefit of worms and bugs for the chicks as they grow. It will not stink. Use the composted manure for your lawn in the spring or grow some chicken treats/tomatoes in your cold frame that used to be a brooder.

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