I got wonderful directions online for making a brooder using a plastic tub. When I went to tractor supply they told me that was a bad idea. Has anyone used a plastic container and had success? I am so confused!
It depends on how many chicks you have. If you had two or three chicks, a large Plastic Tub would be fine, until they were about 6 weeks old, and got two big. But at that time, they would be outside anyway. However , you probably will want something bigger. I use one of those blue baby pools with the little character on the sides. But be careful and put wire on the top or they will jump out.
I have used rubbermaid type bins with lids for a brooder many times. You just cut a hole in the top of the lid and fasten screen or hardware cloth so that there is good ventillation. They are alot easier to clean then a cardboard box and quick to dry, puls I feel that they are pretty draft proof and keep the chicks warm better.
Another thing I did was get an old branch from my cottonwood tree and fasten it to the sides to make a little perch.
I have known of several people that have used such, especially for a small number of chicks, and they had a good experience. You would want to make sure that the flooring is not too slippery so that it does not interfer with their footing and create a problem with their feet and/or legs. I myself use those large rubber watering troughs because that is what we have here on the farm for the horses and cows. They make an amazing brooder and we have several different sizes so as the chicks outgrow one size, we go up to the next larger size until it is time to move them all out to their outside nursery coop/pen!
I'm using one now and it has worked great! They're good for keeping the draft out because they're nice and tall and I haven't had any issues with them getting dangerously hot or anything. My only worry was the metal wire fencing I used for the top... I was afraid the heat lamp would heat it up super hot, but as it turns out it only gets moderately warm.
I bought the biggest one I could find, cut out the center area and bolted some wire fencing onto the top with nuts, bolts, and washers. The fencing is the metal mesh kind, the squares are about 1/4" I'd guess. I cut it to fit and mounted the fencing material on the top so that there were no sharp edges underneath for the babies to hurt themselves on when they start jumping & flying. Mine also has handles that lock the top on, which I wanted so that my cat can't get at them if she gets in their room.
I'm at work now but I will take a picture when I get home and post it as a reference.