1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Cardboard box brooders?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wings, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. wings

    wings Chillin' With My Peeps

    780
    0
    139
    Jan 11, 2009
    Massachusetts
    With the last round of chicks I had, we used two cardboard boxes. One that was smaller for when they were small, and then another that was a little bit bigger.

    This year, I want to keep them in the brooder for a little longer, so I was thinking of making a brooder bigger by connecting cardboard boxes as they needed more space.

    I have read that you have to change the cardboard boxes every few days for sanitary reasons, so that would ruin my entire plan.

    What are your experiences?
     
  2. Linda in San Diego

    Linda in San Diego Chillin' With My Peeps

    998
    1
    151
    May 11, 2008
    San Diego
    We had a big square box from a chair. I lined it with extra cardboard in the bottom, that was covered by newspaper and then by shavings. I was able to just change shavings as the shavings got soiled, the box lasted the entire time. But I that was with only 12 chicks. It may be different if you are doing more chicks.
     
  3. Debi214

    Debi214 Chillin' With My Peeps

    475
    1
    141
    Apr 6, 2008
    Richmond, VA
    I kept mine in large cardboard boxes for 3-4 weeks with pine shaving with no problem until I moved them into metal dog crates with cardboard built up on the sides to keep in the pine shavings. The box was about the size of a large microwave and I had 8 chicks in it. I did change the bedding once a week and made sure the water was up so they wouldn't spill it. Here is a picture.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Debi214

    Debi214 Chillin' With My Peeps

    475
    1
    141
    Apr 6, 2008
    Richmond, VA
    Quote:I also stirred the shavings every few days to keep everything mixed up and cleaner looking.
     
  5. LuckysMom

    LuckysMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    203
    0
    129
    Jun 14, 2007
    South Carolina
    When I hatched chicks in my classroom I loked around the school and found a long clear plastic storage bin that no one was using. It worked great, I just suspended a heat lamp over one end, put the food and water at the other end, and put an old window screen over the whole thing. I lined the bottom with paper toweling which I changed twice a day as long as I had the chicks in the classroom.
     
  6. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

    3,081
    53
    269
    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    A few years ago I used several boxes to make a 5'x8' box in the basement covered with a couple blankets and then netting as they got larger. I raised 72 chicks at once. The bottom was lined with plastic trash bags and then covered with shavings. Once soiled I rolled it up, dumped the shavings, and sprayed the bags down. I had 2 sets of bags I was using, so while one was drying I used the other. Worked for a good 10 weeks. At that point the pests were large enough to stay out in a good warm coup.

    I will never raise that many again, but I also now have an outside brooder. I do use the same method for small amounts if I don't have a momma for them.

    Matt
     
  7. Okla-doodle-doo

    Okla-doodle-doo Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,379
    27
    211
    Dec 8, 2008
    Portland,Tn
    We were poor okies when I was growing up and thats the way we always riased our chicks. A good size cardboard box lined with newspapers that were changed daily. We had a few spraddle legs the first few days but never lost many. At night the box was about 3/4's covered with a thin cloth. They stayed in this till big enough to go outside. I still use this method today. Raising chicks doesn't mean you have to have a lot of big expensive equipment. Nice if you got it but not necessary.
     
  8. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    7,187
    20
    271
    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    I use cardboard boxes, about 24" x 24" x 16 " tall because I get them at work for free, they come with medical supplies. I put a thick layer of newspaper on the bottom, and about an inch of bermuda hay on top of that, and paper towels on top of that. I mostly just have to change the paper towels. The bermuda hay keeps the paper towels aired out and the poop dries really fast and doesn't bog down the bedding. The thick newspaper, I just pull a few sheets and roll up the whole mess when i want to change the hay, paper towels and everything at once. I dont' have a fancy brooder either. The boxes get chucked when the chicks outgrow them, for biosecurity/hygeine reasons. I can alwasy get more. When they get a good start on feather growing I move them to home made brooder cages, then out when they are fully feathered.
     
  9. Faverolle

    Faverolle Chillin' With My Peeps

    456
    3
    131
    Feb 12, 2009
    Massachusetts
    I used cardboard boxes a few times when I only was raising a small amount of chicks and they worked pretty well. I lined the bottom with newspaper and placed shavings on top and generally changed them once a week the first couple weeks and then every few days after. Rubbermaid storage boxes worked pretty well for me as well, I used the large ones that were around 42" long and also had a spare to make cleaning easier.
     
  10. Katie Jo

    Katie Jo Chillin' With My Peeps

    106
    0
    119
    Aug 12, 2008
    Wadsworth, Ohio
    I'm using a box right now....it's a giant box that my husband's computer server came in, so it's sturdy. I lined the bottom with an old shower curtain (cut to size), covered that in pine shavings, followed by a couple puppy pee-pads, and then more shavings. The puppy pads make for easy clean up and seem to keep everything dry....the shavings underneath that for padding. I suppose that's unnecessary, but I want 'em comfy!! I just started to put screens over top because some of the males are getting adventurous....found them roosting on the side of the box a few times...lol.

    The shower curtain was the main thing for me....to keep the bottom of the box from getting wet and rotting out. I suppose any kind of waterproof barrier would work....I just happened to have the shower curtain, so it worked for me.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by