Too many chicks in one space?


6 Years
Apr 18, 2014
Burrillville, ri

We are new to the world of raising chicks, and I am not sure if we have too many chicks in one container. We have 17, approximately 3-4 week old,chicks in a 50 gallon tote. I have read the ratio of space should be 50/50, and I feel like we meet that but I still feel they are getting crowded the bigger they get. It is still too cold here in Northern RI too be them outside. But, here are some shots of their space. Let me know what you think!


If there are too many in one area can we separate them into two containers then put them all back together outside in a few weeks? Or are we better off finding one, bigger container?
that definitely looks too small to me. they don't have any room to run or use their legs at all. I think 4 chicks could live in that tote comfortably, 17 is far too many.

I usually have to create brooder expansions around week 3-4, then they go outside around week 5-6. do you have any more totes? you could put them side by side and cut holes in them to combine them. 1 tote can be about food and water, and the other 2 totes can be free open area for running and flying. I have also used a broken down dog kennel/cage that I found at goodwill for $17. it had some broken bars but I repaired it good enough for baby chicks.

what's the weather like there? when mine start to outgrow the brooder, I put them in a chickenwire circle in the grass during the day, then bring them in at nighttime. Could you set up something like that for your chicks? I use a big piece of deer netting over the top of the chickenwire circle to keep them from flying out.
IMO thats way too crowded.
Looks like that tote would be good for 1/3 or 1/4 of the amount you have in it.
Also looks like they really dont have much area to get out from under the heat source and your feeder and water is taking up a lot of room.
Pics are small on my phone but looks like theyre getting filled up with shavings? Put something under them to raise them up some and they'll stay cleaner.
Looks like it wad a good set up for little chicks but yours are getting big enough to be in more of a grow out pen set up then a young chick brooder set up.
Id look for one large set up. Then you only need one set of everything (feeder, water, light)
Also chicks have a pecking order so if you split them up then put them back together they will have to reastablish their rank. With that being said its not worth trying to keep them together if that means overcrowded. Overcrowding will cause all kinds of health and behavior problems that would be worse.
Easy fix and looks like no harm done.
I'm in foster ri with the same temps your getting. I put my week old chicks in the coop on march 15th with a 100 watt flood light. They are about 6 weeks old now.
If your coop is built put them out . That cant be good for them in that tiny space with that heat lamp.
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Could you get them a large children's pool to place them in surrounded by wire with netting over the top to keep them in? I had 25 in a 110 gal stock tank and that might work for you since you have less than 25, but the kiddie pool is the cheaper option.

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