Naturally Playful Step 2 Sandbox Brooder

  1. Scifisarah
    I got tired of the kids dumping white sand all over my yard, so I cleaned out their sandbox and got it ready to sell on Craigslist. I had my silkie chicks in a 40 gal long aquarium and got the idea that the sandbox might make an excellent brooder with a few easy "upgrades".
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    I used my husband's jigsaw but later realized that it would have been easier to just use a heavy duty shears as the saw was kind of overkill for cutting through the plastic. I cut out three of the large sections on each side to see my little cuties through, and to allow for airflow. Finally I cut out the big circle on top so it would have a spot to hang the heat lamp above.
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    Since I have a house cat, and I know they would eventually get big enough to jump out, I decided to cover the holes with hardware cloth. I cut pieces of hardware cloth that were about 1-2" larger than the holes for each spot. I used a drill to put holes every few inches along the edge of the openings and secured them snugly on the inside with small white zip ties, making sure there were no pointy edges sticking way out.

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    This type of brooder allowed my children, ages 2 and 4 to get up close and personal with the chicks - under my supervision of course. It was easy to just remove the lid and have all of us sit down for some great "playtime". As a result I feel these chicks are much more friendly than those I have kept in an aquarium brooder. I hope someone is able to use this idea or adapt it to their own sandbox!

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  1. msladyhawke
    Amazing! How creative! I agree...BEST brooder I've seen!
  2. judyki2004
    thats the coolest brooder i seen so far! and yesa spaceship was first thing that came into my mind!
    !
  3. Sally Sunshine
    so neat... spaceship!
  4. LightningTFarm
    One of the people on the goose thread, Celtic Oaks Farms, says when she broods goslings she puts the pelleted bedding you get for horses in there. She doesn't use anything but that, because she says it's the most absorbent thing you can put in there and it's easy to take out the soiled bits. If it handles gosling poop, it should do great for chickens!
    I'm on the lookout for a turtle to use for my next batch!
  5. Scifisarah
    Thanks for all the comments! I just got it out for our second batch of chicks this year - only 6 of them - and they look like they have way too much room, even though I know that won't last for long. Compared to the boxes, aquariums and rubbermaid bins I have used in the past this one afford them lots of running and play room and also spreads out the "mess" so I don't have to clean it quite as often.
  6. Stephnet
    Great use, I have the old turtle sandbox and now I am thinking of using it for my next litter of hatchlings in the spring!
  7. Athrawn17
    Great idea. Easy to clean too. Going to keep an eye on craigslist for one. Thanks for sharing.
  8. Dawna
    Great idea using the plastic sandbox. I've used cardboard cartons. But I think I'll look around for a sandbox. Thanks for the idea.!!
  9. Brookliner
    So creative. It even has rounded off corners so no chick gets into a corner.
  10. Stumpy
    Fantastic!
  11. weluvchickens
    wow! That's an awesome idea!!
  12. chee65
    I love it. You are very creative. It actually looks really nice. Hmmmm....I wonder if anyone has a sandbox for sale on Craigslist. :O

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