how much will it cost to set up a brooder?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Ivy MG, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Ivy MG

    Ivy MG New Egg

    Aug 17, 2012
    I'm going to get my chicks in a month and i want to know how much it will cost so i can set a budget
    how much did it cost for you?
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  2. DuginMT

    DuginMT Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2013
    Billings, MT
    My Coop
    Hello IVY: Last weekend I built a brooder for 13 chicks (8' long X 2' wide X 2' high) - see pic. The two red heat lights, 3.5 gal. waterer, 50 lb of chick feed, feed tray, and one bale of pine shavings cost about $50. All of my wood was scrap wood so that didn't cost me anything (including the practice perches. If you had to buy the wood for a brooder like mine it would also be about $50 including some fasteners. I figure with the two 250W heat lamps on all of the time it will cost about $1.20 per day at $0.10/KW-hour, or $37 per month to operate. I read where it is important to have two heat lamps in case one burns out, your chicks will survive the night. The shed my chicks are in is only about 50 Degrees F. Should only need the heat lamps for a couple of months though. Hope this helps and good luck with your chicks!

    P.S. Another way you could make a cheap brooder, other than cardboard, is by making a frame out of 3/4" PVC pipe and fittings, and then buying a blue plastic tarp at Harbor Freight or similar discount store, and then putting the tarp under the frame and fastening to the top rail of the frame with zip ties. It seems you could make a big brooder this way for well under $50.


  3. hungry

    hungry Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 8, 2013
    Grayson County, Texas
    The voice of inexperience here... but it'll depend on how many chicks you are getting. More chicks = more space needed.

    I got six about a week ago. I have spent about $40 excluding chicks. The money went into feed, lamp, pine shavings, a feeder and waterer. I used a few things I already had on hand: a plastic bin, a thermostat with a temperature probe (sold for reptile keeping), and various scraps to securely support the lamp, waterer, make a little perch, and so on.
  4. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    I look at a brooder as merely temporary housing. I use a large cardboard box 4x7 feet or 4x4 feet. I get these at a local muffler warehouse for free. Then I suspend a red heat lamp with a wire shield and ceramic socket; Cover the top with a window screen frame and they are good to grow. All total my supplies for the brooder might be $30.% for the light and an extra red bulb.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  5. Ivy MG

    Ivy MG New Egg

    Aug 17, 2012
    okay... thank you for sharing
    if i didn't say so before i am going to get six chicks
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    You can do a brooder for very little, it's the coop you need a budget for and they'll be needing that in only a few short weeks. [​IMG]
  7. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2011
    Are you going to brood in the house or outside? If in the house, its a lot easier to maintain the right temperature zones. Basically meaning that you can use a 100 watt or less bulb to give them a part of the brooder at the required 95 degrees and the rest of the brooder at a manageable temperature for the chicks. For 6 chicks the first week a cardboard brooder in the house using textured puppy pads or textured paper towel (anything non slip) is cheap and totally adequate. If you are brooding outside, don't put them in a brooder large enough so they can get stranded away from the heat lamp for the first week. Good luck with your chicks, you are going to have such a good time.
  8. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    I use cardboard boxes at no cost as brooder. Cut an opening and use the cut-out as lid. When done, recyle it so no storage hassle. Usually by 6 to 8 weeks, the chicks are too active, feathered and ready go to the coop.

    You can buy chick feeder and waterer, but not absolutely necessary. I use them only because I have them from a friend.

    The brooder is lined with wood shaving that was purchased for the big birds, which is recycled to the big bird coop.

    A heat lamp is necessary but is a one time expense only a few dollars at Home Depot. I use 40 to 75W incandescent bulb. 250W wastes too much energy. The same lamp is used in the coop for winter lighting.

    Three successful brooding (3 to 5 each time) in a row without any casualty.

    My brooder cost? cost me more to buy a combo meal.
  9. colieoh3

    colieoh3 New Egg

    Mar 17, 2013
    Including my 5 chicks, 1 heat lamp, a 25 pound bale of pine shavings, 25lb bag of chick feed, feeder and waterer it cost roughly $60. I used a plastic storage tote for their brooder.
    1 person likes this.
  10. Ivy MG

    Ivy MG New Egg

    Aug 17, 2012
    thank you!
    i appreciate you help! [​IMG]

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