Call Meyer Hatchery!
Okay, not really funny. But seriously, I got 19 new day old chicks today. Unlike the first group that we weren’t really prepared for, this group went straight to the brooder in the barn. Look how much the original group has grown in just 3 weeks!It has just dawned on me that you’ve never seen the brooder. Its a 6x6x2.5 foot box covered in quarter inch welded wire and open on the bottom. It sits on a concrete floor. The framing is 2X4s. I’ve two heat lamps on the new guys and the bigger chicks have plenty of room to get away from the light.
Chicks need heat when they’re little. It is recommended that they be maintained at 90-95 degrees F at a day for a week, then the temperature should be dropped by about 5 degrees F each week until they are fully feathered. I don’t have a thermometer, I use the chicks’ behavior to decide if the temp is correct. If they’re huddled under the light, it’s too cold. If they’re panting and pressed to the sides of the brooder, they’re too warm. Happy chicks don’t make much noise, unhappy ones peep like mad. Easy as that. The temperature is adjusted by moving the light up and down. Keep drafts to a minimum, plastic boxes work GREAT.
Once the little guys out grow the plastic box (in about 4 days), I’ll move them to general population. If they all get on fine (highly unlikely), we’ll leave it. If necessary, we’ll add a wire divider to the brooder to keep them separated.
Totally bummed I have to leave town for three days in the AM.