Brooder questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Saroco, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Saroco

    Saroco Chillin' With My Peeps

    Will a cardboard box work for a brooder for a while until I get a kiddie pool? Will it rot when/if it gets wet? Can I put aluminum foil underneath the wood chips to help keep the box dry, or will it hurt my girls in any way. Is there any way to keep chicks from splashing their water around?

  2. Paco

    Paco Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2010
    A cardboard box would work. It will pretty much be usless if it gets to wet but a little water won't hurt it that bad. And I wouldn't put foil in there if they scratch it up they will peck and might eat some of it which wouldn't be good so I would just go with the wood shavings as they are pretty absorbent.
  3. CrazyBirdLady21

    CrazyBirdLady21 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 5, 2010
    I agree with Paco, just wood chips will be fine. But, only use pine, cedar will harm your babies. Also, try turning over a small plate, and setting your waterer on top of that. It will help with them stepping in it. Good Luck! [​IMG]
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I used cardboard twice and it lasted til I could get them outside (FINALLY -- NEVER AGAIN!) I just put pine chips in the box, after a few days of paper towels. If you're going to start with paper towels, the foil might make life easier for you, as they need changing often.

    Just make sure it is big enough -- so easy to cook them if they can't get away from the heat. I never kept it as hot as is recommended; they would run away from it.

    I had 50 chicks, and actually cut apart several big boxes and used duct tape to make an "L" shaped place for them with the light bulb at one end. More often than not, I'd find them at the cool end despite following recommendations for temp for 95 to 100 the first week, etc.
  5. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I've been using nothing but cardboard boxes for brooders for the past three years. I cut 6 mil plastic sheeting to fit the bottom and spread the wood shavings over that, two inches deep. (Nix on the foil, they would shred it and ingest it.) The cardboard never suffers from any dampness that may occur. I even put two boxes together this year with a pass-through cut into them so the tykes had a two-room condo. I also place the boxes on tables so I approach the chicks from the side, thereby avoiding the fear that is generated by coming at them from above. I cut access doors into the sides, lightly scored at the bottem edge to serve as a "hinge". I secure the doors with popsicle stick latches held in place with a nut and machine screw.

    To solve the water bottle problem, and to keep it from getting fouled with the wood shavings, I put the bottle in some orange sack netting, the kind those tiny mandarins come in, secure it tightly around the neck, invert it, place an "s" hook on top, and hang it from a stick I slip through two slots cut into sides of the cardboard walls near the top. It keeps the water fresh as the moment you put it in, and no matter how active the babies get, they never get any shavings in it. The little ones favored sleeping underneath their water bottle for some reason, another bonus.

    I place cheese cloth over the top so when they start trying out their wings in a few weeks they can't get out.
  6. Chickenkate17

    Chickenkate17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2010
    I used a cardboard box inside a dog kennel as a brooder. It worked just fine. One time they kicked their shavings into the water so that it leaked everywhere, the box got wet and I had to replace it. When they were about 10 days old, I expanded the brooder to the whole dog kennel because the water was too close to their "scratching grounds". They've been in the brooder for 5 weeks now with no other problems.

  7. Saroco

    Saroco Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay, I have extra cardboard, so if the one I'm using right now gets destroyed or something I'll have extras...Thanks everyone! [​IMG]
  8. Iheartchicks<3:)

    Iheartchicks<3:) Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2010
    Mount Vernon, WA
    i use a birdcage.. it was like 40 bucks.. but it comes with everything u need besides a feeder/heat/waterer.. roosts poop bored everything! so cool. then ill just reuse it for the next batch

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