brooder questions

msjay2u(7)June 3, 2008

I did a search and found some chicken brooders that you guys have set up. I went shooping today and I brought:

A 29 gal rubbermaid bucket ($6)

an auto feeder and a waterer that look like this ($4 each) and now I notice the chicken feeders and waterers have small round access holes. will what I brought work???

one of those dangerous lights that you can only buy at walmart ($7)

a ordinary 100 watt bulb (79 cents)

I need to get some bedding and wondering if regular hay will work. i accidently brought cedar muclch ( I meant to buy pine mulch). I know I can not use the cedar so I will put it in the garden. I hated to spend $7 on the pine BEDDING so I was looking for an alternative. I have lots of hay but that won't do jack for the smell.

lastly I have not been able to find chick starter feed yet. can I use duck pellets? I have about 40 lbs left over from my ducks.

oh and what do you guys store your feed in?

Do I need to devise a different top on the bin or can I leave it with no top?


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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Hay should work fine for bedding, just realize that whatever you use, you'll have to change it out every so often to keep things clean.

The chicks are going to outgrow the Rubbermaid tub pretty quickly, so you have a second, larger brooder box planned? Also, sooner or later they'll learn to jump up and you'll find them perching on the edge of the tub. I use a chicken wire cover over my brooder box--chicken wire is OK for me because the chicks are safe inside my house. I use a large cardboard appliance box that I can get for free from behind local stores. :) Here's what my current set up looks like, this box is 47 in. x 27 in. and about 3ft. tall:

The only thing to look out for with cardboard boxes is to make sure it didn't have anything toxic in it. The hardware cloth 'window' you see in the pic I reuse from year to year, I just hot glue it over the hole I cut in the box. I think it's essential to keep the chicks entertained and get them used to things moving around, it also keeps them from getting bored and picking on each other.

I wouldn't try the duck pellets for chicks. Try to find chick starter or grow mash at least (my feed store only carries grow mash). They might choke on the pellets, and the pellets may not have the correct nutritional balance for them.

We store our feed in 35 gallon metal trash cans with metal lids (vermin can't chew through them) and place a brick or large rock on top of the lid to keep rats & mice from getting in.

I've got a chicken info site here that may help, here's the section on hens & chicks:

Enjoy your birds, cochins are great! :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 12:03PM
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