Wich would you do. Small and warm or large and cool?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Tigertrea, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. Tigertrea

    Tigertrea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2012
    LaSalle Ontario Canada
    My chicks very quickly outgrew the plastic container I was using for a brooder. I was stiring their shavings 3-4 times a day, adding shavings daily and it began to smell after only 2 days. I decided it was because the area was too small for them. 11, 5 day old chicks in a 3X2 area with food and water. BUT, it was nice and warm!

    I moved them to my 4X4 playpen to give them more room. Of course, more open area, more heat loss. I put a tarp around the outside of it where it was mesh and then covered 3/4 of the top with blankets. I have managed to keep it at about 80 today but, it will get cooler overnight.

    I am really wondering if they would be better off in the smaller space? Today they are quieter, still chirping tough, They are all laying under the lamp. But, not huddled. They move around, play and eat. Poops are OK.

    I really am lost here! I know that if they get stressed it can take days before it affects them. I don't want to find out in a week I made a mistake!
     
  2. Gatordog

    Gatordog Out Of The Brooder

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    Could you get a cardboard box to increase the size and then install another heat lamp to compensate for the heat loss with a bigger brooder?
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    The way I do it is to raise them in a brooder in the coop. I put a good draft guard around the brooder to keep breezes off them, but I only heat one area of the brooder. The rest cools off to ambient, whatever that is. Sometimes ambient gets in the 40's Fahrenheit overnight.

    They always have the warm area to go to so they can warm up when they want to, but you would be surprised at how much time they spend in the cooler areas. If I keep one area warm enough and let the rest cool off, they can find their comfort zone and I don't have to go through the worries you are now experiencing.

    Here's a photo of my 3' x 6' brooder. That red color is from the heat lamp. They are about 3 weeks old in this photo and it is probably about 60 degrees outside.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Tigertrea

    Tigertrea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2012
    LaSalle Ontario Canada
    THANK YOU!!!

    I feel much better now. I just spend some time watching them. right under the lamp is is about 90 now, so they have a spot to warm themselves. I did see them spending time in the corner furthest from the lamp. SO, I think they are ok. there is no draft since they are inside the house. Just the area they are in is unheated so, it does get quite cool in there. I moved my thermometer a bit away from the lamp also, I just want to see what the temp is like in different areas. I am sure the ambient temp in the room is will stay above 50, even overnight tonight. I will keep doing what I'm doing then! I may have my hubby help me later to put something under the brooder to insulate the floor a bit. that should help them also.
     
  5. Tigertrea

    Tigertrea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2012
    LaSalle Ontario Canada
    Good idea! I think if they look like they aren't handling the cool I may actually just use cardboard to make the large brooder a bit smaller. I will think about another lamp but, not sure it is financially viable right now, with trying to buy materials to get a coop up before they out grow the brooder lol.

    Edited to add....

    yet, if it came to it I'd likely miss a meal rather than have the chicks suffer. I don't want it to sound like I don't care "that" much lol.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012

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