We've always wanted to raise chickens, and after months of research, we made our plans and started our chicken endeavor. We have been busy working on building our coop (based it off of the Wichita Cabin Coop plans) and I'm about halfway complete on building it. But today, we are happy to announce the arrival of our four new girls.
We opted to go with something simple for our brooder. We bought a large dog kennel/crate off of one of our friend's for $25.00. We put a large tote inside the kennel and that's where the girls will stay for the first couple of weeks, When they get a little bigger, we will remove the tote and they will spend the next few weeks inside the kennel until they are large enough to go outside. I built a stand for the heat lamp out of two different sizes of PVC pipe.
A smaller size PVC pipe fits into a larger PVC pipe, thus allowing me to raise and lower the height of the heat lamp so I can control the temperature inside the brooder.
I drilled holes in the smaller pipe so that I can adjust the height. A small screw through the holes holds the heat lamp at the desired height. Right now, the lamp is at it about one inch above the brooder and it's maintaining a temperature of 92 degrees.
Here are our girls... two Rhode Island Reds (Tic-Tac and Ginger) and two Speckled Sussex (Watermelon and Kiwi). My son named
Tic-Tac, I named Ginger, my wife named Kiwi, and my granddaughter named Watermelon.
Today we moved the girls out of the Rubbermaid tote and into the regular kennel. They seem to like the extra space. I installed several pieces of wood paneling around the sides and the back of the kennel to try and keep some of the pine shavings in as well as make sure the heat stays in. I added a piece of plexiglass to the front again to help keep in the heat and prevent any drafts. The plexiglass helps the girls look out. I like the kennel so much better than the Rubbermaid tote. We can open the door and the chicks come over to us rather than us having to reach down from above to pick them up. Today, two of the chicks walked right into our hands. Pretty awesome.
I also added the bottom to a clay flower pot filled with sand. Boy, did the girls like scratching around and taking a bath in it!
A few more weeks and they will be heading out to their almost completed coop.