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Budget Brooder

From Day 1 to 4 weeks


For those who are just getting started (or started again) we put together this set up option for brooding your chicks on a budget.





It starts with your ambient temperature. Pick the warmest room you have available to brood your chicks. If you can’t get the temp under the plate up to 95 degrees put a blanket in the 50 gallon tote box and set the 30 gallon tote inside it. Put a rug under the 50 gallon tote for more insulation or put the container on a table, heat rises. If you are still having a hard time getting the heat up you can gain a few degree’s by partially covering the top of the tote. Put the two pieces of wire shelf on top and cover partially with a rug, towel or blanket.




Day 1: Line the tote with piddle pads it provides a slick free surface. Don’t put shavings in yet, you don’t want them eating it. It’s highly suggested you purchase an actual chick waterer but if you don’t have one you can use a shallow water dish and place rocks or stones in it that are too big for the chicks to eat. You want them to drink, not drown. You will need to dip their beak in it when you put them in for the first time. Don’t forget the night light they can get lost when they come out from under the heat plate for a drink.


It's too hot if they don’t stay under the plate or you see them “gasping” so keep a thermometer under there. If you hear them chirping they are likely too cold.


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Day 1 Set Up:

Night Light


From Day 1 through 7 we check chick bottoms daily looking for pasty butt (dried poop on their bottoms). Using this set up we are able to check each chick quickly and return them. To keep their environment clean and their feet clean you will need to change the piddle pad several times a day depending on the number of chicks you have. We add shaving after the first week for this reason.


As they grow we increase the size of the tote and raise the heat plate.


Week 2 Set Up:

Night Light

Cookie Sheet/Cooling Rack


Once they reach 4 weeks old they are ready to go outside. If the night time temps are over 60 degrees they can stay outside. If not, you will need to add supplemental heat. You can also return them to the brooder box at night or when it rains if needed.






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