I need to build a bigger brooder....I'm looking for advice

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kreisherk, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. kreisherk

    kreisherk In the Brooder

    Feb 12, 2013
    Hello to all! I have seven 13 day old chicks(some pics below.) 2 Buff Orpingtons, 2 Plymouth Barred Rocks and 3 "Aracaunas" really Easter Eggers. These little ladies are growing like weeds and look so healthy. I'm ecstatic!! But I built one of those rubbermaid tub brooders with a heat lamp and a dimmer switch which has served us well. I can see though that they are swiftly outgrowing it. I have plans to build a bigger brooder to get them from there to the coop outside eventually. I need advice on what type to build (simple please) and how big to accommodate them. TIA for any help and pics.



  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Do you have the coop ready and is there electricity out here? Do you have older chickens? Does that coop give good draft protection?

    If you can heat a part of the coop without burning it down and they don’t need to be protected from older chickens, move them out there. Keep one area warm and don’t worry about them. As long as one area is warm enough or even a bit too warm and they have room to get away if the heat is too high, they should do fine.

    I don’t know what your coop looks like. You might want to sort of contain them or give greater draft protection, but remember they can already fly up a few feet at that age.
  3. CarolynF

    CarolynF Songster

    May 11, 2011
    Puget Sound
    My Coop
    Those are sure a nice bunch of cuties! I have 4 that are just a week older than yours. I started them in a tub, too, and last week moved them into a 3' x 4' wire dog kennel that has a tray in the bottom and cardboard up the sides to keep the mess contained. It's in my dining room for lack of a better spot. Now I have my table and furniture covered with sheets and towels because the dust/dander they shed is a bit oily and more than abundant! The light sits on top of the kennel and I have a perch in there, too. It took a few days for them to start using it, but they love to stand up there and then pounce on the ones below! [​IMG] I got the kennel from Craigslist for about $20 and it folds up for storage. I can use it later if I have a sick bird or for quarantine if I add new birds. I thought it was a good purchase.

    I know others have used very large cardboard boxes as an intermediate home until they can go outdoors. Something from an appliance store generally.

    Mine will be going outside to a transformed dog house for a while before being added to my regular flock. Another CL item, a freebie! I'll pass it along the same way when I'm finished with it.

    I hope this gives you an idea or two. Good luck with your new flock!
  4. akchick76

    akchick76 Chirping

    Feb 28, 2013
  5. kreisherk

    kreisherk In the Brooder

    Feb 12, 2013
    WOW!! Thanks to everyone for getting back with me so soon. In answer to Ridgerunner's question...I don't have my coop built yet. That was actually my next project. I have plans for a 5x6 coop and will be getting materials soon. So I won't be able to transfer chicks directly there at this point. CarolynF...I have 2 dog cages that might be ideal. The thought of dust and dander everywhere gives me pause, but nonetheless, a great idea. If I get into a pinch I may need the dog pens. akchick76....you're idea is a great one. I have a space where I could actually pull your idea off and also keep down dust and dander. I also would not have to purchase a new light fixture. The one I have is attached to the brooder and is only 150watts. So being able to leave that in place and still give them extra room is fantastic. I think I will be going with this idea. Again, thanks to all for your fast and wonderful ideas. Happy chickie keeping!! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  6. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Songster

    Feb 28, 2013
    Have any scrap wood? We took 3 pieces of 3 x 5 ft and two pieces of 3 x 3 and nailed them together to form a box with no top. We nailed a 1x2" on one side to hang the light to and nailed another 1x2" across the top on one side to hang the waterer off of. It took about 45 minutes to build. We've used it to raise 3 flocks now. We keep it in our unheated cellar, with just the heat lamp, they do fine.

    Only draw back, it needs to be cleaned OFTEN. If the wood bottom gets wet or too gooped up, it can be a pain.

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