The Chick-Inn Brooder & Maternity Ward
Purchased Material List:
(2) Porcelain light fixtures (1 with pull cord) @ $2.99 & $4.89
(1) 6' Grounded Extension Cord @ $5.99
(1) Dimmer Switch @ $4.89
(3) Sliding locks @ $2.99 each
(2) Eye and Hook locks @ $2.49 each
(1) Great Stuff can @ $4.00
Existing Materials Used:
(2) sheets of plywood (non-whole)
(2) ~ 5' of 2"x4" lumber
~ 25' of 1"x3" lumber (could really be any sized - it was used for framing the floor of the Brooder)
(1) 4' x 4' sheet of plastic
~ 8' of 1"x8" lumber
(10) 1"x1" scrap material used to separate lumber
(2) Cinder Blocks
1" welded wire fencing
.5" plastic mesh fencing
Clothes Drying Rack (broken section)
I started by making the Chick-Inn Brooder and at a later date framed the Chick-Inn Maternity Ward. At first it looked similar to a rabbit hutch.
Things I'd do Differently:
I really worked things out as they came along - so I like the design for what it is and what I had to work with :)
I would make the shelf for the heat lamps wider so they're not so close to the wall.
I would make the floor about 6"-8" shorter (I have to stand on a bucket to reach the chicks if they go all the way to the back).
I would get both light fixtures with the on/off individual feature, instead of just the 1.
If I had time I'd have liked to paint the inside all white (make it brighter and easier to clean/sanitize after each batch).
The Chick-Inn Brooder
There are 2 heat lamps (250 w, 1 red & 1 clear) suspended off the wall using shelving "L"s. The clear bulb is in the far fixture and is turned on/off with a pull cord and controlled by the same dimmer switch as the red bulb. (This way the red bulb can stay on all night). There's another regular bulb that is plugged into the same timer as the large coop so that they have extra day light hours before I get up to turn on the clear lamp and open the windows. The recycled sign is behind the heat lamps to help deflect the light/heat back to the coop because the dark wood was absorbing quite a bit of heat.
Side: windows are covered with plastic mesh on the inside to prevent the chicks from sticking their heads through the mesh, and the outside wire is stronger to prevent predators to get in, and the gap between the two is to prevent raccoons from reaching and pulling the chicks out.
Doors: All the doors are fully removable. They were designed to allow a small gap at the top for ventilation.
The doors are secured by inserting them into a gap against the wall, and then fastened closed using a slide lock.
(it still needs it's own light source)
Front: When the door is closed, there is a side door that opens in to the coop (it's fully 1" wire) so that she can remain social but to keep the other hens from laying more eggs for her.
Nesting Box: (still needs modifications to help chicks get back in the box with her) (hatch due 4/30 :) ).
& The Chick-Inn Playground
comes "stock" with (1) guard cattle dog & (1) nosey d'uccle that just wants what everyone else has.
Thanks All - this was my first page so I hope it may be helpful to others :)