salvaging a pullet brooder


10 Years
Apr 30, 2010
I have a question on making a brooder to keep young pullets in. Up until now I have been using a metal box that is huge. I would put it on 4x4 wood pieces o keep it off the floor and keep them warm with a heat lamp. I would put wood shavings for them to walk on.

Here is what I would like to do. My wife and I bought some land around us from her parents estate. By doing that we also bought all the contents in the barn to make the process easier and not take so long. They were born in the depression and saved everything. I found a old chicken brooder box. Its mainly the box, sides and top, no legs or bottom. I am thinking about redoing this to use as a brooder. The box is roughly about 24x36 inches and about 8 inches tall. It has no legs or bottom but I can reproduce those items.

With that said has anyone adapted one to say a heat lamp, The kerosene heater is long gone. Has anyone adapted one of these? If you have either made one similar or adapted one I would love to hear about it. I am afraid if I use the heat lamp in the height it is now it will be too hot on them or a fire hazard. Would a regular incadescent lamp work just as well in a enclosed area? I like to reuse items and this is the only use I would have for this partial brooder. It looks similar to this one but without the legs or bottom.
It's an awesome brooder! I love antiques that still have utility.

You're very correct about the heat lamp. It won't work in an area that confined. But the heating pad system would.
Or if you're brooding a lot of chicks, maybe an over-sized wool hen.

A few 60 or 75 watt incandescent bulbs could work if you find safety shields so chicks can't come into contact with the hot bulb.

Keep in mind that you do not want the entire brooder to be one uniform temperature. You'll begin with a temp on the floor under each bulb at between 80F and 90F. The spaces in the rest of the brooder should be much cooler so chicks can shed excess absorbed heat. You can replace with lower wattage bulbs as the chicks grow and begin to feather out.

Lots of options! I'm sure others will chime in with some more options for heat. How exciting for you! How many chicks do you plan on brooding?
I love it! I too am an old romantic and junk hound. Please send us a photo!
The measurements are almost the same as my brooder. Mine made on the fly out of scraps has been very good to me and my feathered kids. Good size for sure. I have no bottom and use it on the grass. I move it after a few days. When I added a heat lamp I had to raise the ceiling but the chicks were pretty happy with it. I put in a flood with a lower watt bulb. Made a 4 sided ply box and cut big doors in it. That way the chicks, when small could stay warm and monitor themselves. When they got bigger I took the box out and turned the light on in the nighttime to be on the safe side. I also had a thermostat to make sure I did not let them get too cold or warm. Each time I use it I make it a little more civilized but really found it to be sufficient for our warm climate and low predator home. Definitely adjust for your area and conditions. Sorry for the crummy photos. It is stored under our house for which my husband is greatful... Oct 18 2018 002.jpg Oct 18 2018 003.jpg
You can get just a brooder plate you raise up and down. And you can go with a smaller bulb kept to one side so if they are to hot they can go to the other side. Also if you have a thermometer and as long as it's the right temp on one side that would be fine.


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