Double Brooder unit - How To plans

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NellaBean, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    [​IMG]

    This is a unit that is 69" tall......the actual brooder unit is a 4x4 square that is 2 feet deep, divided into two brooders that are 2 feet tall, 2 feet deep and 4 feet wide. The height may seem strange but it is very specific.......it is tall enough to slide those $4 plastic totes you can buy at Walmart and other places....

    Here is an example.
    [​IMG]



    First off, I used 8 foot long 2"x2"s. This requires 9 of them, which is exactly 1 bundle [​IMG]
    It also requires 2 sheets of plywood. I use the thin stuff......1/4" I think? I let Home Depot cut it in half for me, which makes two 4x4 squares. If you want, you can also have them do additional cuts (might cost extra).
    For this project you need 1 piece of 4'x4' plywood and 5 pieces of 2'x4' plywood, plus 2 pieces of 1'x4' plywood.
    You also need approximately 4 feet of 24" hardware cloth (1/2" mesh) and 2 x 8' pieces of 1x3' for doors.
    4 hinges (3" hinges used, $2 per pack of 2 at walmart)
    2 safety latches ($1 for pack of 2 at Walmart)

    To make one identical to mine, you need to cut the 2"x2" as follows:

    4 pieces @ 69" long
    6 pieces @ 45" long
    9 pieces @ 21" long

    First, get your junk all out and ready to go. Look at your other projects in progress and sigh. Then move on.

    [​IMG]


    Cut all of your wood in advance. This makes everything so much quicker. I like to clamp the same length boards together so I know they are exactly the same size.....clamp together and then just make 1 long cut across them all intead of 4 individual cuts.

    [​IMG]


    Oh look, all done cutting and ready to assemble.

    [​IMG]


    First, lay out 2 of the 69" long pieces. These are the legs. Lay out 3 of the 45" long pieces, one at the top, one at 24" and one at 48".

    [​IMG]

    Screw them all together. I use 2.5" exterior screws for all 2"x2" to 2"x2" joints.

    Once you have one panel screwed together, lay the pieces for an identical panel directly on top and screw that panel together. This ensures each panel is identical so your levels will be pretty flat.

    Now you have two. The front and the back.

    [​IMG]

    Then take 6 of the 21" pieces and screw them as shown below.


    [​IMG]


    Then flip that over so the short little 21" 'legs' stick straight up. Lay the other panel on top of this. And then screw it down.

    [​IMG]


    Your frame is now complete. Stand it up and admire. It will be wobbly....don't worry, once all the plywood is on it strengthens it.


    [​IMG]


    While you're admiring, decide which side is prettier.......that will be the front of your brooder.

    Then lay it back down...pretty front side DOWN. Take the 4'x4' piece of plywood and lay it on top. This will be the back of the brooder.

    [​IMG]

    Clamps are helpful to hold it in place. Screw it down.


    Then turn the unit onto its side. Place a 2'x4' piece of plywood on top, clamp into place. Then screw it down.

    [​IMG]


    Then flip the unit to the opposite side. and do the same.


    [​IMG]


    Go ahead and stand your unit up. Admire your hard work.

    [​IMG]


    Now you just need to put the floors in. Take two of the remaining 3 pieces of 2'x4' plywood and cut a 1.5"x1.5" notch into each corner. This is to allow the plywood to fit around the 2"x2" LEG at each corner.

    Once the shelves are notched, slide them in and screw them down.


    [​IMG]


    Then take the remaining single piece of 2x4 plywood, put it on top, clamp into place and then screw down.

    I cut two pieces of plywood that are 12" wide and 48" long. I put one on the front left and one on the front right. Clamp on and screw down.

    [​IMG]

    Then I made the doors using 1x3 wood, 1/2" hardware cloth, scrap pieces of plywood and 3" hinges. I used the little "safety" hooks as latches.


    ETA: I had 3 extra 21" pieces here because i forgot to put the "crossbrace" in the middle of each level. This can be added at any time. I will add it later if needed.

    Also, I use 1.25" or 1 5/8" screws to screw the plywood down to the 2"x2"s.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010
  2. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    Fantastic!! It will work wonderfully and your broodies will LOVE the privacy! [​IMG]
     
  3. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    South Alabama
    You stated that the size was specific for the plastic totes, so you're going to use the totes as the brooders but put the totes inside the cabinet? I'm a little confused on this. [​IMG]

    Ed
     
  4. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    The size was specific for totes........as in, so the plastic totes would fit UNDERNEATH the brooder unit, as shown in the 2nd pic from the top. I use them to store feed and bedding and needed them to fit underneath.
     
  5. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 2, 2009
    Sunny side up :)
    Oh that is an awesome design. I like that it is stacked so it is space saving! I bet you could just keep little chicks (without a broody) in there too until they are big enough to go into a pen.
    Will you add a tray or linoleum on the floor areas for easier cleaning?
     
  6. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    My Coop
    yes, the plan is more for keeping small chicks in there than a broody with babies. Although I will use for both. I currently have larger unti that was built last winter that is the same height and depth but 8 feet wide.

    I do not plan to put linoleum on the floors but that is an option.

    It still needs lights hung inside plus hangers for food and water. But the basic build is done [​IMG]
     
  7. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I like your idea. It's very similar to one that I've been thinking of making lately. The only real difference being that I intend to have the two long sides much more open for ease of clean up and removing the birds. Basically the bottom half of each long side will be solid plywood, the top half will be a wood framed hardware cloth door that I can let down.

    I want to be able to access both sides because I prefer to hatch many birds at once so mine will be basically sized to a full sized 4'x8' sheet of plywood the way my current single brooder is. I'll be hanging an Ohio Brooder Hover in each one probably using eye hooks screwed into the top.

    I like your use of 2x2s for the framing. I'll probably stick with 2x4s for the legs for sturdiness since mine will be on a larger scale, but basically what you are building except for the doors is what I have in mind.

    Are you going to paint or otherwise cover the bare wood? I didn't with my first one and soon came to regret it. Painting it after the fact was OK but would have been much better to have painted it in the first place. I'm thinking of using mildew resistant bathroom/kitchen paint since it has a gloss finish and cleans easily.
     
  8. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    7,261
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    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    here is the first one I built last year.

    [​IMG]

    i framed with 2x4 and it is SO HEAVY. Having framed with 2x4 it definitely needed 2x4 or thicker legs. The weight of this unit is still significant, but nothing compared to the BIG guy we made last year.

    I found with the completely open front of my last build, it doesn't hold any heat in. That was my reasoning on closing in half the front. I am planning on building another that is nearly identical, but rather than enclosing 1' in on each side of the front, I am going to do 2 feet of a solid DOOR on one side and 2 feet of a mesh door on the other. So I can still completely open it up but can have the solid side where the light is to hold in heat.

    I hate painting to tend to skip that step......I know, I know.....I just haaaaate painting. As mine stay inside a garage area, they do okay unpainted.
     
  9. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2009
    South Alabama
    Quote:Thanks for the clarification. It looks like a good design, but I'm curious about it not having a "lip" at the doors to keep litter from spilling out and adventurous chicks from yelling "GERONIMO!!!" as they sail over the edge. ??? ...I'm looking and planning for the future and studying the different ways people are doing things and seeing the features I like. Being as I'm starting from scratch I'm going to use a hover with a draft guard in the coop for the brooder to begin with, then with subsequent hatchings I'll use a dedicated brooder setup. Thanks for sharing the design.

    Ed
     
  10. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    7,261
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    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    i have a 4" high lip in my current (BIG) brooder unit and it does NOTHING to keep that stuff in. grrrrr.......I plan on adding a "removable" taller lip. Because not having a lip makes cleaning SO MUCH easier (you just sweep it all out the door), however stuff falls out every time you open the door. I have a permanent 4" high lip in my current big brooder unit and it makes it difficult to clean (you have to shovel everything out, scoop by scoop) and I still get a lot of shavings being kicked out.
     

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