I'm getting 25 chicks on Good Friday (this Friday). I've knocked together a 4' square bottom plywood base with 2'x4' plywood sides (so the sides are 2' tall). I took scrap lumber to run on the inside corners to provide some stability and something to screw into. This was all lumber I had lying around the barn. I put it up on a pallet (and screwed the base piece down into the pallet) to get it off the floor a bit.
I've lined it with a piece cardboard that came off a pallet last year and was clean. Then I'll place pine shavings over the cardboard (it's pretty slippery and I don't want straddle leg problems!). I've put the whole contraption on a tarp so I can move it side by side and it might stop the cold from coming up the concrete foundation in the barn. It's in my potting shed or tool storage area, so it's quiet and clean. But if anyone got out, they'd have a field day playing in the shovels and rakes and !
I've got an Ecoglow50 to use with these little ones. I'm pondering making the whole thing a bit smaller for a day or three - using cardboard to partition off part of it. I want to make sure they know where food and water are! It seems a bit big to me - but then again, 25 chicks are coming!
I've put window screening over the whole shebang - in an effort to keep them in. Actually, the roll of screening isn't wide enough to cover the whole thing, so there are two pieces duct taped to the outside of the box. I know they'll be able to fly out of it sooner or later, so this is just for the first 2-3weeks, until I can get them out into their tractor. That's all I really need at this time.
My next batch of babies is only a dozen coming mid May. That'll be a cakewalk if this all goes well!