Rabbit hutch brooder questions


8 Years
Jan 27, 2011
Vancouver Island
We are turning this hutch into a brooder for our chicks. (This is an old picture, the plastic is off of it now.) Three are two weeks old and two are about six weeks old. It's way bigger than the picture makes it look. I guess 2-3 feet by 6-8 feet. So, stupid questions time.

1. Should we block off the inside part? Obviously the heat won't get there, does that matter? Is there a "best" spot to put the heat light and food, etc.?

2. At their ages, do we need to worry about drafts? We have put it close to our baseboard heaters and the room is really warm, around 75 degrees. But it's close to an outside door too. Should I put cardboard around the bottom of the wire or will they be okay?

Thanks so much! I don't know how people did this before the internet.

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The 6 week olds should be alright. The 2 week olds I'd keep an eye on. I would put the heat light close to the nest box area, and the food and water not to far from that. It might not hurt to close off the sides (back and far right) to help keep the heat in and the drafts out. I use a small pet cage, and old towels zip tied to 3 sides of the cage to protect from drafts. That is quite a large pen for just 4 chicks, but if you have it inside the house, it should be fine.

Is the bottom caged also? If it is, Yuck!! Definately put down some news paper.
Thank you both. Towels around the outside is a great idea! I'll do that for sure. I can block off part of it inside if it's too large, but it is inside a very warm room. I'll make sure everyone here knows not to use the door that's near it, or at least to make sure it gets open and shut quickly.

There is a small section in the middle at the bottom that is wire (much closer together wire though). However, there's a board that goes over top of it. I plan to put the board over the wire and then cover the whole thing in pine shavings.
Something that might make it easier for you to clean is to use a plastic tablecloth made for picnic tables. They are very durable, water proof, and they are not slick. You put it down over the board then add the chips. The best part? You put the chicks in a box or whatever while you clean. You fold up the tablecloth and you get the majority of chips. Dump them in your garbage sack or whatever you use to take it out of the house. A quick wipe down with a damp cloth & scrubber if needed, dry with paper towels, and you have a clean "floor" again. Just add chips again and your good to go.

I have a small chicken coop that is basically a modified rabbit coop and this works great for me.
Instead of towels, we were thinking we'd buy an extra table cloth/shower curtain and staple it to the back and side. Would that be okay or would towels be better?

That would be fine. Anything would work, just as long as you are blocking drafts from the chicks. Do you have a thermometer so you can tell the temp in the brooder? I think the standard temp is 95deg for the first week and then dropping it 5deg everyweek after until you reach normal room temp. You can control the temp by moving the heat light around. Since your brooder is so large, I'd probably always supply ample heat as they will move away from it when they get to hot and then move back to it if they get cold.
this is my brooder. How many chicks can fit in there and for how long? It's 30" by 18". Yes inches not feet.
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