Brooder "flooring"?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mudhen, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

    2,104
    10
    203
    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    When using a brooder box, what's the best for the 'flooring'?
    I've read that paper towel is good to keep the chicks from getting splayed legs. It seems to make sense, but I wondered if there were any other suggestions?
    A (non-chicken owning) friend suggested a suspended wire mesh to help reduce their walking on droppings.
    I, of course, think this would hurt their little feet. (OK, roll your eyes at me, but in my defense, I am a newbie...)[​IMG]
     
  2. Sharisr32

    Sharisr32 Egg Killer ;)

    578
    1
    161
    Jan 14, 2007
    OH/PA Boarder
    The best flooring is the rubber maid -- liner it is non-slip and very easy to clean - It prevents the chicks from sliding and can be bought at any dollar store.
     
  3. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

    2,104
    10
    203
    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    Thank you! Great idea!
     
  4. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    3,609
    62
    264
    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    Shavings (not cedar) is usually the bedding of choice. You can put paper towels over it the first few days, then take the towels away after they learn what there food is. Paper towels by themselves are too slippery.

    Rubber maid non-slip mats sound like a good idea. You could keep one in the brooder and have another to replace it while the first is drying out from washing...
     
  5. raysflock

    raysflock Out Of The Brooder

    20
    1
    22
    Jan 22, 2007
    newfoundland, canada
    I use a rubber maid container 14''x24''x16'' with shaving on the floor. I use a light bulb for heat. I keep this in my basement until the smell moves me to the shed.
    Ray
     
  6. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

    2,104
    10
    203
    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    Just out of curiosity, why not cedar shavings?
     
  7. tricia

    tricia Chillin' With My Peeps

    188
    1
    141
    Jan 25, 2007
    West Central Wisconsin
    Cedar is toxic if they eat it.
     
  8. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

    2,104
    10
    203
    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    Thanks Tricia,
    I had no idea. I hope you don't mind, but I added this to your other thread about toxic foods.
    It would be a good education for some of us new to chickens.
     
  9. ChezPoulez

    ChezPoulez Out Of The Brooder

    43
    3
    24
    Jun 22, 2011
    Mill Valley, California
    I hope resurrecting ancient threads is allowed :)

    I've been raising Silkies until recently and since they are so small, a big Rubbermaid box has been sufficient for a dozen chicks.

    This time I'm hatching standard breed chickens and good lord they have grown huge overnight! They aren't ready to go outside yet, but their Rubbermaid box is way too small for 3 week old chicks and I've been struggling to find an acceptable alternative.

    I had a moment of genius while cleaning out the garage today when I came across an empty wardrobe box left over from a move. I laid it on its side and cut the side off of it that folds down and then cut that piece in 2 to reinforce the 2 ends with duct tape. I've now got an awesome brooder box that's 24" x 45" x 20" tall.

    These guys are too big and active for the shelf liner stuff. I could see them pulling it up in minutes with all their scratching, so I'm thinking about buying some artificial turf patio carpet stuff they sell by the foot at Home Depot. I figure it will be more durable for active teenagers and if I make 2 of them 1 can be drying while the other one is in the box. If there's a safety reason why I shouldn't use this stuff PLEASE let me know... thanks!

    FYI: When the chicks are tiny I've been using the disposable waterproof bed pads [near the adult diapers at the drug store]. The 'extra large' size perfectly fits a large tub. Every day I just roll it up and dispose of it and since no liquid soaks through there's no additional washing of the tub. The bonus is that it provides a nice soft, non slip surface for new chicks. Once they get to be about 2 -3 weeks old though they start trying to scratch it to pieces, then I switch to shavings.
     
  10. ChezPoulez

    ChezPoulez Out Of The Brooder

    43
    3
    24
    Jun 22, 2011
    Mill Valley, California
    Quote: Okay, so here's the report, the box is working out perfectly with a piece of hardware cloth over the top to prevent unauthorized flying, but the astroturf is a HUGE mistake. I didn't think about it being shinyish, so as soon as they were put in their box they started trying to peck pieces loose and eat them, which I'm sure can't be good for them. They've also been pecking at the edges and unraveling the long threads on the edges holding the astroturf together. Seriously, as fast as I trim them and remove them they've got more threads working. I've finally removed the astroturf and just put down a thick layer of shavings and it's much better. :)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by