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Brooder box question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by flspnr, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. flspnr

    flspnr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2011
    Gibsonton, FL
    I'm going to be keeping my 3 new birds inside the house until about January or so (I have reasons, mainly I want to completely rebuild the coop they little 3 are in and add in the 3 babies, so I need money and that will best be done with taxes, not to mention I enjoy indoor chickens and miss the other three being indoors in the evening) and want to build a large brooder box in the spare bedroom (not worried about dust/cleaning/etc., no one will be in there exept for me, DH and the chickens. Possibly chicken visitors). I'm going to be making it 3 feet by 5 feet (15 sq feet), and using sand for the bedding. The babies are little right now.

    So, a few questions from you all who are more experienced.

    How tall should I make it? I'm keeping them in there, with plenty of free range time outside during the day, until they're pretty much full grown. I've got 2 RIRs and one BR. I know they get big, but how tall do they need things? I am planning on putting in a roost. How tall should that be? I can't go all the way to the roof. I'm thinking about 4 feet? And the roost being 2 feet up?

    Is 3x5 going to be too big for them right now? Should I partition some off until they get a bit bigger? I'll be able to make the brooder bigger when the time comes, if necessary, but for right now, I'm thinking that's going to be a good size (5 square feet/bird plus free range time).

    How do you do the water with the sand? I'm cleaning out the box they're in right now at least once a day because they are constantly spilling it over and soaking the food they've spilt as well as the bedding. I'm worried if I switch to a nipple, they won't know where to get the water from. ?

    Any suggestions or help is greatly appreciated. Sorry for all the questions, I'm still very new to chickens!

    ETA: I'm using plywood all the way around for the sides, and the top is going to be 1x4 frame with hardwire cloth (thats the right name, right?) all over it. I didn't plan on windows or anything as I don't have any tools, just a saw and hammer, and the top being open would let in plenty of light. It'll be right under a window, opened often in the evenings when they're roosting for fresh air. I don't want it too tall, unless I'm going to put in a door to be able to walk in. I'm 5 nothing and would like to be able to look over the top if possible. Come to think if it, it would be easier with a door for cleaning and playing with the chickens, right?

    And I was going to get the supplies tomorrow....I may wait til next week, lol.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  2. chickendales

    chickendales Chillin' With My Peeps

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    dose it get that cold in fl that u need keep them in side in the winter
     
  3. flspnr

    flspnr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2011
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    Chickendales, no, it doesn't. I just want to. Rather than upgrading the coop I have, I want to start from scratch for the ouside one. That means waiting til taxes. Plus, I miss being able to go in the room with the other ones and watch tv and relax with them. I hate my job, and coming home to sit and watch tv with the chicks is so relaxing!! [​IMG] DH has agreed I can keep them inside, so they'll stay there, except free range time, which is plenty (all morning with me on days I work, a few hours with DH in the afternoon/ evening with DH while I'm working, and all day on my days off - ranges from 3 to 4 days a week), until I can build a good sized coop and maybe even move to a bigger place with a bigger yard.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  4. chickendales

    chickendales Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:sounds cool
     
  5. flspnr

    flspnr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2011
    Gibsonton, FL
    Thx.

    Anyone else have suggestions?
     
  6. MadChickensVT

    MadChickensVT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 5, 2011
    Middlebury, Vermont
    Have you had chickens before? They generate a lot of really fine dust. You'll be tracking it into the rest of the house. Not to mention the poop.

    If you've had them before and are prepared to deal with it, go for it! I just want to be sure you know how dirty they are.
     
  7. chickendales

    chickendales Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ive kept chickens and chicks in the house it not that bad i rather have chickens in house then some stinky cat
     
  8. flspnr

    flspnr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2011
    Gibsonton, FL
    MadchickensVT, I have had chickens in the house before. I miss it! It was out of necessity before, we weren't allowed to have them there. I know all about the dirt! Lol.

    chickendales, I have 5 cats, 3 of which are indoors only. [​IMG]
     
  9. OneTenthAcreAndAChicken

    OneTenthAcreAndAChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2011
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    Quote:My mom was certain that chickens are far too dumb to learn to use the nipples. She happened to be visiting when my order arrived. I made a quick water bottle from a 1 liter jug with the nipple in the lid. It was not 30 seconds before the first curious girl came over and pecked at it. She pecked and pecked and took a good long drink while the other 3 chicks (and my mom and I) watched. Then the other 3 each took a turn. It was actually really easy.

    I do still keep one of the saucer style waterers in the coop. When it sat on directly on the floor, they were constantly kicking shavings into it. I made a little platform with some scrap 2x4 and set it up on that and now it stays clean most of the day.
     

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