Totes for baby chick housing

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jenn22712, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. jenn22712

    jenn22712 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have heard many saying 50/55 gal totes work well for raising chicks until outside ready. I'm wondering how many chicks can be housed per tote? I have 26 std chicks coming and I'm exploring my brooder options.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    That many chicks will outgrow totes pretty quickly. I start mine in a homemade wooden brooder box, than move them to a floor pen after about two weeks so they have more room and I can add perches. I brood in a shed. I also brood when it's warmer here so that by two weeks of age they are outside during the day in a movable pen.

    Chicks start to get mentally bored at about the two week mark and need more room or they will start pecking. It happens again at about 6-10 weeks. So be prepared to move up the sizes of your brooder or pens.

    Sorry I know I didn't answer your question about the totes, I haven't used them so hopefully someone with experience with them will help out.
     
  3. jstanard

    jstanard Just Hatched

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    Hello! Lots of folks have been quite creative with large dog crates! Lots of great ideas on this site. I made a brooder out of a RubberMaid bin, biggest I could find, and I am going to trick out my extra dog crate as a second step before the outdoor teenager coop[​IMG]
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    With that many chicks, you, and the chicks, would be far better off brooding right inside your coop or run, provided it's covered and weather protected.

    Those of us who have brooded indoors will tell you that by the end of the first week, those chicks can be real stinkers, literally. And twenty-six chicks are going to drive you right into a motel to get away from it.

    By age four weeks, your chicks will need to be out in the coop anyway, so why not start them out there? Chicks can be brooded anywhere as long as they're protected from wet weather and cold drafts and have a reliable heat source. They do not need to be in a temperature controlled environment. As long as they have a place to warm up as they lose body heat, the rest of their space can be any temperature.

    Chicks benefit far more from being raised in cool ambient temps than when they are coddled by an overly warm environment. My chicks brood in my run under temps down in the 30s at night and in the 50s(F) during the day. They do splendidly.

    Read about it in my article on outdoor brooding linked below.
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017
  6. jenn22712

    jenn22712 Out Of The Brooder

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    So 26 chicks can be brooded in a covered run and coop from day one? Would they need supplemental heat or would the coop and each other keep them warm enough? I'm in va and we have been on the 60-79's day and 30-40's. Night.
    If they indeed do need a heat source id rather brood inside a few weeks first as I don't trust any heat source running 24/7 outdoors away from supervision.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017
  7. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    As mentioned by Azygous, yes the chicks will need supplemental heat. The link provides all the necessary information as to how to set things up and the source of heat is significantly safer than bulbs.
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I brood in a safe shed until they no longer need heat, than move to the coop between 4-8 weeks depending on the outside temperatures. Heat is necessary no matter where you brood for the first few weeks.

    You may have troubles with 26 chicks using a heat pad. For that many I highly recommend a heat lamp with a 125 watt bulb, but many will insist on the heat pads.
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    As long as your electricity is provided safely, using it outdoors is safer than using it in your house. If it should malfunction in either place... better to have loss of coop than loss of your life and home.
     
  10. snow5164

    snow5164 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 21 right now and no plastic tote would
    Be enough room ! We had to do the heating pad cave and a brinsea "20" chick heater with a towel connecting them to keep them all warm.two feeders , two waters because they shouldn't have to fight to get to the food /water.
    I'd start outside if you can , fence them off in a corner of the coop but give them room!!

    21 for me has been a bit overwhelming, looking for pasty butt became a part time job and you are really out numbered[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

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