Ok this is my first attempt to post on BYC!! I have done lots of reading over the past many months with books, BYC, and the internet in general. I have a friend who won the national 4-H something or other for raising chickens, so lots of info to absorb. ALL help and comments will be taken under advisement so feel free to add your 2cents.
I built my brooder out of 2"x2" boards and 1/4" plywood. I built my brooder to be a 4'x4' box with 2' sides. I had orginally incorporated 12" legs into the design. However, when the move from the garage to the basement took place I found it was to large to fit down the steps! Ugh!! At that point the legs were removed and a seperate stand was built to raise the brooder box off the floor 12".
As I have a dog (who Im not worried about) and a cat (who will be the worry) I built a cover out of 2"x2" boards and some plywood gussets with 1/4" wire fabric. The top is divided into two 2'x4' lids which I hinged together to allow for the whole brooder to be divided in half. This will allow me to divide the brooder down to a 2'x4' space until my chicks get bigger and then I will open the whole brooder space up. I choose to do this as I am only going to have 11 chicks. Murrary McMurrary's minimum order for pick-up at the hatchery is 10 chicks plus a free rare exotic chick. So I wanted to keep the space smaller with the ability to give them more room as they grow.
The main reason for this size is to be able to keep them in the brooder as long a possible to allow for coop construction as soon as the weather breaks here in Iowa. Chicks will be picked up St. Patricks day weekend!!
I'm not sure I have added anything new but wanted to share my ideas in an effort to give back to a group who has shared so much!! Thanks to the BYC group!!