Idea for portable brooder - thoughts?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CoopDeDoo, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. CoopDeDoo

    CoopDeDoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi All,

    While looking for another (indoor or in garage) idea for brooding chicks ( I've used card board boxes,dog crates & plastic totes in the past) I came across this at Amazon... I would use a Brinsea Ecoglow - not heat lamp

    If it makes it intact for 6-8 weeks with chicks I think it could definitely be re-usable for dogs/cats, etc.

    Thoughts? Pros/Cons?

    http://www.amazon.com/ESK-Collectio...p/B00PQ0FOAU/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    We just build a wooden box years ago, a quick wash before use is all it needs, it around 3x6 and about 2 ft tall, it has 2x4 skid boards, flat, on the bottom so it is slightly raised off the floor, I use old screens and boards for a cover, it used to have a screen door for a cover, and it has a removable divider. Didn't cost much to build and has lasted 20 years.
     
  3. CoopDeDoo

    CoopDeDoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I just ordered a slightly different version. We have enough dogs, cats and other critters that I think it will be useful anyway. When it arrives and I set it up I'll see if it looks feasible for brooding too. :)
     
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I use a water trough. Non metal type with hose attachment at bottom. Reason for this is it works as a tank for the garden come summer. Make a nutrient stew in it to water garden with. In the spring it works as a brooder in the garage. Easy. I like easy.

    http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...oam-stock-tanks-100-gal-capacity?cm_vc=-10005

    Not the exact one I use but you get the idea. Find them at Agway, Tractor Supply or whatever your local farm and feed supply store.

    We'd pick it up to bring the chicks outside for the day. Small quick fenced area and walk this in and start taking the chicks out to play on the grass for sunny day then toss them back in to carry inside and put lamp back on.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    I built a 3 x 6 tractor 3 years ago. It was used in the basement the first spring. (Never again, due to chicken dander, what a mess and an insult to my asthma). Used it in the garage the second year. (in a raised ranch, so chicks were under the bedrooms. Still dusty, but by opening the garage door every day the temp got up to 35* or so, it was much better. Last year, chicks were brooded outdoors in my old coop. Perfect set up! Used Mama heating pad brooder. That tractor get's an incredible amount of use. It has been used for a chick brooder, used as a "day yard" for broody hen and her 6 babies, used to help integrate youngsters, used on the lawn to give the grass a boost, used in the garden for the same reason. Even though I have a decent sized coop, and run, and an old coop, as well as 2 other options for chicks/adults, this size tractor has been worth it's weight in gold. For anyone looking at brooder options, I recommend that you build a dual purpose tractor/brooder.
     
  6. CoopDeDoo

    CoopDeDoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I have wanted to build (or have my DH) build a tractor for years just haven't gotten around to it. Maybe I will task my recently "back home" older son with it :) We have a very old blind terrier that gets himself in trouble if left alone too long so I will definitely have a use for the portable kennel even if I don't use it for chicks.
     
  7. CoopDeDoo

    CoopDeDoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I have metal one I use for gold fish in the garden. Is it a pain to change the shavings/bedding during brooding?
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    With my tractor, I put down a layer of cardboard, covered that with an old shower curtain, an other layer of cardboard. Then the tractor, with a cardboard vertical skirt to keep out drafts, keep shavings in, then a couple of inches of shavings. Never bothered to take out shavings unless I had a water spill. Just kept topping off as needed. By the time the chicks were ready to go out, clean up was super easy. IMO, deep bedding is the way to go, and if you have more than one brood, studies have shown that successive broods do better on old litter due to the microbes there that build a healthy gut flora. BTW, tractor covered with 1/2" HDW cloth. IMO, never use chicken wire for chicks. To start, feed on cardboard, then put feeder on cardboard, start waterer on 2 x 4's, then hang from chain. Goal is to keep both feed and water at chick shoulder level.
     
  9. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't think so. I use a dust pan as a scoop. Do one end and replace shavings then herd the chicks with dust pan to clean side and start scooping out that end. Five minute job as it's only 2-3 inches of shavings. Scoop into empty feed bag or cardboard box, move water,feed and chicks to clean side and scoop the other side then carry out to compost pile.

    You can brood a lot of chicks in a water trough and is plenty space for heated lamp end and cool end. Metal is a lot heavier than the plastic like material but also has straight sides so actually more space.
     
  10. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    That puppy playpen looks very inviting. I'd be tempted to give it a try.

    But beginning last year, I now brood only outdoors in the run itself, keeping all the dust and dander out of my home. My chicks never really spend any time in a "brooder". They are heated with a heating pad system similar to the Eco-glo.

    If you can get your son to build the tractor right away with a nice indoor sleeping area, why not just plan on brooding outside in your new tractor? There are more advantages to count. One would be the chicks are already living in their home and no transition move is necessary which is very stressful. The mess is confined to outdoors. The chicks become naturally hardened to the cold and no acclimatization is necessary, they have the natural soil pathogens under their little feet to help establish immunities against many pathogens. They will be acquainted with the outdoors early on and won't be afraid like indoor chicks when turned loose many weeks later. And so on. Brooding outdoors beats indoor brooding hands down.
     

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