Big bad brooder!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by WestKnollAmy, May 17, 2011.

  1. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady Premium Member

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    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    I have gotten sick of chicks jumping out of the tubs and running outside. Even with screens over the brooder tubs they jump pout when I open it to feed, water or clean. I can't keep up with 400 chicks running all over the place.

    With ideas from others here on BYC I finally decided to build something more to my capabilities of handling 100s of chicks a month.

    They will stay in the 4' long tubs until 3 weeks old and then go in this...........

    [​IMG]

    It is 6' long, stands 3' high, 2 1/2 ft deep.

    [​IMG]

    I have to finish the plastic netting on the top. You see one of the doors is standing open on top. With 2 sides that open I am hoping to be able to keep them from flying out too much while feeding and watering.

    [​IMG]

    The plywood is on one end so I can turn it to the open part of the coop. I am not putting this in the brooder room, I am putting it in the open front coop that the ducks are in right now. You can sort of see it behind the brooder.
    So the plywood end can block some wind and if I need to hang a heat lamp from the middle bar I can point it back towards the plywood for extra warmth.

    [​IMG]

    The floor is 1/4' hardware cloth. The supports will help with the weight of chicks, water and feeder. I will grow them in these (I plan to make 2 more) until they are 6 weeks old and then they can go down on the floor of the coop and then outside to the adjoining pen.
    This pen is light enough for this old woman to pull it outside to hose down the wire when it gets gross. Although a quick brushing out once a week should keep it from getting too bad.

    The black plastic mesh is so cheap and easy to use. If I had to worry over predators I would not do it but they will be locked in the coop. The only problem would be snakes but snakes can't get through this.
    I can't wait to try it on the 50+ chicks that I am currently trying to keep in the brooder room. Another 20 are outside all day with the big flock and come back in to the brooder room to sleep at night but they are 4 and 5 week old roos. Absolutely no sense!
     
  2. alaskanchicken

    alaskanchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2011
    That looks awesome!
     
  3. GiddyMoon

    GiddyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2011
    Tucson, AZ
    Are the bottoms the wire hardware cloth or the plastic?

    I am using this right now and it works great..but I want something off the ground so I don't have to bend all the way over to get someone.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. moeplants

    moeplants Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2011
    Iron Ridge
    I like the idea! I might give it a try!
     
  5. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2011
    Looks great! Your design is pretty much what DH built for me and it is working well. Good luck and nice job building yours! [​IMG]
     
  6. Chickencoop1996

    Chickencoop1996 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2011
    southern nh
    [​IMG]
     
  7. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady Premium Member

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    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    The floor is hardware cloth. I only put the plastic around the sides and will put it on the top since it was cheaper and it did not need the stability that the floor needs.

    I still have to build 2 more but I like the size and the design. I do not think at this point there is anything I would change but as I use it I might find some things.

    This one is still a bit deep for me. I am a short 5'3" and will not be able to reach totally to the lower back but I bought several kid's butterfly nets and those are perfect to use to gather eggs or catch up wild chicks.
    I don't want to make it shorter because I want the older chicks to be able to get under it some. I know it seems they may get pooped on a lot but the coop is 10x14 so they will have plenty of room other than under the brooder. And it will be great to be able to rake under it since the floors are dirt and shavings.
    And I wanted the inside tall enough to house some roosts and for chicks to bounce around.

    Thank you all for the nice comments.
     

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