Frequently Asked Questions
What are the rearing cubicles made out of?
The cubicles are made from lightweight yet strong fiberglass. The interior and exterior are painted with a durable layer of white gel coat.
How do I set up the cubicle up as a wet brooder?
This arrangement will require one plastic floor grate. Place the grate over the side of the cubicle with the smooth (untextured) slanted floor. The heat source should be situated over this side of the cubicle. The opposite slanted floor is textured to allow chicks easy access in and out of the water. The cubicle is designed to allow water to flow over the divider in the center of the cubicle floor and out the drain below the floor grate.
Users interested in providing only a small, very shallow source of water have found that placing a second floor grate over the full water basin creates a slight access to water along the central high point. Offering food in this shallow water works well for shorebirds and some difficult ducklings.
We do not recommend using the brooder with the water basin only partially filled (some chicks aren't able to climb up the slope).
How do I clean the cubicle?
The cubicle is designed to be easily rinsed clean, and a sponge or plastic scrub pad works well for cleaning particularly tough residue . Disinfectants and bleach solution can be used as needed. If set up with a drip system the flowing water helps keep droppings wet and easily removable. The plastic floor grids can be disinfected and washed separately from the cubicle.
Cubicle drains should be checked at least daily for blockages, particularly if pieces of large food, feathers or other bulky debris is present. Drain blockage can cause cubicles to flood or drain slower than desired.
Where does the water go?
Waste water can flow out of the cubicle and into a floor drain, or it can be piped directly from the cubicle. A female 1-1/4" PVC fitting is attached to the cubicle drain and can be coupled to whichever size drain pipe extension you prefer using readily available PVC or rubber couplings. Some users who did not have plumbing or floor drains have used 5 gallon buckets to catch drain water.
How do I set up the cubicle as a dry brooder?
This arrangement will require two floor grates (reminder: only grate one comes included with the cubicle). The heat source should be situated over only one floor grate, allowing chicks to move to the opposite side of the cubicle should they get too hot.
Do I need to do anything to the cubicle prior to using it?
The cubicle and floor grate should be rinsed clean prior to use to ensure that any residual oils and dust from the manufacturing and shipping processes are completely removed.
I have chicks with small feet and I worry they’ll slip through the floor grate. What can I do to prevent this?
In our experience even the smallest waterfowl chicks (Hottentot Teal, Bufflehead, etc.) do not have trouble with their feet falling through the holes in the floor grates, but for small birds or those with especially sensitive feet we offer a soft mat that can be used on top of the grate. Our soft mat is extremely durable and will last for many years, but it’s not cheap. For short term use some users cut readily available drawer liners to shape, but please watch closely to prevent accidental ingestion.
How long can chicks stay in the cubicle?
The duration chicks can stay in the cubicle depends on the species and clutch size. As chicks grow they can be split up into smaller groups in multiple cubicles, or moved to a larger rearing enclosure.
When should chicks be put in the cubicle? How should it be set up?
Chicks can be put in the cubicle directly from the hatcher once they are completely dry and fully capable of walking. How the cubicle is set up varies among users. Some prefer to use two floor grates and keep chicks dry for a few days after hatch before introducing them to swimming water. Others prefer to set up the cubicle with only one floor to give access to water immediately. All chicks should be closely monitored to ensure they settle into the cubicle properly.
How do I protect my cubicle?
Fiberglass is very strong but is susceptible to damage caused by impacts. Make sure the cubicle is securely protected from falling. Do not overfill the cubicle with water (beyond the height of the center divider). The gel coat is very durable but is also susceptible to damage from impacts. Floor grates and feeders should be gently placed in the cubicle to prevent the gel coat layer from cracking.