Different brooder approach (photo)

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
19,391
24,148
912
Colorado Rockies
My six chicks are here! Finally! I feel as though I've survived a ten month pregnancy waiting for them, they were back ordered so many times!

But it gave me time to think over the brooder issue. A week ago someone on this forum mentioned the problem of the babies being afraid of the "big hand" grabbing them from up on high and not being able to reference the big hand with the entire human. Having raised two previous batches of chicks in homemade appliance box brooders, I was familiar with this problem.

Then it came to me - why not elevate the box and cut a door into the side? It would save my back when cleaning and visiting, and it would address the inborn chicken instinct to fear anything approaching from the sky.

So I got a box, put it on my drawing table in the back bedroom, and cut the top off. Then I cut the door into the side, leaving just a scored third side at the bottom for the door hinge. I attached two popsicle sticks at the top with machine screws and nuts for latches. I cut a window into the other side and taped clear plastic over it to let natural light into the box from the window behind it. Later, when one precocious two day old chick tried to hop out, I taped some nylon window screening across the bottom of the door.

So far it appears to be working great! It's much easier to visit the babies and they seem completely unafraid when I reach in and pick them up to cuddle since they can see the entire chick mama and not just a giant, scary hand!

By the way, I got two Black Cochins, two Americaunas, and two Golden-laced Wyandottes. Morgan, Dagney, Rachael Corrie, Joyce, Francie, and Sue, respectively. Although Joyce sure acts like a rooster.
 
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casumm

In the Brooder
9 Years
May 27, 2010
97
0
39
Indianapolis, IN
I like it! Alot! Have you noticed any difference in their behavior yet? (Sounds like they might be a bit young to collect any "real data" on yet. hehehe)
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
19,391
24,148
912
Colorado Rockies
Well, I got them on Thursday, and this is Saturday. In chick days that has to account for quite a bit.

They continue to be very accepting of my hands coming into the brooder from the side, and especially a little while ago when I came in with some worms from the garden - heh heh! Now they really do associate my hands with good things, feeding them to them one at a time!

They were very tiny, baby earth worms and they very quickly figured out what they were supposed to do with them!

By the way, talking about behavior, I made a startling discovery yesterday when I was holding one baby and my cat walked into the room. The tiny three day old peeped out the five note phrase that her elders always cluck to announce the presence of the cat. It's similar to the five note phrase that announces my arrival, but with the accent on the third note. The cat phrase is five straight notes. To double check, I grabbed another chick and let her see the cat. She peeped out the same phrase as her sister. So even without a mother hen to teach them, they have language right from the start!
 

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