Rubbermaid Brooder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cluckcluck42, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Songster

    Oct 4, 2009
    Hey guys, I was looking at some brooders and we have a big Rubbermaid container I thought we could use for the purpose, I've seen others use them. We are going to cut out most of the top and put some hardware cloth (I think thats what its called) to keep the chicks safe from the kitties.

    My question is, how would I safely put a heat lamp in there?

    Does anyone else have a brooder like this? Pics? Do share!! I greatly appreciate it!!

  2. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    I'm wonder if you would hang the lamp over the top, then as youneed it to get less warm, hang it up higher and higher?
  3. ZooNana

    ZooNana Songster

    I use rubbermaid containers for brooders. I use the lamp without the lid until they start getting big enough to hop out, then we cover it. I cut out the top center of the cover and put wire mesh over the hole. By the time they can hop out they're ok with the lamp being higher, outside the cover. Since it's metal mesh I don't have to worry about it catching on fire. I'd be worried hardware cloth would on fire.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  4. FortWorthChicks

    FortWorthChicks Songster

    Nov 21, 2009
    Fort Worth
    I am about to do the same thing and I saw some great pictures on a brooder thread. Most of them had the lights laying flat on the wire mesh stuff... the chicks were small... I suppose Jerseygirl1 has the best idea on how to slowly take the heat away as needed. Hang it [​IMG]

  5. FortWorthChicks

    FortWorthChicks Songster

    Nov 21, 2009
    Fort Worth
    Im subscribing hoping some more pictures will arise [​IMG] [​IMG] because I need to learn all I can before my first chicks arrive!
  6. kennedyscochins

    kennedyscochins Songster

    Sep 1, 2009
    Big Clifty
    That's what I use. I just put an old window screen over the top of the container and set the light on top of it. Works great!
  7. CountryMom

    CountryMom Songster

    Jun 21, 2008
    South Texas
    We have used the rubbermaid bins of different sizes for the past two years for quail and chicks. They work very wll. I throw away or do not even buy the lid. I cut my hardware cloth just over sized enough to fold down the ends/sides and shape it into it's own lid. Then we place a heating lamp on top of the wire at first...when they need the most warmth. Then as the days progress, we lift it off the brooder and raise it up. The enitre time the lamp is tied by string to a rafter of the barn (short roof). I have never had an issue with our barn kitties or other chickens etc. getting into the brooder with the lid just set on top. If you were really worried about that I am sure a plain old brick would hold it in place. If you have the wire folded down and fit tight enough it works great.

  8. ZooNana

    ZooNana Songster

    hmmm I went searching for pix but I guess I never took any with the cover on. I have lots of pix with the cover off LOL! .. sorry.
  9. happytxchick

    happytxchick Egg Song Acre

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sulphur Springs, TX
    I always use the tubs as brooders. I keep my chicks in the house (I know some folks think this is nasty, but we keep it quite clean). I have a media center at the far end of my kitchen. I hang a shop light on a drawer pull, and bend it where it the light doesn't touch any surfaces of the tub.

    Once I had chicks in our game room, and just attached the light to the edge of the tub. After the chicks got big enough, one jumped up and pushed it over onto the rubber part. When I got home that day a very small part of the tub had melted. This scared me, so I decided not to do it that way anymore; hence, brooding in the kitchen.

    Sorry, I do not have pics to share.

  10. RocketDad

    RocketDad Songster

    Jul 25, 2008
    Near US 287
    We used a big Sterilite tub. Clear plastic. Biggest one they sell, I think - about 1' deep, 16" wide, 32" long. Big enough for 5 chicks; even when they were getting too big, it was find for them to sleep in after a day in the "saw-horse chicken tractor."

    To get the tub off the floor, I put in on a little pedestal table I use in the yard, and actually screwed the tub to the table for safety. Worked great. The chicks were right behind where I sit at the computer, here in my luxurious laundry-room office. They saw us all the time, and we handled them frequently. Now they're pretty tame, except for Shadow, the Black Australorp. She's tame in her own way. It just involves biting me. [​IMG]

    I made a wood and hardware cloth top. I tried cutting an opening in the original lid, thinking I'd use screws or something to attach screen to it, but the plastic they use for the lid is brittle and shattered as I tried to cut it. It's okay - the original idea was half-thought out and the final lid worked great.

    I used a plant hook screwed to the ceiling to hang the light, and had a string tied to the brooder light's hang-loop to suspend it. I swagged the string off on a pair of screws shot into a cheap bookshelf in the room, winding around them in a figure-8. Easy to adjust the height. I checked temps with a point-an-click thermometer. By the way, ZooNana, hardware "cloth" is metal. It won't burn, and it dissipates enough heat by surface area that it doesn't heat the frame when the light is right on top of it.

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