Brooder in coop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LaynaDon95, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2012
    We've just recently built our chicken coop. By built, I mean it's a building that we can lock them up in at night, with a roost. We are planning on dividing it into at least one separate room, but I'm thinking about sectioning off one more very small room as a brooder. The majority of the coop will go to the established flock and the other smaller room will be a grow out room for pullets that are too young to be kept with the big girls. The thing is, we will be hatching pretty regularly so we will have a fairly constant flow of chicks, so I really like the idea of another (very, very small) room as a brooder in the coop. I want to keep all the chickens in one place. My question is, has anyone had a problem doing this? Does anyone have advice or warnings or things I should consider? I want to make sure the little babies are as safe as possible, but I'm new to raising chickens, so I don't know everything I should watch out for.
  2. OreoPlymothRock

    OreoPlymothRock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2012
    you can set up a brooder inside the coop. add the heat lamp with some bedding, waterers, feeders, and a roosting bar. if you do not have a roosting bar, you could just use a wooden or plastic stick and place it on the ground, you could drill it to the wall of the coop. Hope this helps.
  3. 906homesteader

    906homesteader New Egg

    May 7, 2012
    I am very interested in this as well. We just finished our coop which is 8x8x8 and we only have 6 hens right now. We would really like to order another dozen chicks but have limited area to actually have a brooder inside at all. I have been trying to find a way to build a brooder outside but still keep them protected (we live in a pretty isolated woody area) and warm. I can add another "level" inside of the coop off to one side, like a 3x8 shelf basically to use as a brooding area. Besides keeping them warm is their any other issues I need to be aware of- I know this would help solve our problem we have been...wait for it...brooding over. Thanks ahead for any advice.
  4. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 28, 2011
    I have a large coop that is 9ft tall. I'll be putting the brooder which is an extra large dog kennel under the roost. I also put a board on top of the kennel, so the big girls won't poop on them.

    I do have them in the house, since it was very cold some nights and where the brooder is going, we built in a heater that needs to come out.

    I will leave them in the kennel for 3 weeks. When they come out, my oldest EE will need to be put in there for a few days due to being a bully. She's feather picking now and I need her to quit. Her "jail" is being used by the 3 new ones I'm integrating.

    The longer the chicks are in the coop in the brooder, the smoother the integration goes. I just took mine off the heat lamp last night in our basement. I'm letting them get on the same schedule as the big girls before their transfer next weekend.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas

    This is the 3' x 6' brooder I built in my 8' x 12' coop. The top acts as a droppings board which I scrape about once a week. That plastic acts as draft protection. I made the bottom out of 1/2" hardware cloth and elevated it so the poop drops right on through. When I don't have chicks in it, it can act as a broody buster or I can isolate an injured chicken in it if I need to.

    If you build one in the coop make sure it has good ventilation, yet good draft protection. I like the clear sides so the adults and chicks can see each other from Day 1.

    Secure your waterer so it does not spill. Take extra effort to have a firm flat base to put the waterer in if it is a gravity waterer. This worked pretty well for me but I'd do one thing different if I were doing it again. You may not be able to tell, but I cut a hole to fit the base in a piece of plywood, then elevated that plywood about a half inch to keep the base from getting moved around. If I were doing it again, I'd probably just use about 6 screws positioned around it to keep it from moving. I think they will poop in the water less if they don't have that plywood to stand on. That wire on top does not keep it level but it keeps them from knocking it over.


    My biggest concern was the heat lamp. You can see it over in the "red" area. I built a "chimney" so I can raise and lower it yet keep the adult chickens off of it. I've seen fires caused by stuff like this so building it so a fire could not start was a really big concern.

    I only keep one area of the brooder warm and let the rest cool off as it will, sometimes into the 40's. As long as you have a warm area for them to go to, they will play all over the brooder and go to the heat when they need it.

    You need a way to be able to catch the chicks. With it this big, I made a net out of heavy stiff wire and an old onion net bag. But position your door so you can reach as much of it as you can.

    Your brooder needs to be predator proof. I've had snakes in my coop eating eggs before, so I made the brooder tight enough that snakes cannot get in.

    You can kind of see the plastic container off to the right that I use to catch the chickens droppings under the roost. I put some of those under this brooder so I could catch the droppings. You could maybe add some shavings to make it more absorbent, but I just emptied them once a week to keep the flies down. The poop does build up, especially under the area they sleep. It's great for the compost.

    Food, water, predator protection, draft protection, heat, and ventilation. Those are the things I'd worry about.
  6. 906homesteader

    906homesteader New Egg

    May 7, 2012
    Thanks- this is exactly what I was looking for and I will be using an almost exact set-up. I'll make sure I post pics once it's finished.

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