Winter brooding... Would it work?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by PerfectPlumage, Nov 24, 2016.

  1. PerfectPlumage

    PerfectPlumage Chillin' With My Peeps

    So, I would really, really like to get more chicks. I have been wanting to get more chicks for ages now. It's winter here but I have an idea of how to keep them warm. So my idea is, I take my new large brooder, it has a wood roof, screen walls (I would be covering two of the walls with cardboard to block out wind) and is on a stand so a few feet off the ground. It is pretty big and could house about 30 chicks. (I plan to get 16) I would put it on our back porch, which has an outlet and roof so I can plug in their heat source and the roof would keep any rain/snow away, along with the brooder's roof. Our porch is pretty big and the brooder would be placed up against our house and away from wind. I would have a heat lamp shining into the brooder to keep their water unfrozen and the brooder warm so they would have their own little patch of summer. They would also have a heating pad mama hen to hide under to warm up. It would look something like this.. [​IMG]
    So the whole brooder would be heated 24/7 AND they would have a mama heating pad to snuggle in. I would have a whole ton of wood shavings as bedding.

    Would this work? Everyone in my family thinks I'm crazy.

    Wow that was a lot of typing [​IMG]
  2. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2013
    Kalispell MT
    I don't see why it wouldn't work. I do question the use of the heat lamp and the MHP at the same time. I would think the MHP would be all you need. If you read the thread on MHP you'll read that others have raised babies in winter using just the pad. As long as there is no draft in the brooder all should be well. I believe it was Blooie who had a picture of a chick using a pad with the temperature in the single digits.

    My own chicks hatched late in the year as their Momma hid her nest very well. While they were still little fuzz balls we had a couple nights that went down in the 20s. When I checked on the chicks in the morning they were running around, pecking, eating, and drinking. Occasionally they'd run to their Momma and warm up for a minute or two. Then they'd be off doing their own thing again. Seems to me that they don't require heat all the time. They just need to be able to warm up when they need to get warm.
  3. PerfectPlumage

    PerfectPlumage Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, I showed my dad this reply. He says no chicks until spring just because that's how other people do it. That's his only reason. Even though I would be paying for them. And their bedding. And their feed. [​IMG]
  4. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Mission Control has spoken. But look at it this way, you will have more time to plan. And spring begins in February! So it's not that long to wait!
  5. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2013
    Kalispell MT
    The advantage of getting chicks in the spring is that there are so many more breeds available. I remember spending the winter researching all the interesting breeds and finally deciding what to get when spring came.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    My thought would be....what about after the brooding stage? You'd be weaning chicks off the brooder in January. Not really the best time to move chicks outside. Or, keeping them in a brooder until they're like 3 months, also not a great idea. 16 3 month old birds are going to take a LOT of space, and make a LOT of poop.

    Sounds like Feb or March is a better idea. Plus, as stated, it's a better time to get birds, either shipped or locally. When raising animals, sometimes you just have to bow to the seasons.

    And always bow to the parents [​IMG]
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Shazam Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Anytime I tried to keep chicks in a brooder for too long they started to peck each other bloody. They need mental stimulation after about 3 weeks and need to be outside as soon as it's warm enough to spend some time on some warm grass and get some sunshine. It is best to wait until you can raise them right, they will be happier and better adjusted.
  8. Ella Rollins

    Ella Rollins New Egg

    Aug 4, 2016

    I was just wondering where to raise my chickens during winter. That's when I saw that one of my chicken was resting peacefully inside our garage storage cabinet . Then I thought that it is a good idea and I let all my chicken inside my garage. They really enjoy there and I think they are feeling warm too.. I hope they'll feel comfortable there the next month too.. This is our temporary solution.. Brooder seems to be a great option.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop

    @PerfectPlumage Where are you located?

    I had a broody hatch in dead of winter. It worked ok, but I wouldn't do it again.

    Your heat lamp idea is dangerous....and @donrae 's spacing issue as they grow is a very valid point.

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