Our stage 1 brooder was first set up in a finished portion of our basement, but as the chicks got older and smellier we moved then out to the unfinished side until they were ready for their coop.
The brooder was comprised of two cardboard lawnmower boxes that we taped together and lined with pine shavings and covered with some hardware cloth from our coop project. It really can be that simple.
We positioned a heat lamp above the center line of the boxes and the chicks happliy explored the entire space and didn't seem too hot or too cold. The chicks had an elevated shelf on one end where they liked to sleep and practice their launching and flying. The also had a small roost that they loved to crowd onto and push each other off. We also put in a pie tin filled with sand for them to dust bathe.
The chairs were for our comfort since we spent a lot of time just watching them.
Linus is always downstairs checking on 'his' chickens. He'll sit down there and watch them for as long as we let him. He is truly fascinated by them. He has never barked at them or acted aggressive toward them so hopefully they will all co-exist peacefully.
They seem to like Linus as well and aren't too bothered by his heavy dog breath.
Here is Simone, Donatella and Jane about a week old playing on their mini-roost.
The chicks were quickly outgrowing their stage 1 brooder and weren't ready to go outside so I decided to convert part of the run that I am building into a temporary stage 2 brooder. All I had to do was close the two ends with some cardboard and move the heat lamp and chicks.
They all come running to the door when they see me. It amazes me that they know where the door is after just a few minutes.