Tarter Tank Brooder

It’s been said that money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy chickens….and that is pretty much the same thing. If you are planning on starting your flock of happiness and don’t have a Momma Hen, we are here to help! The next best thing to using Momma Hen is to create a brooder using a Tarter Stock Tank. Here are some basic requirements for a brooder:

  • Must be able to keep your chicks safe
  • Must be draft free
  • Must be able to hold heat safely
  • Needs to be roomy

Tarter’s Stock Tanks meet all these requirements and more! They are easy to clean, can be used more than once, and they have multiple uses!

Here are some simple, easy-to-follow steps for creating your very own Tarter Tank Brooder.

Step One: Your new chicks are going to be need plenty of room. Be sure the tank you choose is appropriate for the number chicks you plan on keeping. See chart below for a guide to choosing your tank.

Step Two: Visit your local Tarter Retailer to purchase your desired stock tank. You can find retailers on our website: https://www.tarterusa.com If your retailer does not have your desired tank in stock, they can order. We recommend that you purchase your tank a few weeks before your chicks, just in case your retailer needs to order one for you.

Step Three: Let’s be 100% honest – baby chicks aren’t the cleanest. If you didn’t already know that, you will. This is why it is very important to line the bottom of your tank with large wood shavings.

Do not use cedar! The oil in cedar shavings can cause respiratory issues for your baby chicks. Pine shavings are a better alternative.

Step Four: One of the most important, feed those babies! These type of feeders are perfect for brooders. They are easy to clean and the chicks can’t make too big of a mess or waste their food and water.

Step Five: Your new chicks must have a heat lamp. Tip: Start heating tank 24 hours before chicks arrive. Chicks should have a brooding area of 105 degrees for the first hour. After that first hour, a good temperature to maintain is 90-95 degrees F. Lower the temperature by 5 degrees F each week following until the chicks are feathered out.

Step Six: Place a thermometer somewhere in the brooder so you can make sure the temperature is just right.

You can easily tell if the brooder is too hot or too cold by watching the chicks. If they are too cold, they will be huddled together under the lamp. If they are too hot, they will be as far away from the light as possible. If they are just right, they will be happily moving around the brooder.

These steps will help you create a stress free, safe environment for your chicks, helping them grow into beautiful birds.


  • Hoover’s Hatchery: News From The Coop https://newsfromthecoop.hoovershatchery.com/
  • Hoover’s Hatchery, 2020 Catalog and Reference Guide. Rudd, Iowa
  • Damerow, Gail. (2017). Storey’s Guide To Raising Chickens Fourth Edition. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing
  • Steele, Lisa. (2018). 101 Chicken Keeping Hacks. Beverly, MA: Voyageur Press