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Possible Brooder Design! Need Opinions :)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by InsaneBoer, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. InsaneBoer

    InsaneBoer Hatching

    Dec 4, 2012
    I hope this is the right section

    Hello all!

    Long time stalker, first time poster.

    I've always enjoyed reading information on this site and learning what I can do to ensure my future chickens have a good start and high quality of life. Unfortunately, I have a lot of time to think about it :( being active duty, you just never know where you'll be, and chickens just aren’t an option. So I'll go through times where all I want to do is plan for chickens (designing coops/brooders/best types of feed/etc.), one might even be able to call it a bit OCD. So lately I got the itch, and brooders were on my mind. So for the past few days I’ve mulled, doodled, and researched, and this is what I've come up with. Sorry if the list is confusing, started out with little ideas here and there and I tried to flesh it out as much as I could so someone other than myself could understand it.

    This is all thought up in theory; I have not built anything like this, or used most of these materials, so I don't know how much of this is actually applicable.

    So I'm reaching out to the BYC community for your opinions. What components sound good? What flaws do you see? What recommendations/improvements would you suggest?

    Interested in building this? Feel free! But please post what your final product looks like with any changes you may have made! I do plan on trying to build this in April for my parents who are planning on getting chicks, so any opinions/critiques would be greatly appreciated!

    Full Image Size
    -Originally done in pencil, but the scanner wouldn't pick it up so I went over it in pen. Some of the text is not visible, but it's in the list below
    -Also, the bubble to the right of the one labled "Food" is a view of the bottom of the brooder. Forgot to put that.
    -All the text in the image is listed below, since I know it's probably hard to make some of it out.

    It's probably going to be confusing, so please ask questions if you need too!

    -Low maintenance
    -Multi use (mainly chickens/turkeys in my case)
    -Easy sanitization
    -Maximum floor space
    -Comfortably house 15-25 chicks/5-10 turkeys

    50gal Sterilite Tote (~$20)
    Dimensions: 42.75”L x 22”W x 18”H

    Clear or solid?
    +Chicks less likely to scare when you arrive
    -Allows animals to see in; may encourage break-ins; increase stress?
    +Security; less likely to attract curious pets/pests?
    -Chicks startle when you check on them

    Removable rods for roosting

    Heating Options:
    Ecoglow Brooder (add hole in tote for cord to pass through)
    +20 Dimensions 20”L x 8”W x 8”H
    +50 Dimensions 22”L x 16”W x 9”H
    Can this be used with turkeys? How many would you suggest for either of the above units?

    Heat Lamp
    -Fire Hazard
    -Dangerous w/plastic tote?
    +Ambient temp

    Food Delivery:
    2 in brooder
    +increase access
    +possibly 1 for feed/1 for supplements
    +Allows possibility of dividing brooder

    Feeder made from PVC Pipe (90deg) with lids. Top removable/bottom glued on. Cut as in diagram.

    Attaches with hook and possibly rigged to use rubber bands to keep stable?

    2 choices:
    Hanging with chicken nipples
    +2-3 nipples
    -located inside brooder (additional rod need to be installed as to not hinder lid removal/high enough to discourage roosting)
    +with lid to reduce foreign objects, cut hole in lid for quick filling access
    +height adjustable
    -chicken may hop on top of it

    (Pic by MommaDee)

    Rabbit water bottle
    +outside of pen
    +more sanitary/fresher water
    -limited access

    Cut in half, install hinges to improved accessibility
    +Reduces escape of flighty birds
    +Add ventilation in both sides/cover with wire
    +also allows option to use heat lamp
    -May hinder lid’s ability to snap close
    -Possibly compromise lid strength?

    Install removable twine to stop lids from opening completely?

    Cut out bottom of tote, install wire so most waste passes through
    Screw PVC pipe frame to bottom
    +raises off ground
    +keeps weight light
    +Easy to clean
    +Improve base strength
    -Outside- place brooder on top of clean hay/shavings/etc. Move brooder to fresh pile of hay/shaving etc. Rake up soiled material and put in compost.
    -Inside- place brooder on top of disposable (newspaper/cardboard/etc) or reusable (tarp/linoleum/etc.) base. Move brooder to fresh base. Dispose of base/Wash, sanitize, dry reusable base.

    Focusing on the wire and pvc frame, my idea was to get something that will hold water (or even anther 50gal tote if you have it) that will allow the bottom of the brooder to be completely submerged. Add warm sanitizing water solution to bottom container, submerge brooder and soak. Agitate, use bristle brush to knock off any caked on waste. Rinse and Dry.
    1 person likes this.

  2. Reyort

    Reyort In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2012
    Beaumont, Texas
    Design looks good. I do not know if cutting out the bottom is a great idea. I think it compromises the structural integrity and gives another potential access point for predators should there be a weakness. I would just put in a screen that is elevated if you do not want them walking in poop. It only has to be a couple of centimeters high. If just brooding chickens I would personally just line the bottom with newspaper or pine shavings and clean out when needed. Turkeys you would probably keep them off the "ground."

    As far as heat sources go, I think the ecoglows are the safest choice. Something to consider is when will you brood them. I received my chicks in the summer and just kept them in a wood shop at night that had heated up during the day. I did not need a lamp or heat source. These little guys fairly decent in regulating their temps in the warmer months. Once they feather out (which is not long) they can regulate themselves. Now I will be expanding my flock this winter so I will need some type of heat source like the ecoglow unless one of my pullets decides to be a mama.
  3. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Songster

    Feb 15, 2012
    Central Maine
    I like your ideas and I will share what I did here and maybe it will help. I built 2 brooders with stripped in half 2x3s, luan for back and bottom, Plexi for sides and front. Since these were going to be in my livingroom for a while I wanted something more like furniture and clear so I could see them. Top was covered with hardware cloth. 52" TVs, basically, and they got used that way a lot. I like the clear, it allows the chicks to have interaction with what is going on outside of the brooder. This way when it's time for them to go into their big bird pens, they already have a clue the world is bigger than the tote they were in. They can also see you coming and are less likely to be jumpy when you get there. Jut my opinion.

    One question, is that a PVC pipe frame around the bottom? If so, why don't you add in some Ts and have supports going across the middle. If you do that you can always make legs with the pvc as well and have this raised up to a good working height for you. Just a thought.

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