My Brooder Setup

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Nathan, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. Nathan

    Nathan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Camas, WA, USA
    I am dusting off and breaking out the brooder I built about three years ago to brood quail.

    [​IMG]

    You can't tell all of its fine features from this photograph. [​IMG] It is four feet by three feet and three feet high. It was in my living room years ago and is now in the garage.

    In the foreground is space for feeders. I had two game bird chick feedersthat fit through the opening in the wire here. I may have to to use something else if the feeders don't work for chickens.

    Along the front you see a drain pipe with a hole in the top. I can use a pitcher to fill that, and the bottom has nipple waterers for the chicks to get fresh clean water that they don't spoil.

    The bottom of the pen is vinyl coated 1/2" wire. I'll be reinstalling the platform below where the poop is collected. You can just see a roll of kraft paper ( i bought it in bulk). This is my favorite feature. I can remove that paper liner and put it in on the compost pile as often as necessary, then tear off another sheet and place it on the platform.

    The top of the pen is pastic hardware cloth, secured by hair clips. Ok, secured is too strong a word. Our Valley quail were accomplished fliers at less than one week old and found their way out. Imagine the memories of coming home from church to find them all over the house.

    There are some modifications I'm thinking about before putting some hatchling chickens in it this month.

    1. Water - I don't know if the water height is right, or if it will be after they grow a bit.

    2. Top - I'm think of putting in a more solid roof with plexiglass and plywood. Is there any disadvantage to the plexiglass material for a roof? Present height is 9" interior. I'll have to raise the roof if I make the water source any higher.

    3. Heat Source - I had a small space heater used with this in the past. With some foil insulation, it worked pretty well at creating a warm area at the back. I've also thought about using an infrared heat lamp like most people do. If I do, will the infrared spectrum shine through the plexiglass okay? Or will I just be getting the top of it hot?

    4. Fort. I'll be building a little fort around the whole thing with cardboard, to keep out drafts when the garage door is opened, and contain the dust a little bit.

    What height will chickens achieve before being fully feathered? ( I may do turkeys in a future year - they probably will get a bit taller).

    Any other feedback?

    Thanks. I will post it in the brooder gallery thread once there are birds in it.
     
  2. beakkeeper

    beakkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 20, 2008
    Nice brooder! [​IMG] If you don't mind... how much did it cost? [​IMG]
     
  3. Nathan

    Nathan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Camas, WA, USA
    Nice brooder! If you don't mind... how much did it cost?

    I'm guessing around $50 - but details are fuzzy because some materials were shared with this and other projects.

    Major components were:
    2x3 lumber.
    Vinyl coated 1/2" wire.
    Metal rods (there may be another way to secure that wire underneath).
    Some plywood for the dropping platform. (I used plexiglass before)

    Minor components:
    Wall hooks
    PVC drain pipe with two caps
    Poultry Nipple waterers.
    Deck Screws
    Staples
    Zip ties.
    Plastic netting
    Hair clips.

    The last two items will probably be obsoleted by my next modifications.

    In any case, you would probably save over the Brower Brooder for $239.​
     
  4. Nathan

    Nathan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    119
    Dec 10, 2008
    Camas, WA, USA
    The interior headroom in the brooder is 9 inches, consistent with the Brower Brooder, and adequate for chickens. But the water nipples are at 5 inches, which is probably not the right height eventually. As the chickens grow, I'll want to find a way to raise it or switch to using rabbit waterers.

    My heat source in the past was a space heater. I will probably stick with it. I'm installing a solid top to trap more heat in and prevent escaping flyers. It is boxed in and adds 2.5 inches of headroom.

    [​IMG]


    I salvaged a piece of plexiglass to make two windows in the top.

    [​IMG]

    I discovered I really didn't need hinges or padlocks yet, because the top is too heavy for chickens to lift, at least at first.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  5. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    Looks good !! [​IMG]
     
  6. Nathan

    Nathan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    119
    Dec 10, 2008
    Camas, WA, USA
    This will be in my garage. Temperatures in there were 47 today on one of the coldest days of the year.

    I'm thinking of putting together a cardboard fence around the brooder to protect from drafts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  7. magikchick

    magikchick ~FEATHERFOOTED DIVA~

    Apr 21, 2007
    SW Florida
    Nice job, I use a cardboard box. Maybe I need to break down and try building one.
     

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