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What size brooder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by caj1985, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. caj1985

    caj1985 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2012
    Ratcliff, AR
    I will be putting 48 eggs in the incubator this weekend. Assuming I get a good hatch, what size brooder do I need to give them enough room? Heat won't be a problem here in Arkansas in May. I have never raised more than 12 at a time. I know these will need MUCH more room.

    Thanks in advance. I know I am planning ahead. I just want to get the brooder built and then start on a new coop.
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Since I brood out large "batches", usually around 24-30 chicks, I just use my utility trailer. Since I need a space about that large anyhow, I saw no need to "build" anything. Just used what was available.

    In the late 1950's and throughout the 1960's, I brooded out 200-250 chicks right on the floor of the chicken coop. It was 12x16, as I recall. My avatar is a photo from that era. If you intend to use multiple lamps, and I would certainly suggest it strongly, you can create multiple "warm spots" preventing 50 chicks from trying to pile up and risking smothering.

    If I was going to brood out 50 chicks, I'd do it right in the barn, right on the floor of one of the pens.

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  3. caj1985

    caj1985 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2012
    Ratcliff, AR
    Thanks, Fred. I can do that. Would a couple of heat lamps in the middle with cooler spots on the edges be fine? Here in Western AR in May it runs 80's during the days and 70's at night. I don't figure they will need much extra heat.

    I thought I would put the water and feed in the outskirts and heat in the middle to avoid piling up in the corners.

    What do you think?
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You have a good plan. I'd likely use three or four lamps. Secured. I'd probably lower them to 14" off the floor. 150watt bulbs, red in color. With your temps, 250watt bulbs is likely over kill. You'd have to actually be careful not to "cook" them during 80 degree days. Got a feeling that they'd not want much if any heat from 10 am through sunset. The heat supplement would likely be needed at night. Once they are 4 weeks old, they'd only want a touch of heat at night, if any.

    Thought you'd enjoy these photos.

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