We found this aquarium for $50 on Kijiji. Before, we were using cardboard boxes taped together as we needed more space.
I borrowed my neighbour's equipment because this is our first year hatching our own. She uses a Titan heater (left hand side, below) that can be raised as the chicks get bigger. That way there's no worries about explosions/fire with a heat lamp. I found putting a plastic lid under the feed/water keeps things a little tidier. Then in the front right (below) I made them a dirt bath using some left over 2x4 pieces to keep the dirt in. They love it!
We like that we can see the chicks through the glass. It is big enough, and high enough, that
they have plenty of room to move around. As they get bigger, and fly better, we can use window screens, or the lids for plastic tote boxes, as a top to prevent them from flying out.
Because of the glass its very easy to keep clean. I layer shavings as needed until its time to clean it out completely. Then I use a dust pan to scoop out the shavings. I spray everything down with a water/vinegar mixture, let it dry, and its ready for the next batch of chicks.
Eventually they move outside to the brooder beside the coop until they're big enough to integrate with the rest of our birds.
The outdoor brooder (to the right of the coop), and their outdoor run in front. The area enclosed in vapour barrier is covered in hardware cloth to make it predator proof.
Recent User Reviews
"Easiest to clean!"
- 5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Nov 3, 2019
Love the aquarium breeders. What a great way to repurpose something that would otherwise head to the dump. Love that you can easily wipe down the glass when the babies make a mess! Nice article!
"Excellent, Easy Brooder"
- 4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Oct 26, 2019
This is a great idea for a brooder. The clear sides don't just let people see in, they let the peeps see everything going on around them. They should be less likely to spook at people, later on. There's not much text to the article, itself, but the pictures are good enough that it really isn't missed.