Hardware cloth floor brooder. Is it safe for the chicks & at what age?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hoog, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. hoog

    hoog Chillin' With My Peeps

    I built a brooder last month and it works well. Currently the bottom is wood and I line it with a vinyl table cloth. This system works but I keep this brood inside my house which generates issues such as bad smell and dust from the woodchips. I would like to use ½”x½” hardware cloth to line the floor with then below that add a piece of plexiglass. That way the plexiglass can be taken out and hosed off every couple of days. No dust, no smell.

    I keep the hatched chicks in a plastic bin, lined with paper, for a week then transfer them to that brooder.

    My question is for standard sized breeds what age can I put them on a hardware cloth floor?

    Also, does anyone foresee any other issues in construction or animal health to changing to this type of floor for my brooder?
  2. bettynoodlees

    bettynoodlees Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 29, 2011
    Our "Jr coop" (for our 'teenagers') Had a hardware cloth floor, I hated it, I would end up picking individual feathers from between the cloth, and also the poopies sometimes don't fit through the holes, so I spent more time cleaning than I would have liked, and I also feel that it was dirtier than necessary. I ended up putting a wood floor on top of it and using horse pellets ...now I just shovel,spray, and put in new horse pellets. Takes about 10 minutes VS the hour and a half I spent before.
  3. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2011
    Rison, Arkansas
    I have 2 brooders with 1/2 x 1/2 hardware cloth floors, inside a spare room. I have no problem with using hardware cloth. It take about 2 days for hatchlings to get used to walking on it.
  4. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

  5. mandelyn

    mandelyn Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    I use towels as bedding on solid bottom brooders, washing them daily sure does A LOT to help with the dust issue. I use wire brooders for baby ducks, so that their mess water falls through into a plastic tub. I quit using pine shavings in the house a long time ago, too much dust.
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hardware cloth is very sanitary compared to some sort of bedding. Most of the poop falls thru to the bottom of the brooder and you will have less problems with cocci. And contrary to what some folks think, they will develop immunity to cocci on wire as there is still plenty of poop around.

    As far as when you can use it, after they have learned where the food and water is, the paper towels come off the floor and they are now on wire. They will get used to it very quickly. You can start with 1/4 inch hardware cloth at first if the 1/2 inch seems too big, depending on the breed. Then as the poops get bigger along with their feet, you can switch over to 1/2 inch cloth. I found that by keeping paper towels on top of newspaper under the wire on the bottom, it was very easy to clean. Just peel off the layer of paper towels each day and the bottom of the brooder is clean. The paper towels also will keep the smell down.

    Also, what I do is provide them with an area off the wire so if they want to get off it, they can. So take a small bird cage drop pan, (and I have several sizes for the growth of the chickens,) and fill it with wood shavings. This not only gives them a place to sleep at night before they start to roost in the brooder, but it also introduces them to wood shavings. So they have wire and a wood shaving flat spot. [​IMG]

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