homemade brooder


6 Years
Apr 24, 2013
Well I started my chicks in a large tote that you can buy at Walmart. I put the tote in my bathtub so they were easy to access but I was able to keep them away from my eager child and interested cat. The first few days I gave them shredded paper as a bedding but soon they started viciously attacking any red piece of paper and since I didn't want to give them any reason to hurt each other I took the paper out and gave them cedar or pine shavings (pet supplies from Walmart). Since my bathroom stays fairly warm I just gave them a regular lamp with a 50-60 watt light that has a bendable neck so I was able to get it close to them. But then one night it burnt out and my poor chicks got really cold. After that I gave them a real heat lamp (125 watt) because they last longer (at least I think they do).

I was only able to keep them in the tote for 2 weeks because they were starting to fly and growing so fast that it seemed too crowded. I had an extra dog crate so I decided to turn it into a chicken brooder. I wrapped the crate in chicken wire and I put cardboard in between the dog crate wire and chicken wire. I hung the heat lamp from the top and hung their feeder as well. I put down pine or cedar shavings (I really don't remember what I bought) and raised their water container by putting tupperware under it. I looked at these for ideas:



drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Aug 26, 2009
Out to pasture


8 Years
Jul 17, 2011
North Central Kansas
Greetings from Kansas, miguel2299, and
! Great to have you with us! I agree with SobbaChicks....lots of cheap choices....my first batch went into an old card board box from a washing machine. Good luck to you!

Mtn Laurel

9 Years
May 18, 2012
Northern Virginia
My Coop
My Coop
A large wire dog crate is what I'm using. I attached cardboard on the inside walls from the bottom to about half way up to keep the bedding in and drafts out. I attached the cardboard with zip ties. Works like a charm!

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