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Why move from the incubator to the brooder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Magee, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. Magee

    Magee Out Of The Brooder

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    May 30, 2011
    I just unexpectedly hatched some jap quail (first time!)
    Can someone explain why the birds need to be moved out of the incubator? Why can't I raise them in the incubator? Two have hatched and there are two more eggs. What are the main differences between an incubator and a brooder?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    An incubator is set for a specific hatching temperature. That’s too hot to raise baby chickens, quail, turkeys, etc. That heat is a danger to the babies after about a week. A brooder is normally easier to control temperatures. To me an ideal brooder is one where you heat one area and let the rest cool down so they can find their own comfort zone.

    They grow really fast. An incubator is normally pretty small. They need more room pretty quickly.

    They poop a lot. When that poop builds up it can stink. You also need to keep their area dry. A wet brooder stinks plus can be really unhealthy. There are a lot of different incubators out there but the ones I’m familiar with would be really hard to set up so you can keep them dry. You can normally set up a brooder to be a lot easier to clean than an incubator with chicks running around and escaping when you open it.
     
  3. Magee

    Magee Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks!
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    Agree with the above. No baby fowl is meant to live in a constant 100 degree environment. Baby chicks hatched by a broody hen are out and about in ambient temperature even the day they hatch. The heat is just to warm up, not to live in.
     
  5. ChickyTown

    ChickyTown Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2015
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    Can the quail stay there for the first week if I lower the temp to 85-90? Still air incubator I can keep humidity low
     
  6. firedragon1982

    firedragon1982 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I look at it this way. My incubator is about 1 sq ft interior. That is not enough room to run around in, even with small chics. And my incubator only has 2 holes on top for ventilation and a few small holes beneath for ventilation. The smell and carbon dioxide would build up really fast in there and the chicks would be miserable and possibly die from health issues for not getting fresh air circulation/build up of ammonia in the incubator. Brooders are open air, get lots of circulation, and a LOT easier to clean out the litter than washing out the incubator. Besides, would you want to live in something the square footage of your bathroom as you grow and have no where to walk around/move? I sure wouldn't, even with large master bathrooms! Would go stir crazy very quickly!
     
  7. ChickyTown

    ChickyTown Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok thanks, I only have 3 baby quail in there...and have unexpected chicks in brooder that's all, was just hoping they'd be safe there until I relocated the bantam chicks ...but may have to buy another heat lamp :)
     
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Perhaps you think preparing a brooder is difficult or time consuming or expensive. I assure you it's none of these things when dealing with a small number of birds. People have used cardboard boxes, plastic totes and even kiddie pools for the brooder box. Unless you are heating a large area there is no need to purchase a heat lamp. In a medium tote I've used 60W incandescent bulb in old drywall metal hood clamp light. It only take enough heat to heat one side of the brooder to 90F, in small brooders that could be as small as an oven light. As long as the socket is secured in place and no risk of fire you can use almost anything with bulb to heat. A desk lamp would work as long as it's secured to not fall over.

    My point being is you can put together a brooder for no cost as you've everything on hand in your home for a small batch of chicks. Even the flooring can be paper towels for the first few days. Some folks use old bath towels after but I like pine shavings. Quick and easy and no reason why one would use an incubator as brooder longer than a day.
     

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