need help with faulty brooder design

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wahmommy, May 1, 2011.

  1. wahmommy

    wahmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2010
    So my husband is building a brooder for my son's kindergarten class (they are hatching a dozen eggs) and we grabbed this design off the internet but if you read the instructions things though you will see that it goes terribly wrong. The pictured brooder and the instructions don't match. So I wanted to ask a few of you folks who have built brooders or who are handy contractor types to chime in on what else might be wrong just in case we aren't seeing something else of importance. Please don't recommend starting from scratch with another design because my hubby has already invested in this design (cut the boards etc.) and will likely completely blow a gasket if I tell him we need to start over so what I am looking for is advise on how to use what's here but make it work correctly. If that's not possible, let me know, as I don't want any little chicks to suffer because we built a faulty brooder, but if we can make this work, that's idea.

    So far we have figured out that the top has to have an additional 3" board across the front to support the plexiglass and the heat trap. The placement of the lightbulbs looks dodgy to me but I don't know much about all this, so I am hoping someone can look at this and say, here's what else you need to keep in mind. Right now we are going to:

    a) add a 3" plywood board across the front top to create support for the heat trap, plexiglass and hinged plywood top. We think we need to create a frame for the chicken wire that is across the other half of the top. Is there anything else about this design that looks vastly wrong or dangerous to chicks?

    Thanks for any help!
  2. hbwbk

    hbwbk Out Of The Brooder

    Yes when the chicks go into the brooder it should be about 90 to 95 degrees the first week. Then you should be able to raise the light about 3 inches up or 5 degrees less per week till it is reg. temp. Then you can turn it off.
    I do not see any way to do this what is the board hanging down. My girls are three weeks old and we are moving them to kinder garden from the nursery They are just getting to BIG.
    How long do you think they are going to keep them and who are going to take them when they done with them. [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 1, 2011
  3. ChickenPeep

    ChickenPeep Faith & Feathers

    May 1, 2011
    Olathe, Kansas
  4. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2008
    I don't see any problem with the plans.
    The plexiglass should be firm enough not to need reinforcement of a 3 inch board along the top. If you feel its needed, use a 1x2 along the upper edge- even a 1x1.
    Note that the temp control is done by adjusting the size of the light bulbs in the box, not by adjusting spacing of the lights. One is on the side of the box, the other is on the end of the box, and the bulbs should be almost touching each other. They say use 25 watts to start. Sounds about right to me.
    This box is designed for the embryology project in schools and usually the schools only keep the rascals about a week after hatch. These chicks are not going to be bouncing off the walls with great strength. They will stay nicely in a confined area and in fact may sleep most of the first week. Chicken wire over the top will be to keep little hands out, not chicks in. I have a 8 inch high box in my living room for the first week hatchlings and they don't try to jump out for at least the first week, and the current batch is going well into two weeks.
    Now, if you have the standard PSU handout psychotic leghorn eggs, heaven help you and those rascals don't stay ANYWHERE you put them!
  5. wahmommy

    wahmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2010
    Thanks They'reHISchickens -[​IMG] the 3" board is really to give added support to the heat trap board as we didn't feel like just screwing it to the back wall was strong enough, and we'd hate to have it fall down on little week old chickies. Good to know it looks okay. I was a little worried about the light bulb thing. Do we need to put a cage around the light bulbs so that the chicks won't get burned on it? I think the plans say they are half way down the walls in the brooder, which seems low to me?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by