We built a brooder out of plywood a few years back. A word of caution. Wood soaks up moisture. That includes moisture from spilled water and feces.
A good chick brooder? - Page 3
Link for that heat cave with pics and instructions. =) You can use a reptile heat pad in place of the $40 amazon one mentioned.
Careful with paint. Chicks will pick at it and may ingest some. Your best bet is to change pine shavings ever other day and when your chicks go in the coop, toss the brooder. We only got one season out of ours and it was saturated. I cleaned ours once a day with layers, then twice a day with broilers. We used sand that year.
That should help it last longer, cover the floor well so the chicks can't peck it directly, even some paper towels/newspaper would help it absorb
Did you get your setup done? Pics of chicks after you get them? Another idea could be a bird or guinea pig(might need to add screen/wire cloth if gaps are big) cage, even a crate if you have one your not using.
Personally I like bird cages for a small amount of chicks or if I bring one inside for doctoring(which I haven't had to do yet but in case). I like the pull out trays that make cleaning so easy.
Edited by southernhusky - 4/11/16 at 10:04am