Putting a chick brooder in the chicken coop?? Advice and Photos please!!


In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 19, 2012
Carlingford, NB Canada
I want to get some more chick's this spring, but do not want to have chick's in the house again since we are expecting a baby this summer (so I would like my house to be as clean as possible!!)
We have a small flock of RIR's, and a pretty large coop in our barn. We have electric hook up in there so putting in a heat lamp is no problem.
I need to come up with an idea for a brooder that will protect the baby chick's from the older flock (they are 1 year old) so if anyone has any advice for me that would be great!! And I would love to see photos of brooders in a coop if anybody has any!!
Also if anyone has advice for when I should add the new chick's into the mature flock , once they are old enough to live outside the brooder :)


Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
I've never put a brooder in or near a pen, so I can't help you there, but here are some brooder pics to inspire you:


Ideally you should integrate the chicks with the older chickens once they are more or less the same size, but if you can build a brooder or a separate a section in your existing coop area that would help a lot. Then the older chickens will get used to seeing the chicks and vice versa and integration will be easier later.

Fred's Hens

Premium Feather Member
9 Years
I brood out in the barn, or in the garage. Never, inside. The dust and smells are too allergic for me.

Depending on how big you want to go, there are designs galore. It is important not to allow the younger chicks to escape nor allow the older birds to invade the brooder. Other than that, any good size box "thing" will do. I've even used my utility trailer on a number of occasions. Worked great.

Also used this grow out pen. Drug it into the garage and threw some blankets over it. Hatched on Christmas Day, way up here, so had to brood them right through Zero weather. They did fine. Ingenuity is required, that's all. There's no one size fits all. LOL

Grow out pen

Brooding in Utility trailer

Trailer back in use as trailer.

Grow Out Pen pressed into service as brooder

Just fine. Even in Zero weather


8 Years
Nov 28, 2011
CO Springs-First Chics 3/2/12
My coop has a dirt floor. I simply put up T Posts, wrapped in chicken wire floor to ceiling to section off a portion of my coop. I'm sure you could build a frame from 2 X 4s to do the same thing. This allows the adult birds to have a 'birds-eye' view of the newcomers and a chance for them to get used to each other even in the first few months. As they get older, I extend the sectioning off to include a part of my run (new chicks use the propped open people door, hens use the pop door. Works well for me.


8 Years
Feb 17, 2011
South East TN
I broodered 6 bantams in a huge rabbit cage inside my chicken coop in 2011. I was also having a baby and didn't want the mess inside.

My husband built a small table for the cage to sit on. I took cardboard boxes and cut them to fit inside the walls of the rabbit cage to keep the draft out. The bottom was a plastic basin. We filled it with straw and used a standard 100w bulb for heat. They did great. Once they were fully feathered, we just sectioned off a part of the coop for the little ones so the older ladies could see them. This is also what we did for a smaller batch of hens we got a few months prior to the bantams, although for those we only had 4 newbies. Integrating them was HARD. Not gonna lie. It probably took a year and even today one of my Buff Orpingtons (one of the 4 standards we got after our original girls) she still gets picked on daily even though she is HUGE, by far my biggest hen. She's just so docile. It's just the pecking order.


In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 19, 2012
Carlingford, NB Canada
I have built a brooder before {last spring} but it was out of cardboard, and I thought that might not be strong enough to protect the babies from the already mature hens. I have RIR's that can be very nasty....so I wanted something strong, but also something see through so the hens can see the chicks & somewhat interact with them. Since I will be building this myself, I wanted something quick & easy. I'm not asking my husband for help because it took me begging for almost 8 years to get my chicken coop! lol
I think I might just use a large plastic tub, one that is large enough for the chicks to live comfortably. I have seen many ideas for Plastic Tub brooders, so I think its the quickest & easiest way for me! {Not to mention I will be 7 months pregnant by the time they chicks are here, so lugging on wood & building won't be high on my list of things to do! lol I already do enough around my hobby farm!! lol}
I think I am only going to get 6 chicks, but no RIR's this time! I just find they are very hard when it comes to introducing new hens into the flock! Mine killed a Cornish Banty, last summer that I tried to add to my flock....wasn't a pretty sight! I plan on adding new chicks/hens every spring until I have a large flock, and I don't want to be sacred & nervous every time I had something new!


Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
This is what I did. I built it under the roosts so the top acts as a droppings board. It took up less coop space this way too.

The bottom and sides are all hardware cloth. The sides have 1” openings and the bottom is ½” hardware cloth. I’ve got it raised off the ground around 18” or so and wrap 3 mil plastic around the bottom draped to the ground to provide a draft guard. I lay 2x2’s on the draped part to hold it down and keep the adults from going under it.

The poop falls through and builds up, so I got some plastic bins from Wal-Mart that will fit under there to catch the poop and any food or water that spills. That stuff goes straight on my compost heap.

I only heat one end and let the rest cool off as it will. Sometimes that far end can get pretty cool but they still play all over and just go back to the heat to warm up when they need to. That way I don’t have to worry about keeping the entire brooder one perfect temperature which would be impossible outside anyway. Just keep one area warm enough, some of it too cool, and they will find the right place for them to be.

You can make out the “chimney” I built for the heat lamp on the left. That red is from the heat lamp. My concern was how to keep the adult chickens from burning themselves on the heat lamp or much worse, hitting it and starting a fire or causing it to get unplugged. I built a chimney so I can lower and raise the heat lamp some with protection from the adults. I angled the top so the adults can’t roost up there. There are other ways to heat it that might be easier.

This is an old photo of a waterer that gives an idea but I’ve improved on it. A problem with the wire bottom to the brooder is that it bounces when the chicks play plus they can knock this type of waterer over. In my new brooder, I ran a 2x8 across the bottom of the brooder and was very careful to get it very level so the waterer could rest on that. I bent some heavy wire to fit around the plastic jar and suspended that from the top to keep them from knocking it over. The chicks could still knock it around so I put four screws around the base, leaving them sticking up maybe an inch. This holds the waterer in place horizontally.

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In the Brooder
7 Years
Aug 29, 2012
British Columbia, Canada
I think as long as you keep it warm enough in their coop and NO sTAIRS OR OUTSIDE AREA they should be fine, just be sure there are no things that could fall on them, make4 sure it is secure enough that no PREDATORS can get at them...
Hope this was some help


6 Years
Dec 28, 2013
Central Ohio
Hi, I am wanting to do the same thing - put my brooder into my coop. I can keep the layers out of the chick area, but I am wondering about an angle I haven't seen mentioned (so maybe it's not a problem)... Is the heat bad for my layers in general? I mean, obviously I don't want them close enough to get burned or anything, but what about just the heating up of the coop? I am planning to get chicks in the spring, so it won't be really hot weather yet, but I'm just wondering if I need to be concerned about this at all. Thanks!
Valley Hatchery

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