Feathered Landings' Brooder in the Coop
We originally had 3 nesting boxes but our hens only used 1 so we decided to convert the wasted space into a brooder for our chicks.
1 sheet of 4x8 plywood - $25
scrap hardware cloth- already had
staples for the staple gun - already had
screws - already had
foil - from our kitchen
Drill, hole saw, chalk line, skill saw, angle, measuring tape, pencil
I don't have any drawn up plans for this but seeings how everyone's coop are different, it probably wouldn't work or matter either way.
First we measured (and remeasured), cut and screwed the inside back wall into place.
Then we cut out the "moonroof", foiled, and stapled the wire into place. We also had to cut out the left back corner to fit the coop framing post. Then we screwed the top on.
Here's a view from the underside.
Then we cut the 3rd wall and screwed it into place. Notice the notch we cut out of the egg door so the plywood could come right up to the edge. Chicks are small and we didn't want them squeezing through to the nesting box side where they could get hurt by our existing flock.
"Peep hole" (pun intended )
A closer view of the peep hole so you can see how we cut, wired, and stapled it.
Here's a view of the finished brooder both from inside and outside of the coop for comparison purposes.
Things I'm glad we did:
- The peep hole. I feel it has helped integrate our chicks with our existing flock.
- Used scrap plywood to help hold in the shavings, it's better than not having it there at all.
Things we've already changed:
- We took out the small portable roosting pole and screwed in a larger one to the scrap piece of plywood across to the back "peep hole" wall.
Things I would have done differently:
- Put in a hanging feeder and waterer. When they were small it wasn't a problem but now that they're bigger they constantly knock them over.
- Not wrapped the foil around to the inside, just put it on top. We were worried about the heat lamp being so close to the wood so we put foil around the cut of the moonroof, however, because we wrapped it around and under to the inside the chicks are now big enough to peck at it.