Reassure another newbie about their brooder please (pics)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Texas Fluffy Feet, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. Texas Fluffy Feet

    Texas Fluffy Feet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2008
    Arlington, TX
    DD had offered up her playhouse to be our chicken coop when we finally decided to get the chicks this year. After more research we decided it would not be the best shelter for them and opted for DH to build something. DD REALLY wanted to use her playhouse for the chickens so I turned it into a brooder. We have 5 standard cochins shipping Wednesday from Ideal so we got it all ready today. What else does it need in your opinions and do you guys think the chicks can stay in here until they are ready to go out to the coop outside? It is roughly 3'x3' of floor space. It is located in our garage as close to the house as possible. It has a freezer on the side facing the garage doors to further block any draft that may blow under them.

    The bungees are to secure the door. I know it isn't pretty but DH is the carpenter, not me. He was busy on the coop so I tackled the brooder.
    [​IMG]

    DD (who's 4) insisted we include toys. She said we were getting kid chickens and all kids need toys. Thus the swing, mirror and rollie bell. She snagged these from our sugar gliders toy box. I plan to remove the thermometers once I know the temp is right.[​IMG]

    Close up of the brooder light. The cord is pulled through the roof and secured on the other side so that it can't slip.
    [​IMG]

    Here's the kiddo adding the pine shavings. Doesn't she look excited? How long y'all reckon I can get her to do this chore on a regular basis? LOL
    [​IMG]



    Thanks for helping a nervous Momma to be get through her "nesting" period! I have my chick food ready to go and I am starting a new Super Worm colony today so by the time I can offer those to the little peeps in a few weeks I will have a good batch going.
     
  2. texaschickmama

    texaschickmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2007
    Poolville, TX
    Don't put the shavings in yet. Use the papertowels until they are a little older. Other than that it looks good. Is the lamp low enough where it is warm at floor level? If not adjust it. Other than that, looks fabulous. Mmmmmmm, DD has one of those too. Wonder if I could convert it without a 2 yr old fit. Better wait on that one. [​IMG]

    Ohhhhhh, a worm farm. How perfect for them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2008
  3. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Jan 30, 2007
    WV
    Now thats using your noggin!..Great idea and I bet she loves it...lol


    Only concern I have is your brooder light might get too hot for the playhouse plastic so keep an eye on it and you can always use a 150 or 100 watt reg. bulb for them for warmth.... just watch your temps under the light are around 95 for the first week and give them plenty of room to get away incase its too hot under the light.....
     
  4. Cheryl

    Cheryl Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think you'll probably want to keep the thermometer in there just to keep an eye on the temps. Radio shack has a nice remote one for piece of mind..it looks adorable!
     
  5. banter

    banter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2008
    Raymond Maine
    Oh! I wish I had one of those! I might go to Goodwill tomorrow to see if they have one!
    My chicks are do to hatch this weekend-I want them to have their own mansion!
    WELL DONE!
     
  6. Texas Fluffy Feet

    Texas Fluffy Feet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2008
    Arlington, TX
    Thanks for the fast replies!

    TexasChickMama- I put paper towels over the shavings as that is what I thought i had read to do- have them in there, just covered. To be honest they are a little lumpy under the paper towels so if it is better to just have paper towels and then move on to shavings I would be happy to do that.

    Tuffoldhen- I too am concerned about how hot the light gets so I am watching it. That is part of the reason I wanted to go ahead and get it all set up today. The light pretty well rests on the screen but it also touches the very edge of the wood around the window so I will try a different tactic if it gets to warm to touch.

    Cheryl- I have one of those digital thermomoters that tells the indoor and outdoor temp. Mine has the thin wire cord connecting the readout and the remote sensor. I actually have it in there. If you look closely you can see the little sensor poking out from under the paper towel by the other thermomoter. I was afraid the chicks may try to eat it if I leave that one in there though. I will probably remove that one and leave the brown one in there. I just used them both to make double sure of the temp, which is reading right at 95 with the light where it is.

    banter Thanks for the complement on it being a mansion! I hope it is roomy enough until they get into their REAL mansion! My DH is a former carpenter and he is making my girls quite a posh setup.[​IMG]

    I do have one question though, how big of an area needs to read 95? Just big enough for the chicks to all get in to snuggle right?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2008
  7. texaschickmama

    texaschickmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2007
    Poolville, TX
    I just looked at your pic again and saw you had them under the papertowels. I would watch the chicks closely to make sure they don't eat any of the shavings. They are pine shavings right? It should work perfectly. Now, did you just screw the hardware cloth to some frames and screw that to the playhouse?
    I'm asking these questions because that would make a good broody pen for me. I just went out to get eggs and I have 4 hens sitting on their nests, I don't think so ladies. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2008
  8. Redfeathers

    Redfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 11, 2007
    Gervais OR
    What a happy place to grow up in. Your daughter is going to really love having them in her play house. I think it looks great and you guys did a good job. [​IMG]
     
  9. chicamama

    chicamama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Topanga Ca
    I'm no expert, but just wanted to say........WHAT a great idea! I hope it can work for you. Those playhouses are almost indestructible and kids grow out of them so BRAVO on an alternative use!
     
  10. Texas Fluffy Feet

    Texas Fluffy Feet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2008
    Arlington, TX
    I like to call this my "FREE" brooder. The playhouse is a hand me down to my DD. I am pretty sure this thing is at least 20 years old! The wood for the window and door frames is stolen off the side of my greenhouse- thus the nice painted appearance. It too is probably at least 20 years old. The hardware cloth was already here, DH had it for one of his "projects". We did however, buy the light fixture, bulb and a tiny bit of the hardware for the door.

    As for how I made it, like I said I am no carpenter, DH is. For the windows, I simply cut the wood down to size, laid it in a square on my porch and then stapled the wire to it. Then I screwed it in place. The door is done basically the same way except I added some of those little L shaped thing a bobbers on the corners for support. The hinges we had to go buy. I had to use the bungees to hold the door tight- just in case the cat's or the dog manage to get out there without me knowing. Or in case the chicks plot a wild escape. LOL

    I think I will go ahead and remove the shavings and just start with the paper towels. It makes me nervous because I know the chicks will move the paper towels around once they are in there. Better safe than sorry.

    Believe it or not, I am having a hard time getting the light up HIGH enough to read 95! I have it almost all the way to the top of the screen now and it is still reading 100 where the light is shining on the paper towels. I may have to reduce the wattage. It is about 75 here today so maybe when it cools off tonight it will be another story. My garage is not climate controlled. I have another clamp lamp and a lower wattage bulb so I may have to use one during the day and one at night I guess.

    Thanks again for all the compliments- they really should go to my 4 year old! It was all her idea!
     

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