Very Excited, I finally ordered my chicks. A question about brooder

sune42

Songster
10 Years
Mar 13, 2009
616
1
141
Northern Kentucky
So I have lurked on here forever, posted a bit, then lurked again. Finally, however, this year we were able to order my chicks! I am getting four from Meyer, 1 Dominique, 1 "Ameraucana" (from what I have read here, she will really be an EE) and 2 Buff Orpingtons. I am planning the brooder in a big rubbermade type container, and was wondering if anyone knew what to look for to make sure it wouldn't be melted by the heat bulb. Also, my basement is kind of cold, so I was thinking I would have to keep them upstairs. However, I have a cat, so the safest place I think would be the bathroom. Do we need to move the brooder out when we take showers? I know they shouldn't be wet, so I was worried about steam from the shower. I am so excited to start into this, and will make sure to post pics after I pick them up on the 22nd.

TIA

Amanda
 

Shannon33

Songster
9 Years
Feb 23, 2010
263
0
119
Eastern Shore, VA
Well, I am new also. My setup is pretty much exactly as you are describing. I got my chicks this week. They are in a rubbermaid container, 250 watt red bulb. I was nervous too about something melting. I did a test run before the chicks came, left it on for a few days and monitored it very carefully. I just made sure the lamp was very secure. Added a chain in addition to the clamp. I got the brooder at the right temp and honestly the plastic was barely warm. So as long as it is secure and not resting on the plastic I wouldn't worry too much about that. My basement is cold also. I might move them down there in a few weeks but for now I have them in my bathroom also. I was a little worried about me steaming them up but when I take a shower I check them after and everyone is dry and dandy. I don't think a little steam could hurt them too much, especially since they are under a heat lamp. Just my opinion, I am by no means an expert, but my set up is exactly as you are describing and so far so good, everyone is happy and healthy. I thought they would make my bathroom smell bad but I can't even say that they do that
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Maggies Pop

Songster
10 Years
Sep 23, 2009
117
1
111
Middletown (No CAL)
We also keep ours in a big plastic tub until they can be moved into our "bigger" brooder. We also have 3 indoor cats. What we did was take some chicken wire shape it into a lid and cut out a hole for the lamp to be able to clip on to the tub. It has worked perfectly. Our cats have even laid on top of it because they like the warmth of the lamp.
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When making the lid we make the sides go down about a 1/3 of the tub.

If you would like let me know I can take pics tomorrow and post so you can see what i'm talking about.
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sune42

Songster
10 Years
Mar 13, 2009
616
1
141
Northern Kentucky
I would love to see pics! We can't let the cat lay, cause he is around 17lbs. He would crush the lid and the chicks, or eat them, who knows? But I would love to see set ups. I was thinking of putting the rubbermade tub inside the dog kennel. My dog really doesn't go into his cage anymore, and it's a big one, so the tub should fit.
 

redrocketrooster

Allons-y
9 Years
Feb 8, 2010
621
6
138
Chandler, AZ
Well if you are talking about a rubber maid tub or something like that, use this general tutorial on how to make them: http://www.bitterepiphany.com/bin_cage.html
You
can simplify it by using the hardware cloth on just the top and use hot glue to fix it in. However you mentioned a cat so following the tutorial linked would be wise.
I've used this tub step by step and honestly my 60lb dog could not make the lid collapse if done right. Be sure to select a LARGE tub if you are going to do so.
I like this idea because it is controlled. What I mean by that is the temperature is easily adjustable and not much varies.
It allows for air but not drafts, if something is on the outside I don't want on the inside (like steam) I might lay a towel down over the open top (temporarily) to block the steam.
My room temperature varies often and because of this I have a thermostat set up with the tubs and it works wonderfully.

A air flow controlled tub like this is great for chicks under four weeks. After that you may move them to a more open area (with no drafts) with an adequate heating bulb.
 
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Shannon33

Songster
9 Years
Feb 23, 2010
263
0
119
Eastern Shore, VA
Here is mine. I will probably have to go bigger soon, but other than that is is working great.

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And here you can see how far the light hangs. It is keeping good temperatures and plastic is not getting hot.

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sune42

Songster
10 Years
Mar 13, 2009
616
1
141
Northern Kentucky
Quote:
Do you think the wire side is needed as well as the top? I would think that's too much air. My plan is to get the biggest tub possible, so that they only need one, perhaps blocking off part of it while they are very small. What I have read is that they need to say inside for at least 6 wks, temps need to be around 60% outside and they need to have their shoulder feathers. My coop won't have electricity, so I am hoping that it warms up soon here. I guess if anything I can run an extension cord into the coop if they get too big, as I have figured I will need to do that in the winter anyway.
 

redrocketrooster

Allons-y
9 Years
Feb 8, 2010
621
6
138
Chandler, AZ
Quote:
Do you think the wire side is needed as well as the top? I would think that's too much air. My plan is to get the biggest tub possible, so that they only need one, perhaps blocking off part of it while they are very small. What I have read is that they need to say inside for at least 6 wks, temps need to be around 60% outside and they need to have their shoulder feathers. My coop won't have electricity, so I am hoping that it warms up soon here. I guess if anything I can run an extension cord into the coop if they get too big, as I have figured I will need to do that in the winter anyway.

Ah, I wasn't very clear in my last post. Just do the top side!
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Works for me!

As far as temp, it depends on the climate and breed. The general rule is for every week they age you can lower the temperature by 5f, I think thats the way it goes.
You can go below the temp about ten degrees or so as long as they have a place at night that is warm or a lamp.
I have seen a few people use a large big box or some creation to partition them to a certain part of the coop with a light over hung till they are ready to face the temperature.

I think this is correct, I'm sure someone will jump in if I am wrong:

age temperature
1 day (99-95)
1 week (95)
2 weeks (90)
3 weeks (85)
4 weeks (80)
5 weeks (75)
6 weeks (70)
7 weeks (65)
8 weeks (60)
 

sune42

Songster
10 Years
Mar 13, 2009
616
1
141
Northern Kentucky
Thanks for the info and advice. I picked up the lamp today. I need a thermometer, then I will set it all up and test it out. Make sure I have it set before the chicks are here.
 

Maggies Pop

Songster
10 Years
Sep 23, 2009
117
1
111
Middletown (No CAL)
Sorry it's taking me so long to respond! And the pics aren't great, but you will get the idea
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And, I wouldn't worry about a 17lb cat.....my Missy hasn't seen 17lbs in years!
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She is laying on her "skinny" side
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MANNA-PRO

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