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Why can't I "brood" my chicks in the henhouse?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Shikens!, May 8, 2011.

  1. Shikens!

    Shikens! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2011
    I'm in sunny FL and my new hen house is almost done. It measures 3'x4' with a slanted roof. The door to the run closes so why can't I add a heat lamp and brood my chicks in the hen house? I'm assuming you can't do this because I haven't seen anyone else doing it.

    It seems like the hen house is just as draft free and even more secure than any brooder I could make and keep inside, especially since I have 3 curious cats! Also using a broody hen to raise chicks means the chicks live in the hen house... so why can't I do it that way?

    BTW I'm new! My chicks arrive the week of June 14th so I have plenty of time to figure out what to do.

    Thanks in advance chicken lovers!
     
  2. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    You can brood them in the hen house if you have a section that is apart from unknown adult hens that might injure babies.
     
  3. Shikens!

    Shikens! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Oh, I don't have any other chickens!

    I think I posted this in the wrong spot! [​IMG]
     
  4. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    Then absolutely go ahead and brood them in the hen house. No reason not to.

    Happy chick raising!
     
  5. hisdaughter

    hisdaughter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2011
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    I too, live in sunny Florida. I would think keeping the chickens in a hen house would be ok if you can control the temp. Our nights in central Florida are still below 70, so you definately want to keep the heat lamp..I think the temp should be 95 degrees at chick height, or about 2 inches off the floor. Lower the heat about 5 degrees/week by raising the lamp, until the brooder temp matches the outside temp. You can use a gooseneck lamp or a hanging reflector light with a 75wt bulb. by the time June gets here, the nights should be well over 80 so you should only need the heat lamp for a few weeks. Sure hope you have a blast with your ladies.
     
  6. chicktwins

    chicktwins Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2011
    Eastern Shore
    I am new to this as well and it seems we will be getting our chickies a week or so after you....so excited!! Anyway in everything I have read, brooding is more about protection and temperature for the babies. Since we are going to be brooding in warmer months I would venture to say you are probably safe to brood in the coop as long as you can ensure a constant temp in the first few weeks. Good luck to you!!! What breeds did you order? We have some Buff Orpington's, Silver Laced Wyandotte's, Lt. Brahma's, Dominique's, Wht Crested Blk Polish, Buff Laced Polish and Americana's coming the week of June 19th. [​IMG]
     
  7. Baymen Moe

    Baymen Moe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 17, 2009
    Pembroke, Ma.
    Go ahead and brood them in the coop. I did that here with temps in the forties in an 8x8 coop. No problems at all. I kept them in a small area to start then let them loose as they grew.
     
  8. Shikens!

    Shikens! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2011
    I am so happy to hear what you guys are saying! I don't think it would have been possible to keep my cats out of an indoor brooder, what with kids opening and closing doors and not paying attention!

    I think it will be fairly easy. I was going to use one of those metal clip on reflectors in one corner of the hen house and keep the door shut. I think they should be able to figure out where to hang out depending on if they feel hot or cold. Maybe 2 lamps. I'll watch them close and see how they are acting to determine if they need something different. One entire side of my hen house opens for cleaning so changing their bedding in the hen house should be a snap with a push broom!

    I am so excited! I ordered 12 BLR Wyandotte chicks. I am hoping to get 3 or 4 hens, hopefully at least one of each color.

    Thank you so much! I am already a chicken fanatic!
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Sure you can, I have. I like to have chicks that have been shipped in the house the first week if I can, so I can make sure they're all okay. Especially if it was a hard trip and the weather turned cold during the trip. It's easier for me to make sure they're all eating and drinking fine, that none are weak and need help. It's also easier to check for pasty butt and clean it, if any have a problem. After that, I've finished brooding them in either a coop or a grow-out chicken tractor. There's no reason they can't go out there from day one.

    As long as you set it up so they have a draft free area and the right temperature, any place with decent air quality works for brooding. If drafts are an issue in your coop, you can use a cardboard draft shield around them or a large cardboard box. It also keeps them from wandering too far away from the light if it's a really big coop. You may not need that.

    I hang the heat lamp on a metal chain, looped over a rafter or roof joist. I use a c-link to connect the end of the chain to another link in the chain and screw it closed. My rule of thumb is to try to hang the lamp so it will stay up if it gets used as a pinata. Then it doesn't fall if you, a child, a pet or a chicken bumps into it. For example, don't just loop a cord over a nail or screw, that could slip off. You have warmer weather there, so you may be using something that puts out less heat, but I would still hang it carefully.

    Good luck and have fun with your new chicks!
     
  10. Shikens!

    Shikens! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2011
    Quote:Thanks for all that great info! I have read a lot about pasty butt, what to look for, how to clean it etc, but how often does it happen? Like, is it super common?


    Could a mod please move this to chick raising please, I definitely posted it in the wrong spot. Sorry about that!
     

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