brooder idea-thinking outside the box

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by urbanhomesteader, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. urbanhomesteader

    urbanhomesteader Songster

    Feb 26, 2007
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Will this work? I was thinking of using a outdoor barbeque pit as a brooder for my chick once they hatch. It has never been used so there is no residue in it.

    It will be placed inside the garage. It has wheels so can be moved easily. It seems to have all the requirements confinement, small screening so chicks can't get out and a top screen plus the barbeque cover(not shown as my camera batteries died after the first pic.) I will only have a few chicks so there will be plenty of room. I haven't desided if I should cover the grill to use that as the floor or take it out completely and have them all the way at the bottom.

  2. schmism

    schmism Songster

    Feb 16, 2007
    Peoria IL
    from what i understand chicks dont like "wire" floors.

    but some cardboard or layers of newspaper/straw should work fine.
  3. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    I would take the bottom wire out and put pine shavings in for bedding. You will also have to wrap somethung around the outside to prevent drafts, leaving it open would be too cold. Plus you need room for feed and water. Might work ok.

  4. JudyMcKinn

    JudyMcKinn Songster

    Jan 24, 2007
    SW MO
    What are you going to use for your heat source? Hanging a bulb over it? Baby chicks need 95 degrees the first week, dropping approx. 5 degrees per week, till they are feathered out--which is at a couple months old in warm weather, 4 or so months old, probably, if it winter weather.
  5. urbanhomesteader

    urbanhomesteader Songster

    Feb 26, 2007
    Yorba Linda, CA
    I am only going to have four or five chicks so there is plenty of room. I was planing on putting cardboard over the grill. It's hard to see but the grill sits about 3inches below the level of the" Bowl" but I can easily put some cardboard around the edge to give more draft protection. If I lower them down to the bottom they have plenty of cover but I loose space for the waterer and feeder. I have a heat lamp thingy kind of like this for heat. [​IMG]
  6. prariechiken

    prariechiken Songster

    Feb 9, 2007
    I like a 2 foot or better draft guard. Yep, wire floors can be rough on chicks, have seen them break legs getting them twisted around in wire floors. Years ago, my brother got some hens from a testing facility for I think a feed/animal nutrition company. These hens were used in their poultry layer nutrition developement building. When we got them to his farm, we let them out on the yard and most staggered around and would just lay on the ground. It seems they were raised their whole life on wire and didn't know how to walk on solid ground. They eventually snapped out of it. Since then, I don't like to raise anything "on wire", even chicks.
  7. jmofaustin

    jmofaustin Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    Austin, TX
    1 of my chicks became spraddle legged on cardboard from slipping so I never suggest it unless you rough it up a lot or put paper towels over it.
  8. Chicken_Lover

    Chicken_Lover In the Brooder

    Jan 11, 2007
    First off I have to say that brooder is [​IMG]

    Chicks will eat anything that is inside of the brooder, paper/wood have no nutritional value and may even cause problems.
    I would put hardware cloth or aluminum window screen over newspaper.
  9. urbanhomesteader

    urbanhomesteader Songster

    Feb 26, 2007
    Yorba Linda, CA
    I finished the brooder! [​IMG]
    This is what I did.
    Put cardboard over grill and put a car floor mat on top of that.

    Added a layer of bedding.


    Covered bedding with paper towles which will stay on for first few days.


    Put top screen/grill on and added garden wire twisties to keep secure. Also twistied lamp to top grill. Grill can be lowered as little as a quarter of an inch or as far as the cardboard wind screen to increase temp. May have to lower it a little at night. But it doesn't get very cold here at night. High 40's/ low 50's. at this time of year.



    Feeder, waterer and thermometer in brooder and seems to be holding the temp well. Around 100F. right under the light and 85F. over at the other end of the brooder. Will check it again at 3am to see how the temp. is holding up.


    I couldn't find a red heat lamp bulb so I am using a regular bulb for now. I have a week to switch it out if I have to.
  10. Henriettahen

    Henriettahen Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    very clever!! I think it'l work! chicks stayed alive in a cardboard box and a 60 watt bulb..hahahahah I didn't know much about raising chickens [​IMG]

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