Is this ok for a brooder box

Kiwichicky18

In the Brooder
Nov 1, 2018
14
45
46
DA089AE7-4154-45F6-BFFC-D31E62BECAFC.jpeg F0715AC5-A219-4F46-8FDF-2B99EF0B45F1.jpeg Hello everyone, looking for advice, I finally have 2 beautiful Orpington babies about 4/5 days old, I made a box for them from a big plastic bin, mainly to keep my curious cat out! But once the heat bulb is on it emits a plastic smell, gets warm but not hot. Is this smell toxic for the chicks? I’ve put them in a plain old cardboard box now because I was getting a bit paranoid about the smell. Has anyone else raised babies in a plastic bin like this and is it ok?
 

N F C

Moderator
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Dec 12, 2013
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It looks like you could use more ventilation on the plastic tub. I'd replace the plastic lid with a screen. Do you have a thermometer inside the box to monitor the temperature? It shouldn't be above 90-95*. Also, you'll want to put some sort of bedding down, newspaper can be too slippery for the chicks.
 

Melky

Spring has sprung!
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
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2A860E64-7580-4FE0-B8A2-21ADFF3DD204.gif
I used a cardboard box. Worked fine. Just put pine mulch bedding in it from TSC or wherever you can get it. Easy to scoop out. Must change all of bedding once a week. Good for compost bin and gardens. Place food/water inside free choice. First week temp 90-95 so have some kind of thermometer. Wouldn’t use plastic. Keep heat on one side of box so have a cooler side and warmer side so chicks can self regulate heat. Keep food out from under the heat source. Every 5-7 days wean by 5 degrees till at 65-70 degrees then turn off. Should be fully feathered out by 4-5 weeks 6-8 latest. Keep netting over top of box because they will practice using those wings. Keep sav a chic electrolytes in water first 5 days then once a week rest of time fresh water. Should have 20% starter or starter grower feed for best growth for first 8 weeks then can go to 18% then 16% layer feed when 18 weeks or first egg. Start chic grit at 3-4 weeks and can add dried mealworms or greens like cabbage leaves at this time. Keep these treats to 10% or less of total diet. At 8 weeks can advance to poultry grit. At 15 weeks can offer free choice oyster shell. Good luck on your chicken adventure! Looks like this. 9EC84A48-5E67-467B-BDCF-016421013696.jpeg
You can also put in a roosting bar at 5 inches high to teach them to roost. Toss a little crumble up there and they will be up in no time.
 

Kiwichicky18

In the Brooder
Nov 1, 2018
14
45
46
View attachment 1608882 I used a cardboard box. Worked fine. Just put pine mulch bedding in it from TSC or wherever you can get it. Easy to scoop out. Must change all of bedding once a week. Good for compost bin and gardens. Place food/water inside free choice. First week temp 90-95 so have some kind of thermometer. Wouldn’t use plastic. Keep heat on one side of box so have a cooler side and warmer side so chicks can self regulate heat. Keep food out from under the heat source. Every 5-7 days wean by 5 degrees till at 65-70 degrees then turn off. Should be fully feathered out by 4-5 weeks 6-8 latest. Keep netting over top of box because they will practice using those wings. Keep sav a chic electrolytes in water first 5 days then once a week rest of time fresh water. Should have 20% starter or starter grower feed for best growth for first 8 weeks then can go to 18% then 16% layer feed when 18 weeks or first egg. Start chic grit at 3-4 weeks and can add dried mealworms or greens like cabbage leaves at this time. Keep these treats to 10% or less of total diet. At 8 weeks can advance to poultry grit. At 15 weeks can offer free choice oyster shell. Good luck on your chicken adventure! Looks like this. View attachment 1608889
You can also put in a roosting bar at 5 inches high to teach them to roost. Toss a little crumble up there and they will be up in no time.
Thank you! Very detailed and helpful
 

Compost King

Free Ranging
Apr 19, 2018
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Salisbury, North Carolina
No problem. Best part of cardboard box can throw out when done.
View attachment 1609220
Compost it! ok I am obsessed with composting. It's why I use cardboard for so many things. We can get free boxes and replace them when they wear out and I can always use more cardboard in the compost. Another thing you can do with cardboard is shred it and use it as coop bedding. I have built brooders out of Straw bales too because eventually that straw gets used somewhere. Although those who brood in the house might prefer not to bring in straw bales.
 

ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Jun 23, 2013
9,072
12,873
967
The Big Island/Hawaii
I use a plastic bin but without the lid. Hubby made a frame to fit the top & I screened it (ventilation). When I used a light, never emitted any odor ... I switched to MHP (heating pad) and the chicks stay in for the first week (observation) then moved out to the brooder with their MHP. I also use potty pads at least the first week, again for observation.

Melky gave good advice.
 

Ginmary

Songster
Apr 17, 2018
731
1,979
227
Jackson, NJ
x2 some bulbs have Teflon which can kill birds. You're better off getting a heat bulb from a poultry supply since they are made for use with birds.
 

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