too much room for new chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Dolivo, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. Dolivo

    Dolivo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    in 2 weeks I will be getting 31 day old chicks. is 40 sq. feet TOO much space for them at first? my worry is that they won't find the heat source or food in too big of a space. an I worrying too much? I am brooding them out in my coop, so if they don't find the heat at night they will probably die. so is this too big of a space? thank you!
     
  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    I think they will be fine. If you are worried can you put up a small divider for the first week? They need enough space under the heater for everyone to fit at night but they also need to be able to get out of the heat when they get warm enough so they do not overheat.

    Is the entire floor space 40 square foot? If so and you are keeping all the chicks I recommend looking at expanding that quickly. My 8x14 coop can handle 24 adults. If I put more in there I find there are issues with fighting and feather pulling. As young chickens they were fine but once laying started the fighting started.

    Chickens wont complain about having to much space but will about being crowded.

    I keep super docile breeds like Black Australorp, Buff Orpington and Brahma.

    What breeds are you getting? Everyone is always curious what breeds others are getting.
     
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  3. Dolivo

    Dolivo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i am getting 5 each of barred rock, cuckoo marans, rosecomb brown leghorn, white wynadotte, whiting true blue, Easter eggers, and a free "exotic".

    I have much more room for them as they grow, it's just the partition for the space I will put them I at first is the most easily seperated at 4x10 feet. I can make it any size of that's too big to begin with.
     
  4. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't think it is to much at all. Keep an eye on them and I am sure you will find that they pile up near the heat as needed.
    I have brooded chicks on the floor in the barn without loosing any. I had them in an area about the same size as you will be using.
    It is early in the year so colder at night. What part of the country are you in? Your climate will play a big part in how many heat lamps you need.
     
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  5. Dolivo

    Dolivo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am in northern montana. was going to use 2 red headlamps at one end.
     
  6. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    I think that should work well for that many chicks. Do you have a thermometer you can use to get a sense of how warm it will get under the lamps and then about 18 inches off of canter?
    I never start mine at 90°. I find them to be happier at about 85 for the warm spot. Of course everyone finds different things that work for them and their set up.
    Your chicks will let you know if they are needing something. If they are huddled under the lamp they are cold. Staying to the outskirts maybe raise the lamp. Lots of folks put them on paper towels with shavings under them for the first week. It makes food sprinkled on the towels easy to find and discourages them from eating shavings.

    Of course you may already know this or read it elsewhere. I failed to ask if this is your first batch or if you had raised chicks before.

    Please forgive me that. It has been a long week for me. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Dolivo

    Dolivo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    21-hens, no worries, I appreciate the willingness to help! this is my second batch of chicks, but I brooded the first in my house and I do not want to do that again. i do have a thermometer to check. thanks for all your help!
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Are you kidding? I raised six new chicks in a 100 square foot pen. They stuck very close to their heat source for the first two days, then Katy bar the door! They were off and running! Those twerps used every inch of that huge pen!

    In my experience, the more space chicks have, the better.

    Remember, you are not heating the entire brooding space. Chicks only need a heat source under which to warm up. Then the rest of the time, they are running around, playing, learning, and exploring the new world. It really doesn't matter much what temperature the rest of their space is.

    My chicks arrived in early May. Here in Colorado in early May, the nights are still in the 30s and the days are only in the 50s. The chicks showed no signs of being the least bit uncomfortable.
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I think I might try giving them 4 x 5 for the first few days. You'll want to check frequently to be sure they are using MHP appropriately. Sometimes the "slow kid" will lead the rest of the flock astray and cause problems. I've had them all troop to the waterer for a drink, and then they get chilled and "forget" where the heat is, and they all pig pile in a corner behind the water. If I hadn't intervened, no doubt, it could have ended poorly for them.
     
  10. Dolivo

    Dolivo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thank you all for your responses! :)
     

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