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Brooder In Florida Room

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Country Mama, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. Country Mama

    Country Mama Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a 4-season Florida room, 2 sides are French doors, and the floor is tile. (It's also able to be closed off completely from the house). With the sun and easy clean area, I thought it would be a great place for the brooder. ( I'm getting the chicks in April, didn't think the screen porch would be warm enough.)

    I want my chickens to be as friendly as possible, so I've read that I should have a side-access brooder, which makes sense to me. How do I build one though? On top of a large table? Cardboard? Small mesh wire? I won't be raising chicks often, so I didn't want to build something that will get little use. I want the chicks to be safe and healthy though of course :)

    I thought maybe a kids plastic swimming pool (with a mesh top of course), set up on a table so the chicks would see me/the kids as we are reaching for them? Is that enough so they don't see our hands as a potential predator?
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Considering all materials, you can't beat cardboard for lightness, cheapness, versatility, sturdiness and disposability. I've even taken a super large box and cut it down to exactly the size I needed and I have the finished product in a fraction of the time it takes to build a permanent enclosure.

    Then, especially if you've obtained the box from the dumpster, you can feel free to toss the thing after you're finished with it. What's not to love?

    I mean, look. You can go nuts and tape two together for a double -wide condo with a pass-through. The possibilities are endless![​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Do you have a permanent coop for them? How many chicks? Between now and April, you have plenty of time to plan. You can go the disposable cardboard box, which can then go into the garden to line your paths, or even in your compost pile. Worms LOVE cardboard. Add all of that yummy chicken poo from the bedding, and you have a recipe for fantastic gardening and composting. Or, you could buy some basic lumber, and 1/2" hardware cloth, and build yourself a nice little chicken tractor which will double as a nice roomy brooder for your chicks!
     
  4. Country Mama

    Country Mama Out Of The Brooder

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    I love this!! The hubs will be happy that I can do this one myself and it won't go on his honey-do list as well! Thank you! Do you just close the flaps after play time? I'm really hoping we have at least a few chickens that follow us around outside. When I was a little girl I loved playing with the chickens. My 7 year old can't wait till the chicks come!
     
  5. Country Mama

    Country Mama Out Of The Brooder

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    I do, or at least most of it! Lol. We're converting a shed with an outside run as well, but I'm going to let them free range as much as possible. We're getting 17 chicks - but I may end up with 19. (I may get 2 from a local guy for Easter, my kids have always asked for them - I
    This one time I can actually do it!)

    Love the idea of lining the garden paths with the cardboard!

     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Notice the tongue depressor sticks at the top of the doors? They latch to secure the flaps. Those babies learn fast that an open door means freedom. They fly out onto the floor and explore if the doors aren't kept closed. People don't realize those teensy wings actually become functional quite soon.
     
  7. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Cardboard brooders are nice for all of the reasons listed above, but...
    The upside of a permanent brooder is that it can double as a hospital ward when you've got injured/sick birds or a quarantine area when you acquire new ones (and eventually, you'll need something for some reason or another) :)
    I have a large (and ugly) hutch that my husband built from scraps we had lying around, and it gets so much use that I wouldn't trade that thing for all of the cardboard boxes in the world!
     
  8. Country Mama

    Country Mama Out Of The Brooder

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    Brilliant latch!

    A friend of mine had 5 chicks in a box in her basement. She found them missing one day, and we spent 2 hours chasing them around a room that was maybe 10x12. It was really funny (now), lesson learned! We still giggle about it.

     
  9. Country Mama

    Country Mama Out Of The Brooder

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    That's a good point, hadn't thought of that.

    My hubby also pointed out that we will likely lose a few to predators, regardless of how safe I try to keep them. I've been saying I don't want to breed, but he thinks I will at some point.

    So much to think about! Lol.

     
  10. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I'm betting with your husband on that one. You might as well buy an incubator while you are at it, because you are going to want to do that too...lol You would never think something like chickens and hatching/raising could be addictive, but ya, mine are 9 weeks now and I'm already thinking about how I want to breed and who and what I want to get to add to what I have to breed another line....lol Good luck with your adventure!!
     

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