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Brooder advice for the Big Day pls!!!

elvie Senior Member
edited March 2013 in Poultry Health and Welfare
Hello Everyone!

I could just do with a little advice pls on brooding!!! I have my incubator set up and running in an outhouse which has been heated to a steady constant temp of about 18 degrees. I am hoping to use the same room for brooding. I have an electric hen to provide the heat.

However, checked the temperature today with a trial run of the electric hen to make sure everything is right for my little hopefuls but I was really concerned as the temperature on the floor under it was just 19 degrees. The incubator is positioned higher up you see on a shelf. Now I am panicking as I know the temp needs to be about 37 degrees under the heat. What do you suggest? Should I get another heat source? Or should I abandon the idea of brooding in the outhouse and bring the chicks indoors!! Monday is day 18 so I am worrying about it and annoyed I have not realized earlier. Thought I had covered everything :rolleyes:

Hoping for 4 babies on Thursday, 2 pekins and 2 favorelles!

Out of 14 eggs 10 weren't fertile and 2 (pekins) are mine so I can t get this wrong now!

Love Elvie xxx


  • undautriundautri Senior Member
    edited March 2013
    the very best place to put your brooder is on the coffee table next to your favourite chair
    trust me- once they hatch youll spend ALL your time watching them so you might as well do it from the comfort of your living room :D
    id be more concerned about draughts in the outhouse than the heat of the floor also be worried about a rat getting in as it would kill them.
    there - 2 good excuses to put them on the coffee table:D
    dont forget that the chicks will need an area of the brooder that isnt as hot incase they need to cool down . think about a chick with a broodie - theyre only under her in the warmth part of the time.
    cant wait til thursday - really excited for you and cant wait to se how your faverolles turn out (im a fan of the breed thanks to Georgie)
    xx kath
  • elvie Senior Member
    edited March 2013

    Thank you Kath for that!! I know i will be wanting to keep looking at them!! I think thats why hubby rolled his eyes when i said about they may have to come indoors!! Fortunately, outhouse is very secure and has good strong solid door and inner mesh door so I am certain rats wont be a problem. To make sure i have no drafts lower on the floor, I think i am going to put some corrugated card around brooder. Trying again this morning with electric hen just to see. Weather is awful here though, I dont think we have had this much snow for a long time.

    Oh, and am I ok to remove the slats which hold eggs when turning tomorrow, day 18? How long can incubator lid be off for without causing problem? I am turning up humidity on Tuesday, day 19.

    Oh and one last thing:D :rolleyes: ...

    What are peeps, pips and zips and when do they happen?? Tried to google but not all that clear!! Thank you again!!

    Thank you for your help! Gosh, really close now!

    Love Elvie xxx
  • undautriundautri Senior Member
    edited March 2013
    hi elvie
    youve got a brilliant "bator - mines a rom too but ive got the childs version:D
    is it just the 4 in there ? you need to remove the ones that are infertile as they could burst and cause damage to the incubator or make the remaining chicks ill
    from now on you should be able to actually hear the chicks if they chirp - itll get louder closer to hatching day
    pipping is where the hatching has started and the chick has managed to make a crack or little hole in the shell
    some take their time while others go at it hell for leather and on times it looks like a zip is appearing in the shell- they turn slightly so theres a row of little cracks or holes. once theyve gone all around they can then push themselves out.
    remove the slats on the day you stop turning
    from here on in youll notice the eggs moving around as the chicks change position- really exciting times
  • sandiesbrahmas Super Moderator
    edited March 2013
    Bring them indoors, especially with the bitterly cold weather that we are currently suffering.......and, as Kath says, you will be in and out of the outhouse so often, that the floor will wear a groove.
    My 'brooder' is an ex rat pen which sits to the left of our ancient Aga....much to hubby's disgust....seems to generate exactly the right 'underfloor heating'.
    Fingers crossed that all goes well.
    I'm currently lambing in these horrible conditions, and am needing extra heating for all but the local hill sheep....Spring come PLEASE!
    Pics. of the new arrivals will be expected.

  • Littlechick Senior Member
    edited March 2013
    I third the general consensus Elvie.....bring them in! Much safer (no cats?) and really you wont want to miss out on watching them..... gorgeous, good luck!
  • MEGAN Senior Member
    edited March 2013
    Bring them in Elvie another vote. I had mine in when they hatched you would worry otherwise. The first few weeks they dont make much mess anyway. Cute to watch too.
    Defo take out the eggs that are not fertile. Mine exploded last year and believe me that is not a smell you want to smell. Also my chicks got covered in the gunk I had to bathe them in the first few days not something you really want to do but the poor mites were disgusting and smelly.
  • 275wright275wright Senior Member
    edited March 2013
    Oh my goodness. I am so excited for you.I wouldn't be able to contain myself and wouldn't be able to take my eyes off it. You lucky thing xxx
  • elvie Senior Member
    edited March 2013
    EUW! Thats not nice for them or for you!

    Glad I removed all the non fertile ones now!

    Well, I have been whittling all day, which is not unusual for me. Hubby has put some insulation in the brooder room and temperature has increased. I am going to keep my options open on this one now. The weather does not really show any sign of warming up much so I am going to prepare for an inside and outhouse brooder to be on the safe side. We have 2 jack russell dogs however who are a bit frantic. So I will need to find a safe and quiet spot if I bring them inside. Probably just have them next to me 24/7!!

    Gosh, blummin weather!

    I cannot believe it is day 18 tomorrow!! :eek:

    Computer is set up with camera in there! Hoping to get a video so we can see them hatching! :D

    Love Elvie xxx
  • elvie Senior Member
    edited March 2013
    I know!!

    This is my first go at incubating so it is very exciting but I am trying to keep as calm as I possibly can lol!!! (very very difficult for me!!)

    So glad I have a few days off for Easter...

    My fingers and toes are crossed and I hope everything goes right for my little babies! I still can't believe that Zippy is having her first babies! She was a star last year bringing up 3 day old pekin chicks! Now the cockerel she adopted is the father to her babies!! And I thought, well, I will have a go and put a couple of Zippy's eggs in the incubator just to see if they are fertile! Well what a surprise I got when I candled and saw them moving inside their shells! :D

    Love Elvie xxx

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