Too hot outside?


In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 9, 2013
Rolla, MO
Our new chicks (20) were in a plastic 45 gallon tote up until today. We couldn't take the smell inside any longer. I built them a brooder that's 6 x 4 ft and 24 inches tall. They were moved into it today into a side room off a small pole building in my back yard. I cut 1 x 2 ft vents into one side, but it was still pretty hot here in Rolla, MO. Mid 90's I guess. I didn't have a thermometer in there until I made a trip to Wal-mart earlier. A couple of my Cornish x chicks were panting pretty hard. I mounted a box fan and cooled it off pretty quick. Now I'm worried about tomorrow afternoon. So I guess my question really is, how hot is too hot for baby chicks?
How old are they? Shade and plenty of water along with not being over crowded.You can also add ice to the water or frozen bottles in with them. They create a lot of heat on their own. Bad news is you need about 2 sq ft per chick in the brooder unless you want to raise them like the commercial operations do. That will work up to about 4 weeks old. When grown they will need about 4 sq ft each in the coop and 10sq ft in the run. The 4 sq ft is if they are confined to the coop for periods in bad weather. Warm climates you can get away with less in the coop but not a lot.Things in my run have settled down now that they have about 5 sq ft in the coop and 25 sq ft each in the run.
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Nope. Forgot to mention these guys are less than a week old. The buff orpingtons and barred rocks seem OK, but those fat lazy Cornish didn't look so hot.
Thanks RonC, I had read that as well. I guess I'm really just trying to figure out when to worry about the temperature. I hope to let these guys out of the brooder at 3 or 4 weeks if it stays warm like it has been. We're new to this and work during the day. I just don't want to come home to a 20 piece McNugget if you know what I mean.
Where were you going to graduate the cornish to? A tractor? If so, I'd maybe go ahead and try that now, at least during the day. Sounds like they'd get more air flow, if there's any breeze at all outside. Not to sound condescending, but you're not running a heat lamp, are you? I'm sure not, but I just gotta ask cause you never know.........

I've found the cornish cross are do much better moved out of the brooder quickly, they don't need the supplemental heat very long at all. Personally, I think they generate an enormous amount of body heat turning all that food into all that poop!
All the chickens will go in my run. I hope to have it finished next weekend. It will be 12 x 40.

I am running a heat lamp in the corner of my brooder. Remember I'm a noob and assumed I needed it. Its not necessary then? Or should I just turn it on at night? The brooder is 6 x 4 plywood with a hardware cloth top.

I had read about some of their bad habits and how much they pooped, but didn't believe it. Now I do! I've seen them laying down with their heads in the feeder. And the amount of poop is just crazy. I had them on paper towels for 5 minutes while I cleaned the first tote brooder and they had it just about covered. Hope they taste good!
One thing to watch for with the CX's when mixed with others, is they will lay there and take the feather picking or even to the point of meat picking.. You probably will not have a problem with this batch since they will quickly out grow the others, but watch for it..

As far as the temps 95 degree is the start temp the first week then less 5 degree per week. Mine will usually go out at 3.-4 weeks.
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I mentioned the area needed because they do create a lot of heat on their own and overcrowding isn't going to help. Sounds like others have experience with your Cornish so I would take their advice.
Sounds like I ought to plan on separating them? Today with no heat lamp, it go it to be 100 in the coop where the brooder is. So I bought them a screen door that I just reinforced with hardware cloth. I'm finding that metal buildings get pretty darn hot! I've got a big box fan going 24-7 and today was contemplating installing a ceiling fan if it weren't for the dust. Making it all up/learning as I go. Thanks for the responses all!

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