Larger brooder ideas???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by gogoalie, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. gogoalie

    gogoalie Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2010
    Anyone with any tips on a larger brooder fer my lil' clutch o' chicks? they're fast out growin' in the Rubbermaid container I have for them...They're not even 8 days old, & already are nearin' the ability to jump outa the container...I've got some space in my arctic entry way for them, if need be, but I'd hafta do some major carpentry work & buy some chicken wire in order to get it done...
  2. krissteff

    krissteff Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2011
    I had seven chicks and had to get two rubbermaid containers. I cut a hole in each of them and put them up next to each other so the holes matched up. I had to get creative to hold the containers together so they didn't escape from the gaps by the holes, but a little gorilla tape worked well. I used one side for roosting and the other side had the food and water. They loved their little two-room condo. For the top I used two pieces of wire shelving, one over the top of each box.
  3. Iheartchicks<3:)

    Iheartchicks<3:) Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2010
    Mount Vernon, WA

    Heres mine [​IMG] The top is a hinge lid, there is a wire floor which is also removable, and underneath that is a slide out metal drawer that holds shavings. And it has a light holder. Its pretty awesome! [​IMG]
  4. wingsofglory

    wingsofglory Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2011
    Palmer Alaska
    I use the plastic container-tub from Walmart made to hold a christmas tree for storage.

    It is 20" wide by 52" long by 12" high. I use old metal oven racks for the top, or three pieces of metal mesh I have. I can lift just the piece over the food and water while changing the food/water and the chicks stay back under the other pieces so don't jump out.

    It comes with a lid I don't use. The plastic is transclucent whitish/clear color.

    I hang the light nearer one end for sleeping and put the water cooler at the far end, and the food dish in the middle but more towards the water cooler.

    Lots of room for 25 chicks for two weeks.

    Then I move them to the baby pen in the coop, under lights.
  5. Shannon33

    Shannon33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2010
    Eastern Shore, VA
    I saw someone on here once used those huge boxes you see watermelons in at the grocers. I think they said they asked for one and were given it free.
  6. Terrie Mac

    Terrie Mac Out Of The Brooder

    May 17, 2011
    I know what you mean! I have 6 chicks in a playpen that I bought for 5.00, they are almost 3 weeks old and it's their 3rd container. I'm hoping it will last till they get outside! Inside the pen we have a small cardboard box with a light in it so they can get extra warmth if needed (with chicken wire around the light fixture to protect the chicks). They play in their open coop during the afternoon but if they outgrow the pen they'll move out there....with a brooder box & light (like in the playpen). about snagging a playpen? Maybe you know someone with one in the attic and get it for free. It could buy you a couple weeks anyway [​IMG]
  7. Zinnia-Hen

    Zinnia-Hen Live &amp; Let Live

    Jan 29, 2011
    For a larger brooder I took a baby pool, shaped some chicken wire around it, put the heat lamp at the top, added their corn cob bedding, and all of their other stuff back in. It worked really well. If you're worried about drafts, you can add cardboard to the sides to keep them warmer.
  8. F106A

    F106A Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2011
    Texas Big Country
    This is a 5' x 3' x 2' OSB box with a 2" x 2" frame covered with chicken wire, and hardware cloth. I built it over about a week during evenings after work. Total cost with the lumber, and hardware (wire, screws, liquid nails, hooks, brackets, etc.) was just under $65.00. Total time was around 12-15 hours I guess. I just saw the idea on the brooder page here on BYC, drew a sketch with measurements enlarged for my needs, and went from there. I added the top "shelf" which the chicks love, and used some 3/4" dowels for roosts/jumping points. With the leftover 2 x 2s, and some scrap 1 x 3, and extra 3/4" dowels I had, I made a couple of little roosts.

    The waterer, and feeder are now hanging from the top of the frame with chain. I've been able to adjust the height of those as the chicks have grown.

    The only thing I wish I would have done is put a covering of some type on the floor. They spilled a bunch of water. Maybe next time.





    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
    2 people like this.
  9. Texgal57

    Texgal57 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 3, 2015
    Nice job!
  10. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Do you have a coop and run yet? If so, why not just install the chicks outdoors where they will be living for the rest of their lives?

    Last summer, I finally saw the ridiculousness of brooding in a box indoors when I had a wonderful, spacious and perfectly safe "brooder" already set up outside. I have a partitioned run with a couple of areas that can be closed off from the adults. Last summer I used the larger one, and yesterday, installed some new day-olds in the smaller enclosure.

    This morning, the now two-day olds woke up to 39F, but they were snug and warm in their heating pad cave. As it warms up naturally by the sun, they will spend more time running around the spacious sand pen, ducking into the heating pad cave as they begin to lose body heat, warm up for a bit, then they will run out and play for much longer than one might expect before needing a quick warm up again. Yesterday, their first day after being hatched at the hatchery, it didn't get warmer than 70F, but the chicks were out running about more than they were under their heat source, proving how chicks do not need to be kept at a constant 95F.

    If your chicks have been used to a heat lamp, no problem, just hang it in a corner of a pen and they will use it as they need it, spending the rest of their time doing important chick stuff in the luxurious space that no brooder box, no matter how large, will be able to equal.

    For pics of my set up, see my article on outdoor brooding linked below this post.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by