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Make your own Brooder.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Glenda L Heywood, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. Glenda L Heywood

    Glenda L Heywood Songster

    Apr 11, 2009
    This will help you all in making a brooder
    Glenda L Heywood

    Make your own Brooder.

    Anthony Kimbrough of

    The ever increasing cost of shipping has become a deterrent, especially outside of the Continental USA.
    What was once a great price when totaled with the shipping can sometimes be very expensive. There was once a small incubator that we sold for 99.00 but the
    shipping was 240.00. While there are no easy fixes to some products, there are to others. Brooders would fall into the category. Brooders are usually heavy and
    come in multiple boxes which makes the shipping price expensive. Rather than see someone not succeed in the business or pleasure of raising poultry and gamebirds just because of the money it takes to buy the equipment and get it there I'm writing this article. Sure, this article is free and if I sell you the parts
    it's not as much profit as selling you the brooder but then again I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the love of the animals and birds. Spend your money on well breeding stock. Let's get started:

    Single Brooder Light -

    While the single brooder is not as safe as a double I used them myself. we will start with saying that it should be no larger than 2 1/2 to 3 feet square and 2
    feet tall. Anything over that goes more than one bulb. Be ever careful that you do not use a flammable bedding as I know people who lost whole buildings from
    them. I never used bedding.

    The first thing you will need is either a Light Socket or a Reflector Bulb. Beware the cheap reflector Bulb as seen in large department store as they will quickly
    burn out if more than a 125 watt bulb is used. 125 watt or 150 watt bulbs are usually significantly higher in price than 250 watt. (we're talking 110 volt). Look at where you live to see which bulbs are less expensive, especially countries with different voltages like 240 volt. Locally here in the USA we usually have 120 volt. Use your common voltage for where you live so you can plug it up in different
    places easily. Actually the sockets and bulbs can usually be found locally.

    What do I mean by a Reflector Bulb Here is a picture of it. Remember that a porcelain socket can be used if you wish. . The reflector simple reflects heat more evenly and concisely. If you use just a socket alone, it will work, just not as concisely as the socket by itself. I used just sockets in many brooders. This is to be placed more to one end than the other. Do not place in the middle.

    Controlling the amount of heat in these can be achieved in one of two ways. either a thermostat wafer switch which works like this. There is a micro switch
    that works sorta like a a light switch. It is an open/close devise. What clicks the switch is the Wafer. The Wafer is made of Copper and I am told has some kinda of gas inside (not sure about that) . It expands when heated and touches the Micro Switch which turns off the power to the bulb or heating unit. When
    it cools down it contracts and no longer makes contact with the Micro Switch. When this happens the power to the light returns.

    The second and even less expensive way is a simple procedure. It is accomplished by raising or lowering the light. Lowering the light will increase the temperature as the heat source is closer and less dissipated. Be careful not to make it so close that the birds will knock it out or get burned. Raising the light will dissipate heat quicker from the birds into the air as heat is spread out and less
    concise. Here's an example, hold your hand far away from the light and it is not as warm as when your hand is close. If you get burnt doing this example it's
    your fault not mine. Always keep a small wattage bulb on hand in case you have too much heat. Read the brooding article to tell when. Now for the Brooder construction :

    I built my last ones using 2x2s. These can be bought or made from splitting 2x4s. This keeps them lightweight and the strength needed is not compromised. After all, it houses birds which are not very heavy. Most of my first were 2x2x2 foot. This saved on lumber. The best single light brooder I ever built was a 2 x 3 x 2 1/2. I don't know why but I liked it. As long as the brooder is smaller 2 x2 inch
    are excellent. If you go larger you are better off using 2x4s on the bottom and 2x2s on the sides and top for stability. You will need to figure on 6 pieces for
    a 1 door brooder and eight for a 2 door. Again, check which wire is cheapest in your area. If 24 x 1/4x1/4 or 1/2x1/2 wire is cheaper then you will build it that
    size. Likewise if 36 inch is cheaper and readily available in the local area the go with either 2 1/2 or 3 foot. Remember that wire is also expensive to ship.

    Build your bottom frame first. Let's say it will be 2ft x 3 ft x 2 ft. Next build the top which should look like your bottom. Place your wire on and either staple them with a heavy duty stapler (construction) or nail them with steeples. Next is the sides. Cutting each one (if you use the first to mark the rest remember to leave the line in when you saw). This will be a 1 door brooder so we will need 6. Place and nail each one as you go in the corners. Now the door, we will put this door in the center at about 12 inches wide so mark and nail them as well. Cut your hole for the wire to go through. Make a bracket (cloths hangar, etc) that you can raise
    or lower it. Be careful not to have rough edges that will pierce the wire or the results could be shocking.

    Bending the wire smooth will do this. Now you are ready for your wire. Affix to everything except the door area. Cut a door header and footer to be placed
    and nailed into the bottom of the door and the top of the door that are fixed.
    Now the door. Cut 2 pieces that total 11 3/4 inches. We will use 2, 1 for the top and 1 for the bottom of the door. Now cut the side pieces which should be no
    longer that what will fit securely and evenly with the door, (flush). Staple your wire to your new door frame. Attach the hinges (screwed on) to the door
    first. Now attach to the door.

    Heat and draft barrier. Many things can be used for this part. Cardboard staple to it (not as safe but I have used it), wood scraps or slats or my preference.. .plywood. This should cover 2/3's of you bottom to top. 1/3 will be for heat to escape, we don't want 'em extra crispy do we. Cover 1/2 to 2/3s
    of the top of the brooder with either the same material or non flammable type stuff. NO insulation. The very bottom is totally optional but recommended for easy and sanitary reasons. Again cut 3 pieces and make a bottom frame just like the first only with a center piece. Take scrap if you have it and affix to the height you desire legs. This will attach to the bottom and leave 1 1/2 or 2 inch space between the bottom of the brooder and the frame.

    This is the neat part. Most Heat & Air companies will make these locally, a drop pan. This will side in and out of the tray area of your brooder while preventing drafts. If you use the first method of heating be sure to mount the thermostat unit where you and your birds will not touch or possible death from the shock can
    occur. The single light brooder is excellent but even better is the double as if one fails there is a back up heat source and a double Decker at that. The later brooders I made for myself were 3x3x8 foot and 4 x 3 x 8 foot and incorporated one light on each end. If you use the double light method be sure to use one less
    wattage bulb that the other. That way the temperature varies so if the chick is hot it can get away from the heat and if it's cold it can go to the heat.

    Whether fancy or plain you are looking for safety and practicality for your chicks. I do not build these only except for myself so please don't ask. I will sell you the supplies and give you all the advice I can but time does not permit me to build them for anyone else. The shipping would be astronomical for these. Now take the money you saved and buy good feeders and waterers and especially good stock.
    Remember junk in, junk out. Ok, not so smart for a supply company owner to share this information but remember that I am a fancier first and my first priority is the breed.

    Any questions you can call me at 865-674-6318 in the
    evenings 7:00 pm until 11:00pm est. Or email me at
    [email protected] .

  2. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    Any photos? [​IMG]
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Great info, I've always used my own homemade brooders. They work well, and my chicks love them... but I always use WIRE to secure the heat lamp... last thing I need is a fire.
  4. perrym1962

    perrym1962 Songster

    Oct 21, 2007
    Eastview, Ky..
    Yeah pictures. Would like to see what it looks like..

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