Plastic Storage Drawer Brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jessivogel, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. jessivogel

    jessivogel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wanted to do a "tutorial" on the new brooder I just made today. I LOVE plastic storage drawer containers! They come in a variety of sizes and are super easy to clean. I use plastic totes for our brooders- but our laundry room is getting awfully full... No more room for more totes. I was at Wal-Mart and they had these drawers for $17! Some how... One ended up in one of my carts. Be careful! They're sneaky!!

    Onward to the pictures! Here's a picture of the finished product.
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    So first off- I cut the hardware cloth. I wanted a ventilation hole on each side and one on the back. I also wanted it up higher- that way when the chicks start kicking the woodchips- they are more likely to stay in the brooder and less likely to end up all over my floor [​IMG]

    I used 1/2" x 1/2" hardware cloth and tin snips to cut it. Pliers or side cutters would work fine, too. I just prefer tin snips because they cut through it very quickly. Then I lined it up where I wanted it placed.
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    Next, I marked out where the plastic needed to be cut. I marked the lines in one square all the way around. (That way I had room to attach it to the tote)
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    Then, I took a knife and cut the corners and an "X" in the middle. (This is so I can get the tin snips in to cut the rectangle out- scissors or a knife would work fine too)
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    Next, I held the hardware cloth where it needed to go. Then, used a drill and drilled out holes for the zip ties.
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    Lastly, I put the hardware cloth on the inside and attached it using zip ties. Then cut the "tails".
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    I did attach a heat lamp with a standard light bulb inside it to the side of the storage drawers (using zip ties).
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    Thanks for taking a look!

    Please note- this brooder is for new chicks until they get bigger for the other brooders.

    Also, when using plastic containers for brooders monitor the temperature and be sure there is proper ventilation.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Slick! Very cool design.

    But a couple questions regarding functionality.

    Have you tested the drawers individually to measure the temperature and monitor for heat build-up?

    Is there room for the chicks to find cool space to self-regulate their body temps, ridding themselves of excess heat or is each drawer a uniform single temperature? What does it measure? Are all drawers this same temp?

    I'm a real crank about brooders that don't allow for two temperature zones, allowing for warming and cooling of an individual as the chick absorbs heat and needs to shed it, otherwise resulting in heat sickness. Some chicks may tolerate higher temps than other chicks, thus the desirability of allowing for individual self-regulation.

    When we return to the original "model" for brooding chicks, a broody hen her-own-self, the chicks will use her body to warm up, and then they will run about in a typically large space, shedding excess heat. The key is space. Without adequate space this self regulating is very difficult. How have you adjusted for this need?
     
  3. jessivogel

    jessivogel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! The top drawer is set up to be the warmest and each lower drawer a little bit cooler. I have never monitored temp. I always watch the chicks and adjust temperature based on how they act. The chicks (< 1 week old) currently in it are moving around happily. They sleep on the side closest to the light (as it's warmer) but when awake- run freely throughout. Here they are now :)

    [​IMG]

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    The drawers measure 19 inches wide, 14 1/2 inches long, and 7 inches deep (tall).
     
  4. knightgang

    knightgang Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 17, 2016
    Southeast, GA
    This have be a great idea for the hatch drawers when I build by Refridgerbator.

    I already have the egg turning trays and all the mechanics figured out, I had just not figured the easiest way to have hatching drawers in the bottom. Thanks for the idea.
     
  5. jessivogel

    jessivogel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2014
    Palisade, NE
    Sure thing! Hope it works well for you!
     
  6. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Thanks for clarifying those issues. As a transition from 'bator to brooder, it appears to be a very handy solution. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us!
     
  7. RooBeeC

    RooBeeC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2016
    Nice! The feed store where I got my last batch of chicks did something similar
     

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