Topic of the Week - Raising Chicks

ShannonO

Chirping
Feb 3, 2017
65
16
61
Okay to ask questions here? I have two choices for brooder locations when my chicks arrive. I'm having trouble choosing between the two:

Greenhouse
Pros: Close to the main rooms of the house, washable floor, warm
Cons: Greenhouse has plants and also a glass art workshop where dust would be a pain. It also may get up to 95 degrees in there during a sunny day before trees overhead grow leaves.

Garage
Pros: Dust isn't as big of a concern. More space available.
Cons: Not warm (prob a low of 45 degrees but can be space heated), so heat lamps will have to do all the work. Not underfoot, worried about the chicks being out of sight out of mind for most of the family.
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
26,970
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
Okay to ask questions here? I have two choices for brooder locations when my chicks arrive. I'm having trouble choosing between the two:

Greenhouse
Pros: Close to the main rooms of the house, washable floor, warm
Cons: Greenhouse has plants and also a glass art workshop where dust would be a pain. It also may get up to 95 degrees in there during a sunny day before trees overhead grow leaves.

Garage
Pros: Dust isn't as big of a concern. More space available.
Cons: Not warm (prob a low of 45 degrees but can be space heated), so heat lamps will have to do all the work. Not underfoot, worried about the chicks being out of sight out of mind for most of the family.
I love my green house, but would not brood chicks in there b/c it gets too warm. If you have a warm day, it's possible that the temp would go above 95* unless you have it regulated by fan and thermostat/auto opening ventilation. Also, chicks simply don't need that much heat. They need a warm area, but your green house would be warm all day long, and they would have no escape from that incessant heat. Your goal with chicks is to gradually acclimate them to ambient temps, by providing a single warm area in the brooder, with the rest of it being cool. The green house will not assist with that goal. I vote for the garage. And check out heating pad brooding. Far superior to heat lamps. You can see Blooie's article on the topic by clicking on the second link in my signature. Also, check out fermented feed, in the FAQ link in my sig.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
26,756
18,591
857
Southeast Louisiana
You can ask questions and maybe get answers when you hijack a thread, but it’s usually best to start your own thread. Explain the subject in the title and you are more likely to attract the people you want to see your question. They can easily get lost in thread like this.

I agree with LG that the garage is better for two reasons. The dust is an issue, bigger than many people imagine. I’m wondering what all that dust would do to your art work. And you would be breathing the dust. And the heat. Broody hens can raise chicks in really cold temperatures and in temperatures well over 100 degrees, but it’s harder on them. And I’m not a broody hen. It’s very easy for us to get the brooder too hot which is as dangerous if not more so that cooler temperatures. That sometimes happens when you use things like aquariums or totes as brooders. They are so small they can be easy to overheat, especially when you brood in changing temperatures. I’ll get into that later.

Do not use a space heater, you don’t need one so it’s a waste of money and it’s another potential fire source. The chicks do not need a warm environment, they need a place to go to warm up if they get cold. I brood in my coop with heat lamps and sometimes the outside air temperature is below freezing. But one area in that brooder is warm enough so the chicks do fine. Your temperatures aren’t even below freezing, you don’t have to worry about water freezing.

There are lots of ways to provide that warm spot: heat lamps, incandescent lamps, heating pads, hovers, emitters, EcoGlow type heaters, and others. We all have our favorites. Some have been used for over a century, some are more recent. They all come with their own benefits, restrictions, and risks. With my heat lamps I throw away that clamp so I’m not even tempted to use it and wire my lamp in place so neither I nor the chickens can knock it down. I do think that clamp is the cause of a lot of the problems with heat lamps. I put my water in the warm zone so it doesn’t freeze.

There is one big issue with brooding where the temperature changes. It would probably be more of an issue in the greenhouse than the garage. In a brooder you need a warm enough spot in the coolest of temperatures and a cool enough spot in the warmest conditions. If your ambient temperatures are constant, that’s easy. But this year I’ve gone from a low of 18F one morning to a high of 81F two days later. My brooder is big enough and well-enough ventilated that my chicks can find a comfortable spot even with this temperature swing. In varying temperatures a bigger brooder is better.

Good luck!
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
26,756
18,591
857
Southeast Louisiana
Most of us hijack all the time. Including me. My point is that you normally get better results if you start your own thread. This post will probably be buried in this thread pretty soon and lost. It’s a suggestion to be more efficient with the post.
 

BirdieBirdie

In the Brooder
May 31, 2016
84
6
46
Bay Area, CA
I have a broody mother who is sitting on eggs but she is not eating at all or drinking, I know that this is normal behavior buy i am afraid that she wiplayed die, she is getting very skinny. Does anyone know a treat or food that a chicken loves to eat or some way for her to eat a bit of food?
For my brooding girls, I bring them a couple of handfuls of mealworms each day and raw oats for breakfast. I know some people say don't feed them while they're on the nest, but so far I've not had issues with them pooping in the nesting box. It really helped to keep my girls healthy and going.
 

mikka

In the Brooder
Feb 20, 2017
11
0
35
hi everyone! I am going to get chicks soon and I was wondering if I can put a small blanket or something for it to nest in. I want to make sure it wont choke or anything thnx!
 

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