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What should I do for my brooder floor?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jaslyman, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. jaslyman

    jaslyman Out Of The Brooder

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    We'll be moving our week old chicks out to the garage brooder this weekend, and I'm still debating what to do in terms of floor/bedding. For the MHP "holder", I thought I would use pine shavings - just seems more comfortable than other options! For the rest, I've thought about sand/PDZ, pine shavings, non-slip shelf liner, etc. I've also considered cutting out half the floor and just replacing with 1/2" hardware cloth with a tub underneath to catch the droppings. Though perhaps if given a choice, they would stay off the HC since it might be less comfortable to walk on.

    Thoughts? Advice? Would like something that is easy to clean / maintain. The wood is not treated or otherwise protected, so it does need something on it, I would think...


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  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    You can take this with a grain of salt but I believe you are overthinking this.
    The big issue is having enough space so they can have both cool and warm places? Can you keep the bedding dry? Can you provide clean water and nutritious feed? Does the space have adequate ventilation?
    Healthy chicken chicks are very rugged and don't need coddling.
    Depending on where you live and ambient temperature, they may be able to move into their lifetime home now with a moderate heat source.

    It was 30F in the building when this picture was taken. The hovers had 2 heat sources.

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  3. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Check out my whitewash thread for the wood protection....

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1096237/whitewash-the-inside-of-your-coop-recipe-cheap-and-easy

    Pine shavings have worked very well for me all along and are 3-4 inches in the coop with my now 7 week chicks, who have outgrown MHP and are now roosting on highest roost, Thank you very much!! I chose the shavings because they now need something soft to jump down on...but it worked well in the brooder! They were practicing perching in there also! Nice setup BTW!

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    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  4. jaslyman

    jaslyman Out Of The Brooder

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    That is certainly possible! Even if I wanted to, I couldn't move them out to their lifetime home yet... it's still under construction and there's no power out there for a heat source. So they'll be here for another few weeks while I get their coop and run ready to go. But hopefully this 3'x6' space will give them sufficient room (14 of them) until they're ready to move out.

    Thanks!
     
  5. jaslyman

    jaslyman Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks - I will definitely check out the whitewash approach!

    So for your shavings, do you just scoop out the poop, or replace it all on a regular basis? Or both?
     
  6. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    They have been so small that i have just stirred the shavings, but I will be starting to scoop, actually the next project is a poop sling under the roosts, so I won't have to scoop much except scoop out the sling, and THEN I will either bucket the poop or possibly throw it in their run for the nitrogen, where I am having them compost a "forest floor"...at the moment nothing smells at all BTW...

    Here, go to the end of this thread for the "forest floor"...I think it is going to work fabulously....I know you are in brooder and not coop yet.... but planning ahead to make this low maintenance is working for me...

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1087887/aint-nobody-here-but-us-chickens
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  7. jaslyman

    jaslyman Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote: very cool! So now I'm going to have to ask you about how you framed your run. Below is the existing shed that I'm going to use to convert to a coop (half of the inside will be the coop), then I will frame in half of the outside area under the roof to use as the run. Trying to figure out if I should model the frame after a basic interior wall (with top and bottom plates, vertical studs along with some horizontal ones for attaching the HC) or something different - any specifics on how you did yours would be much appreciated!



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  8. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, that looks like a lovely plan, I really like that shed of yours!!..I wish I could advise you better, but I had mine built locally...beyond my carpentry skills...do look at the pics in my thread tho...

    Fortunately the bottom plate is pressure treated 2x4....that is important, run is covered like yours will be...and the builder sandwiched the HW cloth between some 2x4s, the coop/run is very heavily built, although I had to tweak the predator proofing....quite a bit...so I DO think you are on the right track with top and bottom plates and studded walls...joist hangers might help with existing structure...anything to make it easier...mine is solidly built cause of serious predator problems here in NW Montana.
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    St. Louis, MO
    That's 18 sq. ft.. Bantams from 1-10 weeks of age need 1.5 sq. ft. per bird. However if you have DP or heavy breeds, they need 2.5 sq. ft. per bird up to 8 weeks.
     

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