Brood Boxes

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by toofoul, May 17, 2010.

  1. toofoul

    toofoul In the Brooder

    Apr 26, 2010
    I am expecting my first batch of Australorp chicks in a couple of weeks and need to start thinking about brooders etc. When I was a lad, people used ordinary electric light bulbs to keep chicks warm in a cardboard box. Can you still do this? I don’t want to spend a tonne of cash on something I will only use once or twice. But I also want to make sure my chicks are cared for. Any advice?
    Thank You
  2. watersoflethe

    watersoflethe Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    Corona/Mira Loma CA
    i do this sometimes when i run out of brooder room. currently my coturnix chicks are in a shoebox until the pullets take one more week to grow their adult feathers out. then i will move them to the coop and put the quail in the brooder.

    its not a problem as long as you control the lamp height well and make sure the chicks are not too hot or too cold. the only problem i found with a cardboard box is that when the chicks spill water eventually it will ruin the cardboard box. you probably would end up using a new cardboard box every week. i would suggest using something waterproof and washable instead so you aren't going through multiple cardboard boxes. since it does start to smell a lot more since the box is soaking everythign up.

    just a huge rubbermaid box is fine as well. i also have a brooder set up where i use an old rabbit cage which works out pretty well as well.

    as long as they have enough room and it can keep them from getting out and in danger and you can put a lamp over it....technically most type of boxes should be fine. just make sure its big enough that they can get away from the lamp if they find it hot.

    as for the light bulb a normal light bulb is fine. although some people say that with the white bulb chicks have trouble resting up mine never seemed to have any problems with either the red or the white ones. they dont seem to mind either one as long its warm. [​IMG]

    good luck
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  3. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Yes! My poulty keeping mentor, with more than 20 years experience, uses a plain lightbulb in his brooder whenever he has to brood artificially. Normally he has his hens do that job.
  4. blefky

    blefky life in the yard

    Mar 18, 2010
    stamford, ct
    I used the red heat lamp bulb on the advice of BYCers. But I did use cardboard boxes as brooders for all 3 groups of chicks I ordered and didn't have any problems. I taped a piece of plastic to the bottom of each one in case of moisture problems (they sat on carpeting in my house), but turns out it was never an issue. I always kept a couple of inches of pine shavings on the bottom. I love how many different and creative ways people come up with to care for their chickens.
  5. 4 luv of eggs

    4 luv of eggs Songster

    Apr 22, 2010
    Westminster, MD
    I used a cheap 50 gallon tote that I bought at Walmart for $15. Anything that will contain them and keep them warm will do. They aren't picky.[​IMG]
  6. pharmchickrnmom

    pharmchickrnmom Songster

    Apr 13, 2010
    I am using a cardboard box with a regular light bulb. I put a block of wood with a round plastic top from a chinese takeout dish in and put the waterer on that to prevent wetness. My DH came up with that idea and he put a ziptie in the side of the box to hold the waterer from being knocked over. Works great! The light hangs in one corner and the box is big enough that my girls can either sit under it if they need warmth or move away to a cooler spot.
  7. ckbythesea

    ckbythesea In the Brooder

    Jul 2, 2009
    I am using a large clear plastic Rubbermaid storage bin for my first chicks' brooder. I adopted four pullets last summer, but just was smitten with the Light Brahma chicks I saw last weekend when I went to get feed. When I got home, I went straight to the BYC brooders section of the coop section. Within an hour I had emptied a bin, cut a square in the lid, "sewed" on a screen of quarter inch hardware cloth, retrieved the red-lamped brooder light I bought during a fall freeze, added extra-large binder clips to prevent any lid bump-offs by the canine and feline family members, and put he chicks into their short-term home.

    Thanks BYC members, I learn so much here![​IMG]
  8. toofoul

    toofoul In the Brooder

    Apr 26, 2010
    More brooder questions

    Thanks so much people for a wonderful lot of information to digest.
    I have a couple more questions. I intend to keep the chix in the garage as my wife is not comfortable with them in the house because our 18mth old will undoubtedly grab the box and drag it round the house as he is want to do.

    Firstly, is a garage too cold or drafty place for a brooder? Should i supply supplemental heat or is the light in the box enough? Or should I put a blanket on top?

    Lastly, should I fit a globe inside the box at one end? Or place it on the wire mesh sitting face down on the wire mesh on top?

    Sorry for all the questions, which I’m sure have been asked many times before. I’m just nervous about keeping such little fragile things alive.
    Thank you

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