It has been a long time since we have had baby chicks around.
The last time was the summer before last and they were raised by a mama hen, so we didn’t get to experience the joys of baby chicks in brooders.
The last time I actually took care of baby chicks was the Spring of 2014!
With eggs about to hatch, hopefully, I have had to refresh my memory on baby chick care and get the brooder all set up.
The first two times I had chicks went extremely well, as in I didn’t loose any chicks, but i still wanted to improve.
The first time, I had four chicks in a baby pool in my garage. While there was nothing technically wrong with the setup, it wasn’t the easiest as they got bigger. Since I had bought them in the fall, they spent a long time in the garage and it got annoying quickly.
The second time, I had four chicks in a big plastic bin in the kitchen and then on the screen porch. Thankfully I bought these in spring so they moved outside into the coop in a reasonable time frame.
The one thing I learned was I hated heat lamps. They left the brooder with hot spots and cold spots and I was always scared it would catch fire. Then one day when I was cleaning the plastic bin, I moved the lamp close enough it melted the plastic! I had heard of the Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder, so as soon as those chicks were in the coop, I threw that scary thing away.
The chicks can walk under and get warm and then walk out when they get to hot. Since they mimic a mother hen, this seemed like a better option to me.
A couple of weeks ago I ordered two similar heating plates from Premier1 to set up in the brooders, each could accommodate 30 chicks. Which means I could warm 60 chicks… anyone see this being an issue? Nope, me neither!
After I candled the eggs last Thursday, and i knew they were all still viable I got to work setting up the first brooder. It still get cold at night so I put a big cardboard box in the weird alcove under the stairs. This way we pass it multiple times a day and we can check on the chicks.
I went ahead and tested the heating plate to make sure it worked. It did! Everything was ready!
Except I needed shavings to go on the bottom, so after lunch on Sunday we stopped at Tractor Supply to get some. Remember the 60 chick capacity and how I already had a brooder ready to go?
I left Tractor Supply with 12 Rhode Island Red chicks. That place is dangerous this time of year!