Our chicks and ducklings shipped yesterday (Monday April 16th 2012) and should be arriving tomorrow or the next day. So it was time to put together a couple of brooders. I needed one for the 20 or so chicks and one for the couple of ducklings. Baby chickens and baby ducks should not be keep together because ducks get the brooder very wet which can cause problems for the baby chicks. We ordered 10 Black Australorps for our laying flock, 10 dark cornish for our meat birds, and 2 fawn runner ducks.
It’s a good idea to have your brooder set up in advance of getting your chicks so they can almost immediately be introduced to their new home, get warmed up, and get some water and food. This is especially important when ordering by mail as we did.
Our chicken brooder consisted of a 3′ diameter circle of chicken wire with cardboard on the inside to act as a draft shield. Chicks need about 0.5 square foot of space per chick, so this setup is large enough for about 30 chicks.
The walls (chicken wire and cardboard) are about 24″ tall. I hung a brooder lamp from the ceiling using a chain so it can easily be adjusted to change the temperature. About 1″ of large pine shavings were placed in the bottom of the brooder.
We used the bottom of a large dog kennel for the ducklings. The setup is basically the same as the chicken brooder. We didn’t need as big of an enclosure since we only ordered 2 and floor space is limited in our basement.
Now all there is left to do is add the feeders, waterers, and chicks/ducks.
It’s been a while since my last post but I should have plenty of posts coming out 3 or 4 times a week coming up with the arrival of the chickens and ducks. I have been trying to share the content of some of the blogs and sites I enjoy on facebook almost daily. Be sure to follow us there.