What's needed as a brooder?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Jocasta, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. Jocasta

    Jocasta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2011
    So, having battled with trying to work out how to construct a homemade incubator and a less than enthusiastic husband insisting on doing the electrics but not actually wanting to... I bit the bullet and ordered an incubator. I pick up my eggs on Tuesday with any luck.

    What do I need for a brooder? Will keeping indoors with a thermostat be sufficient or will I need to dust off my styrofoam box that I was planning on using for the incubator and re-think the design for a brooder instead?

    TIA
     
  2. MissTurkey4

    MissTurkey4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2011
    I have never built a booder. I use a 160 gal. stock tank for large hatches with a 250 watt red heat lamp set on top of the wire top. For small batches, a 18 gal storage tote works great. I cover it with a old oven rack and a light bulb.
     
  3. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    My current inside brooder is a large card board box with a towel or puppy pad so they can sleep on it, a heat lamp and a thermometer. I also have a measuring cup and small bowl with colorful marbles placed inside of the water so that the poults don't drown. I also have a small stuffed animal to keep them company. It's cheap but it works.
     
  4. ccrawf

    ccrawf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 6, 2009
    Springfield, Missouri
    I have successfully used card board boxes with a light bulb also. For larger hatches I use two boxes and tape them together. Or I use a different box for each hatch.
    Lots of places have boxes you can get for free. I work at McDonalds, so I pretty much have the pick of boxes. The ones napkins come in are really thick, the ones the large styrofoam cups come in are bigger but with thinner walls. If you ask, most places will sve them for you. Just don't expect them to hold them long, sheck each day, sometimes more than once a day. Ask when is best time. Cut the box in half so there is a top and bottom and it makes two brooders. I cover them with a section from an old child's gate.
    I put down news paper and then cover that with paper towels for the first week or so. Going to try using wood shavings this year, and just keep adding to it as needed.
    For the first day or so, I just scatter the feed on the paper towel. When they get used to eating and what they eat, I have feeders that I use. Also have a waterer that is a quart jar on a base. Works for me, and it is rather cheap. When they get bigger, I switch to a gallon size water jug, not as easy for them to tip over.
     
  5. Jocasta

    Jocasta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aw, thanks guys. I'm really loving this site. I felt really bad because all I've done so far is ask for advice and tips but everyone is so helpful! I think my styrofoam box will work out just fine, failing that, I've got a cardboard box in the garage that the kids toy kitchen came in so that could also work. That and a spare lamp and I'm away [​IMG] Do you have to place the lamp out of their reach or is it ok to have the bulb at their level? Was just thinking that heat rises, but then I don't want them burning themselves or pecking at the bulb...
     
  6. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Quote:I put the heat lamp at a higher level so that it's not too far away or not too close. I try to get a heat starting at 100 degrees, so I place the thermometer below where the heat lamp will be. I let it set for a few minutes and check temp. If I can't get my temp at 100 degrees, I lover the heat lamp. If the temps reads higher than 100 degrees, I raise the heat lamp. You will have to keep playing with your heat lamp locations to get the right temp. Then, each week, I raies the heat lamp to get that 5 degree weekly difference - 95 degrees, 90 degrees, 85 degreese, etc. I always make sure that the heat lamp is VERY SECURE, so that it doesn't fall on the poults and burn and kill them. PLEASE make sure that it cannot move. You can wrap the cord around something or whatever you prefer but make sure that it cannot fall down in the brooder box or on them.
     
  7. TriciaHowe

    TriciaHowe Mother Hen

    Nov 11, 2008
    High Springs, FL
    I have several "brooders". The one the chicks go in when they first hatch and stay for a couple of weeks is actually a sink. The deep white wash sinks that you can get at Lowes. It great because I wash it out when I need to. Then they move to the outside brooder which is basically a wire cage with a heat lamp and an old flannel sheet that I can total cover the cage if need be if it's really cold or windy. They stay here until almost totally feathered. Then they go to the grow out pen which is inside my coop/run. They stay here for as little as a week or as long as a month. Ducklings come down the soonest so they have access to the small pool on the ground in the run. Then they move finally to the ground with the hens and 3 Delaware roos (they are chick friendly).
    Good luck to you! [​IMG]

    ETA That I do have a very large, very expensive brower brooder in my feed room (by the barn). I lost more chicks to snakes in that thing that I probably raised that year. I have yet to even plug it in this year because I have yet to find a way to make it snake proof - or even resistant at this point.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
  8. MissTurkey4

    MissTurkey4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Start looking now for a red heat lamp. White does not work well for poulty. Finding one that is less than 250 watts where I live is not easy. I do not like the clamps that are on the reflector brooder lamps. They do not hold. I have had 3 fires in my house with them falling even when I thought they where holding good. Now I wire them to my top so they can't fall into the brooder. I haven't had a fire in three years. The reflectors brooder lamps come with different ratings. Look to see if it is safe for your size of bulb that you use.

    One advantage of having them in your house is you know if a light goes out or the power goes off. They also let you know if the need water or food.

    I use a towel at the bottom of my brooder. I change it once a day so they don't breath amonia and have respiratory problems later from burning there lungs. I hate shavings getting in their food or water. It is also very dusty in the house.
     
  9. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
  10. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011

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