Converted Sandbox Brooder

HaplessRunner

Songster
8 Years
Feb 8, 2013
983
129
181
Boston, VA
Since my sons have grown, completed college, gotten married and moved on, I figured I might put their old sandbox to good use. I need a brooder for the eggs that I was incubating so with the inspiration of the homemade designs on BYC, I thought I would give it a try.






I started by constructing a frame of cpvc that would rest on top of the sandbox.



After the frame was constructed, I used a 15 foot roll of 1"x 1" mesh wire to wrap the frame. As I applied the wire mesh, it was fastened with electrical ties. It was a bit tedious and sometimes painful but I worked my way around the frame. The next step involved constructing a gate for ease of access, cleaning, etc. Once again I used the same cpvc piping to frame a gate and attached the mesh wire to the gate frame.


Although this set on the sandbox fairly well, I discovered that the chicks would possibly find their way out of the brooder once they got on top of the sandbox and go under the wire enclosure. So I took 1/2" x 1/2" hardware cloth and made a mesh floor under the four sides where an escape route might be found. I folded the hardware cloth to fit and attached it with electrical ties.



Lastly, I needed to figure some way to attach the gate. Once again, electrical ties solve the problem! I used an upper and a lower tie to serve as a hinge. To give some separation and ease of opening/closing, I took another tie and wrapped it around the hinge tie between the gate and the brooder frame. This provides easy access t the brooder.

One more problem to solve! How do I keep the gate shut now it is on tie hinges? I used two drapery hooks, upper & lower, to serve as gate hooks. The drapery hooks are attached to the wire mesh by - you guessed it - more electrical ties!



Once my chicks got big enough to want to fly to the top of the brooder wall, I placed a couple of dog/baby gates across the top. I have been pleased with how this worked. while this has been relatively easy to clean, the worst challenge for this type of structure is every so often you must carry both the enclosure and the sandbox outside for a good scrubbing.

This was relatively easy to build. It took about half a day - assuming you have all the parts and do not have go back to get more. :)
 

HaplessRunner

Songster
8 Years
Feb 8, 2013
983
129
181
Boston, VA
The heat lamps are suspended from the ceiling on two feet long planter hooks from the floor joists. I adjusted the height of the lamps by using a construction-grade, heavy extension cord and clothes pins. The counter weight of the extension cord and friction of the clothes pin clamps was more than sufficient to prevent an accidental drop of the heat lamp. Great question! :)
 

HandsomeRyan

Renaissance man
6 Years
Feb 18, 2013
147
21
98
Music City, USA
The heat lamps are suspended from the ceiling on two feet long planter hooks from the floor joists. I adjusted the height of the lamps by using a construction-grade, heavy extension cord and clothes pins. The counter weight of the extension cord and friction of the clothes pin clamps was more than sufficient to prevent an accidental drop of the heat lamp. Great question! :)
Sounds great. I don;t know what your coop looks like but with a brooder that nice your babies may never want to leave.
D.gif
 

WindStep

Songster
5 Years
Feb 27, 2014
1,381
11
113
Since my sons have grown, completed college, gotten married and moved on, I figured I might put their old sandbox to good use. I need a brooder for the eggs that I was incubating so with the inspiration of the homemade designs on BYC, I thought I would give it a try.






I started by constructing a frame of cpvc that would rest on top of the sandbox.



After the frame was constructed, I used a 15 foot roll of 1"x 1" mesh wire to wrap the frame. As I applied the wire mesh, it was fastened with electrical ties. It was a bit tedious and sometimes painful but I worked my way around the frame. The next step involved constructing a gate for ease of access, cleaning, etc. Once again I used the same cpvc piping to frame a gate and attached the mesh wire to the gate frame.


Although this set on the sandbox fairly well, I discovered that the chicks would possibly find their way out of the brooder once they got on top of the sandbox and go under the wire enclosure. So I took 1/2" x 1/2" hardware cloth and made a mesh floor under the four sides where an escape route might be found. I folded the hardware cloth to fit and attached it with electrical ties.



Lastly, I needed to figure some way to attach the gate. Once again, electrical ties solve the problem! I used an upper and a lower tie to serve as a hinge. To give some separation and ease of opening/closing, I took another tie and wrapped it around the hinge tie between the gate and the brooder frame. This provides easy access t the brooder.

One more problem to solve! How do I keep the gate shut now it is on tie hinges? I used two drapery hooks, upper & lower, to serve as gate hooks. The drapery hooks are attached to the wire mesh by - you guessed it - more electrical ties!



Once my chicks got big enough to want to fly to the top of the brooder wall, I placed a couple of dog/baby gates across the top. I have been pleased with how this worked. while this has been relatively easy to clean, the worst challenge for this type of structure is every so often you must carry both the enclosure and the sandbox outside for a good scrubbing.

This was relatively easy to build. It took about half a day - assuming you have all the parts and do not have go back to get more. :)



Interesting.
 

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