Cat proof brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by PaulaSB12, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. PaulaSB12

    PaulaSB12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2010
    I want to raise some chicks, but I need to be able to keep cats away from them. Queenie and Socks have both hunted the odd mouse (Tippy prefers underwear [​IMG]) so I don't want to leave them to danger. I have a large dog crate and a large plastic box with a lid on it and want to know how to make a brooder for 12 chicks.
  2. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
    As long as the dog crate has a bottom, is made of strong wire and latches that would work great. My brooder is one.

    Bedding- Paper towels for the first 2-3 days or week. From then on, shavings work great.
    Light- You can hang a heat lamp from the top, starting at 95 degrees and decreasing it by five a week.
    Feeders and waterers- I put 2 chick-sized feeders and waterers in mine. You can find them at any feedstore or online. They should be spread out so the "runts" of the flock have access also. In my experience, best to put two on a side and two in the middle.
    Draft Protection- You should put wood to cover up the sides of the brooder for protection from drafts, though the door and top can be left with out the wood. I would also recomment putting a strip of wood all along the bottom to help hold the bedding in place.
    Protection From Cocci- Cocci is a disease that mostly infects birds up to thirteen weeks. At fourteen weeks they can be old enough to for the most part resist too much of it. Cocci lives wherever chicks are and in them, and if the environment is kept dry and clean then it shouldn't be much of a problem. I'd recommend putting them on medicated chick feed until they're fourteen weeks if they're not vaccinated, but this is optional. Change bedding often.

    This should keep the chicks in and the cats out. Good luck. You should keep them in there for about 7 weeks.

    Edited to add: To ensure you more that the cats won't go in, you could put the brooder in a room that they don't have access to.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010
  3. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    I use a wire dog kennel that is covered with hardware cloth. The heat lamp hangs on the inside (and is securely tied off so it can't fall!). When the chicks are young I wrap half of it in towels to give them an enclosed area and to stop drafts. As they get older I move the towels out of the way.

    I have cats as well. They are terribly fascinated with the chicks early on. The peeping makes them crazy. [​IMG] The hardware cloth is small enough that the kitty paws can't get through and strong enough that it holds up to cats sleeping on top of it. That is the only thing I can't seem to prevent. The heat radiating up from that brooder draws all the kitties in the house! The little slugs love sleeping on the brooder top. [​IMG]

  4. PaulaSB12

    PaulaSB12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2010
    Thanks I have a dog crate like yours (brought it when Queenie forgot her ofspring) I will use that.
  5. peacemaam

    peacemaam Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 28, 2013
    Minot, ND
    I was thinking of doing something like that with the dog crates but how on earth did you get into it?
  6. PaulaSB12

    PaulaSB12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2010
    I have 4 3 week old chicks in the dog crate brooder now. I had them in a wooden box but they flew out and chased one of my cats into the cupboard under the stairs (bug wussy) the other cats seem to be of the opinion that if you pretend they don't exist then they don't.
  7. PaulaSB12

    PaulaSB12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2010
    Well they are 7 weeks old sleeping in the brooder but that is in the cat run. I will be putting them in the little coop until they are old enough to mix with the others. That will be done next week when I am off from work and can watch. At the moment the big girls seem fascinated and keep talking to them through the fence of the cat run. The only problem is they have taken a liking to Queenie and follow her round the pen!
  8. jeulzrulez22

    jeulzrulez22 New Egg

    Jan 7, 2014
    Yeah, how did you get into the brooder then?

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