2010 was my first year in raising chickens. I thought I did my research and bought a really big rubbermaid tote to start the girls in once I picked them up from the feed store. The first few photos are of my tote and the girls when I got them. I realized that this was not a good idea with the nine birds I bought and I had plans for three more. They began to get a little flighty after a couple of weeks and I decided to go bigger.
Once I got the girls, my three miniature schnauzers always wanted me to pick them up so they could see the chicks. Well since I had the idea and plan for my new brooder, I decided to include some plexiglass windows for the dogs to observe the girls when I let them. The brooder was built with scrap lumber I had laying around the house. The real big expense was the two sheets of plexiglass. This brooder was built with approximately six to seven 2x4s, a sheet of OSB and a sheet of 1/2 inch thick plywood. I raised it off the ground with drywall buckets and some recycled pallets. Free is always good. The thing sticking out of the top is a divider I had to build and install. It was about 2 weeks difference from when I got my first chicks and then found my Rhode Island Reds to add to the flock. I wasn't sure how well they would get accustomed so to keep the RIR's safe, I put the divider in. I made it out of storm door screen so they could see each other, talk to each other, and smell each other but the bigger girls couldn't bully them easily.
The bottom photo is a bad picture but its not hard to see how my dogs have taken an interest in the girls. Looking forward to Spring 2011 so I can get my next set of chicks. I am thinking six but you never know. Just like all my other pages, I create these so anyone can get some ideas and improve or design their own coop/Run/brooder. I tend to overdo things but once the chicks get started, they become pricey, especially with all the time devoted to them. I keep my brooder in my basement and to keep it smelling clean, change the bedding at least one to two weeks apart. The lids are made of pieces of pegboard to help vent the excess heat from the lamps. I also used some extra ceiling tiles that I either had on hand or picked up really cheap.