I am in the process of designing a brooder for young chicks, and I would like to some advice. I would like to create it out of ply board, and basically build a big box, so that I can house as many as a hundred. I am thinking 4 by 4 as the ground floor, with one or two large heat plates. Whatever is sufficient for them. However I do not have enough space inside, so I want to build it outside. So here is my plan for that. I want to put it on the side of the house, or on the deck so that I can minimize the problems with electric cord length, and battery from the elements. I live in a temperate climate, so I have seasons. Spring, summer, winter, and fall. I have 20 inches of precipitation per year, so I am thinking that if I have a canopy over them, that it will create a shelter from precipitation. Now on to the next matter. Brinsea says that the heat plates should not be used in temperatures below 50 degrees F. I am guessing because this leads to chick death if they encounter rapid exposure to the elements. However, I am considering adding a heat lamp once the temperatures lower below 50 degrees if it is actually necessary. If not, I would prefer to just use the plates to reduce risk from fire, lower electrical costs, and not have to worry about a complicated two source heat system. But here are my ideas if it will be necessary. My box ply wood box will be a basic design with legs that lift it a few feet off the ground. Then, I will have the brooder plate and food and water sources and sandbox inside. I have seen other ideas where they put a heatlamp directly onto a wire roof, and that is what I was thinking of doing. Any thoughts?