Brooder Barn – Proper Set Up

Published On: August 27, 2015Categories: Brooders, Chicks

At MacFarlane Farms we believe the best way to have strong healthy birds is to start out with the best brooder barn you can set up. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is that the structure you are using is draft -free, clean and that it has the appropriate light, heat, feed and water. Before your new chicks arrive, have everything ready to create the most stress-free environment possible.

Your brooder barn should be clean and disinfected one to two weeks before the chicks arrive. At MacFarlane, we clean and disinfect barns and leave them empty for a time before we move a new flock in.

As soon as your chicks arrive they should be removed from their boxes and put into a barn with plenty of heat, food and water. Having everything available reduces competition among the chicks which reduces stress. Keeping a proper density will also reduce stress. 4 chicks per square foot of floor space until 3 weeks of age, and 2 chicks per square foot from 3 weeks to 6 weeks are typical density measurements we use here at MacFarlane.

For small flocks, you should have at least one 250 watt infrared bulb for every 100 chicks. Hang the heat lamp from the ceiling with about 18 inches from the floor to the bottom of the lamp. Use bulbs with the red end because they keep the chicks calmer and reduce aggression.

For the first five to seven days, you may confine the chicks in a ring or draft shield. Brooder paper or cardboard that is between 14 and 18 inches high in a four-foot diameter circle can help prevent drafts and can confine 50 chicks. Place the heat lamp in the center and then pay close attention to what the chicks do. If the chicks bunch up and start to pile, lower the heat lamp height and add bulbs because they are cold and looking for more heat. If they move away from the heat lamp, raise the lamp slightly.

Wean the chicks off of direct heat by raising the heat lamp a few inches each day. Then supplement some forced air heat to keep the birds comfortable. The temperature in the room should be decreased by one degree each day in order to transition the birds to the outdoors. By the time the chicks move outside, the temperature inside and outside should be similar.

Since you invest money in your chicks, and want the best for them, it is important to be prepared. Making sure that their arrival is as stress-free as possible by having the brooder barn ready will ensure an easier adjustment. Seeing to their comfort by having a draft-free environment with plenty of heat, food and water will give the chicks the healthy start that they need.

Infographic on signs of sickness or stressed pheasantsSigns of Sickness or Stress in Birds
Photo of Breeder PenHow To Construct Durable Pheasant Flight Pens

Related Posts

  • Pheasant Chicks

    Shipping Chicks Safely During Cold Weather Months

    Read Post

  • Flight Pen

    Preparing Our Barns & Pens Each Spring

    Read Post

  • Ringneck Chick heads

    A Comparison of Hatch Data Between Two Different Genetic Types of Pheasants

    Read Post

  • Construction Photo

    Hatchery News at MacFarlane Pheasants

    Read Post

  • Brooder Room

    How We Prepare For Brooding Our Chicks

    Read Post

  • Photo of Ringneck

    Our Milton Farm in 2024!

    Read Post

  • Photo of Incubator

    10 Hatching Tips for Incubating Pheasant Eggs Successfully

    Read Post

  • Photo of Brooder Barn

    10 Ways To Get the Most Out Of Brooder Barns

    Read Post

Subscribe to the newsletter

Take Advantage of These Free Resources

As the biggest game bird farm in the United States, we want to share our experience with you. Download our free resources below and get started.

Pheasant Design

Setup & Care for A Delivery of Adult Birds Manual

Get free tips about holding facility setup and daily care instructions.

Pheasant Chicks

The Insiders Guide to Pheasant Rearing

Get our insight as to what it takes to successfully run and manage a gamebird farm in this free guide.

The Complete Flight Pen Construction Manual

Flight Pen Construction Manual

Receive expert tips to help you design & build flight pens for your game bird farm.