A Quick, Cheap, Down & Dirty Brooder Box (Per Request)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by GentFarmer, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. GentFarmer

    GentFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    In another thread, I mentioned that you can make a disposable/temporary brooder from a wardrobe-sized moving box. I was asked for pictures, so here you have it:

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    1. Just lay the cardboard box on its side, cut the "top" off with an exacto (I left one end with an overhang for stability), and to cover the feeder/waterer so it wasn't directly under the brooding lamp.

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    2. After taping around the corners (I used masking tape to start, but as the peeps aged, I reinforced it with duct tape), I lined the bottom with plastic to keep spills or waste from soaking through. I taped a cheap-o thermometer to the side which worked perfect for the peeps I had.

    3. You'll also see that the brooding lamp is right at 18 inches above the bottom when suspended by a crossbeam. The added benefit to using this setup is that the wardrobe-style moving boxes come with a metal "hanger" bar that is the perfect size and shape to suspend the brooder lamp. As the chicks aged and I needed to raise the lamp, I just used a heavy-duty clamp to suspend it a bit higher and tossed the crossbar.

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    4. Fill up the bottom with the bedding of your choice. I used pine shavings. It's easy to see in this picture how there's enough room for the feeder/waterer, as well as room to roam for the chicks when they want to stretch their legs. As they grew up and the peeps started beaking out their food, I just put in a small platform to elevate it as needed.

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    5. Add peeps. In this case, that's one of my Light Brahmas in the foreground, followed by a Buff Orpington and a Danish Brown Leghorn. There's a Rhode Island Red sleeping in the background if you look for the lump. Not surprisingly, the Light Brapictured here in all her round glory was named "Pudge."

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    6. Get Cat's approval. :)

    In all seriousness, this solution worked best for me because of two reasons. First, I wanted something temporary, as I got my peeps BEFORE I moved up to the property I'm on now. So they were raised the first few weeks in an apartment in downtown San Jose. Second, it needed to be portable enough to transport up to the property for the final couple of weeks. It served my purpose well while I finished building the coop to house the grown chicks.

    Total Cost:

    1. Wardrobe Box: $5
    2. Tape: $1
    3. Plastic bags to line the bottom: $.50

    Which left me more money to spend on a better lamp, feeder, waterer, bedding, etc.

    Oh, and as the peeps got big enough to hop up on the edge (Leghorns figured it out first, not surprisingly), I just added a small length of chicken wire on the top to keep them safely inside.

    Hope it helps!
     
  2. jenniemig

    jenniemig Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 28, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Hey Gent, what breed of chick is the one with the Cleopatra eye marking? I have one too and can't figure out what she is. I was guessing Old English Game ______?
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    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  3. GentFarmer

    GentFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Danish Brown Leghorn
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. GentFarmer

    GentFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Which, by the way, was the first in everything: first to feather out; first to jump out of the box; first to get their combs; first to get their tail feathers; first to lay eggs, etc. They're small and flighty birds, but I think they're quite lovely, especially when they're outdoors in the brush.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. jenniemig

    jenniemig Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 28, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Cool thanks Gent! She is by far the boldest chick i have. She is easily caught and first to take food out of my hand. The feed store had her listed as a "heavy layer", no breed. My 7 year old niece picked her:)

    Wasn't trying to hijack your post, thanks for helping!
     
  6. GentFarmer

    GentFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    No hijack at all! Mine started much the same way. They'd hop in and out of my hand, eat, etc. As they grew, the got much more reserved with that attention. They will walk right beside me and even sit at my feet, but they do not like to be touched at all. lol Quirky little birds. They definitely are heavy layers. I've gotten eggs from them every day since they started laying except during a two-week molt.

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    This is "Roxy" as a peep. She's now top in the pecking order.

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    Here's a good shot of them as pullets. This one is around 6 weeks.

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    This is Roxy a couple days ago roosting in the rafters of the coop.

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    And this is "Flopsy," who is at the bottom of the pecking order. But you can see better the full-grown plumage.
     
  7. jenniemig

    jenniemig Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 28, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    They're beautiful! Now I know what "Buttercup" is going to look like. I will share your pick with Stella so she can see what her hen will look like:-D
     

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