What is the minimum amount of chicks you can have in a brooder?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by OldEnglishGameBantam33, May 19, 2019.

  1. OldEnglishGameBantam33

    OldEnglishGameBantam33 Free Ranging

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    Hello. I was wondering what the minimum amount of chicks you can have in a brooder. I have a flock of 8 and wanted to introduce a few more. Thanks!
     
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  2. AmyJane725

    AmyJane725 Songster

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    From what I've heard minimum recommended is 5. Could be wrong.
     
  3. Pekin747

    Pekin747 Songster

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    There nothing stopping u for have one or 2 or 100 or 200 it all depends on the size of ur brooder and I personally like no less than 10 if straight run or 5+ if I know they r females
     
  4. AmyJane725

    AmyJane725 Songster

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    Chickens are flock animals. A lone chicken will be extremely depressed. So, 2+
     
  5. Pekin747

    Pekin747 Songster

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    Depends on how much time u spend with it tho if ur about a lot then it will do just fine but like I said I prefer bigger flocks
     
  6. Roo5

    Roo5 Songster

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    All in size of brooder.They need lots of space.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    A flock of 8 adult birds?
    Groups of chicks/birds are best at a minimum of 3, that way if you lose 1 there will still be a pair of buddies.

    How do you plan on introducing the new chicks to the adult flock?
    Think that thru before you get more chicks ;)
     
  8. chkva

    chkva Songster

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    2+ chicks would be good, it all depends on the size of your brooder. I did 4 about 6 months ago and I'm doing 4 now but in an outdoor brooder/run that's about 600+ SQ FT. I have 2 four week old chicks and 2 six week old chicks right now. I usually grab chicks 2 at a time and spread them out 1-2 weeks apart just so that they'll all lay at different times, it makes farm life more interesting.

    Our chicks run/brooder is in the hens run that is 1500 SQ FT. The hens can see the chicks all day long and I've actually let them all be together, but had to stop because the Jersey Giant chicks were tiny and slipped through the dog kennel that's the back part of their run (the dogs go in there during the day not chickens, it keeps predators because our dogs warn us or scare them away). Trying to catch a Jersey Giant chicks is honestly the most exhausting thing (on the other side of the dog kennel is woods and then our neighbors that have hunting dogs so it wouldn't end up well for our chickens if they were loose) I swear these chicks run faster than any other chick I've had before!

    If you do the see not touch method, it makes life so much easier! I had zero squabbling or pecking when I let the chicks out. The hens were excited to have new flock members though.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    I'm going to agree with Aart, a minimum of three is best since you are going to integrate them with your flock. We recently had a thread on here where someone had only two and one died. They were scrambling to find another chick to keep that one remaining chick company.

    There are exceptions to everything. If you want a house chicken that imprints on you and you are willing to have that chick and later chicken with you practically all the time you can try raising just one. Some people make that work but some need to go to work or spend a lot of time out of the house. Most of the time one is not going to die so you will be OK with two, but a third one is insurance.

    When you integrate immature chickens with adults, the immature ones tend to form a sub-flock. The adult hens often peck immature chicks that invade their personal space so the immature ones tend to avoid the adults. Nobody likes to get beat up. But chickens are social animals. If you only have one immature chicken it will want to be with other chickens, so it may get beat up a lot or be very lonely. If a chick has one other buddy it can be quite happy avoiding the older bullies, during the day but especially at night when sleeping.

    While two chicks can work if both live (and both probably will) I really like the insurance of the third. My concern is not just in the brooder but when you are integrating them later on.
     
  10. OldEnglishGameBantam33

    OldEnglishGameBantam33 Free Ranging

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    I am using the see not touch method with another coop. :)
     
    chkva likes this.

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