Rubbermaid Tub Chicken Brooder DIY

By Darmamommy · Apr 8, 2015 · ·
  1. Darmamommy
    Hello, I am a new chick mom. Never had chickens before, so am really new at this. But am LOVING it already. I have been learning what I should and shouldn't do with the 'girls' over the last few weeks before we decided that we could do it. Asked all my friends who raise chickens everything I could think of.

    This was an easy to make Chicken Brooder. Just a few items needed. All supplies were cleaned, disinfected before assembling.
    A large plastic Rubbermaid tub I used for the brooder box. Used a jig saw and cut the opening in the lid. Then drilled small holes where the zip ties would go. Cut a section of wire cloth to fit and zip tied them together. I used wire cloth to keep the cat out and the chicks in. And Very Importantly, placed the nice "Wash Your Hands" sticker from the feed store on it. For the bedding I am using bedding pellets. I am not sure if it is the best thing, because if any water is spilled, it swells up and turns to dust. Then they peck at it and tend to make a huge mess with the pine dust and I am worried they are eating it. May just switch to pine chips.

    Started out with the water on setting on the bedding. But the girls got it filled with pellets and dust right away.
    I used a garbage tie to hold some grass up for a boredom buster. They love it! They have to really pull at it to get any pieces off so it keeps them entertained for a while.

    So to keep the dust out, I used a synch ring and some chain to hang it off the floor. Major improvement! Hardly anything gets in it.

    I had to separate my little bully, who also happens to have a crusty eye. She was pecking non stop at the other chicks eyes. The kids call her spinner because she goes in circles more than the others.
    Here I use a little lid for feeder. The wire makes it so they still see each other. They will even lay up against the wire to be close to each other sometimes. They are all much quieter now and not "arguing" all the time. For water, I took a little plastic sample cup and punched holes in the back and zip tied it to the bottle. Because it is bendable I can still fill the bottle easily.
    The bottle has a chain I zip tied to it and has a hook to hang it on the wire cloth. Works like a charm. (Zip ties rock!)
    I also drilled little holes in the side of the tub to hole the wire cloth on.

    The 3 week old girls love to roost already. The 6 day old chicks like to copy them sometimes too.
    So I drilled some holes, cut a dowel to length and shoved it through the holes. They got on it almost right away and now nap there.

    I enjoyed making my brooder. It was a lot of fun. We love watching the new baby chicks do new things every day. It has been an adventure and lots of fun so far.

    We are still building our coop. I will post picture of that and our design when we are done.
    Let me know what you think of it and if you think anything could improve it.

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Recent User Reviews

  1. N F C
    "Rubbermaid Brooder"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Oct 2, 2018
    An inexpensive brooder and some good tips on adding things like the waterer and a separate chamber to it.
  2. ronott1
    "Nice Broder"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Aug 2, 2018
    Very good build of a brooder that will be perfect for the first several weeks.
  3. Anonymous
    2/5, 2 out of 5, reviewed Jul 24, 2018
    You added a lot of thoughtful elements to your brooder but plastic totes are easily overheated and your chicks will outgrow it incredibly quickly. I prefer a brooder sized so that they can stay in it comfortably up to 4 weeks when they are ready to move outside. Crowded chicks are susceptible to stress, illness and picking.


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  1. judyki2004
    thats a lovely brooder! i love all the small details!
  2. lonniedeohio
    I did a brooder in a similar manner, using a plastic tote. I used the biggest one I could find so that they had room to escape from the heat lamp if they got too hot. Unfortunately it was a bit of a waste of money on my part. As Maddawg stated, my 5 girls got too big really quickly. My original tote had about 6 ft2, my upgrade was made from 3 screen doors and 2 screen windows which came out to about 18 ft2 (a bit of an overkill, but gave them room to run until I could get them outside).

    Still, very creative use of space. I did enjoy the perches you built.
  3. crazyfeathers
    Keep up the good work. It looks like you have some happy and healthy chicks there! Good job on research and development lol. I love zip ties too!
  4. Madddawg
    You went through a lot of work there. Looks good and very inventive.. But I count at least 5 chicks in there, In a couple weeks they will out that, If they haven't already. (sorry to be a critic)
  5. lovepeeps
    Love those little roosts

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