What size brooder for 20 chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bigoledude, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. bigoledude

    bigoledude Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2011
    SE, Louisiana
    I want to buy 20 Old English Silver Duckwings or Silver Leghorns. How much space will I need in the brooder until it is OK to cut-em-loose outside to forage? Is there a rule-of-thumb "sq.-feet-per-chick" number? It is obvious to me that I can section-off the brooder in the beginning because the chicks will be small. And, move the divider gradually until they have the entire brooder to run around in.

    For the two breeds I mentioned, at what age is it usually OK to set them free outside to forage on their own?
  2. Petej

    Petej Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2010
    PDX area
    I've 8 barnyard mixes in a brooder that measures 3x2 1/2x2 feet.

    At the three week mark, they still have run roam, but I can they are going to need something bigger soon.....

    I would imagine your brooder would be OK for quite awhile....
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You will need a 5x8 brooding pen minimum. Sides will need to be 3' high or higher. As you say, you can always sub-divide the area, but I've found it unnecessary. They won't likely leave the heat circle in the beginning anyhow. But.....
    The fuzz balls become flying, running, and jumping maniacs by age 5 weeks.

    They will self regulate. At first, they will mostly huddle around the heat, but by week three, they will venture all over then pen and only return to the heat circle, when and if they want it. By week 6 or 7, they will want out!!!

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