Some niggly little brooder things....


8 Years
Mar 2, 2011
Northwest Washington
So I'm going to be likely getting some chicks here in the up coming months and I'm trying to plan a brooder. Now, I've built one before but it was a fiasco since that was the first round. But after reading the brooder thread and doing some research I think I just need some things put into simple terms. One, is there a way to make brooders easer to clean? Because ours was a pain in the arse (truly, I was cleaning it and burned my butt through my pants on the hotter-then-I-thought-it-was lamp. But that just have been me being a bimbo.
) Also is there any difference between using a white or red lamp? I've read that either is fine and the one we used was red, but maybe someone with experience has some good thoughts on that? And are there any good stand-byes for lamp distance and feeder/waterer type and size? Because those took a lot of fiddling too.
I guess what I'm asking is does anyone have any good brooder tips, tricks, and guidelines? Because I need all the help I can get. And the more chickens the better!


Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
Well, I just put a Brinsea EcoGLow unit into use and love it - so do the chicks! No heat lamps any more! The unit costs 60 bucks, but can handle about 20 chicks. The chicks get in under the warmer plate and nestle there like they are under momma. They dash out to do things, to eat and drink, etc., then go back under it to warm up and to sleep. It's 12 inches wide and 8 inches deep. Also, since there is no light/lamp thing, the chicks get to sleep at night like regular chickens instead of having a light on 24/7 for weeks. That's one recommendation.



If, however, you wish to use heat lamps, I recommend infrared heat lamps, not just red colored lamps. There is less feather picking and picking on each other, plus there is some relief from a bright light 24/7.

Unless a brooder has a front opening, cleaning it will always be a real PITA.


Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 14, 2009
Benton (Saline County) AR
I use a plastic tote, with pine pellet bedding, and I keep chicks in it for 2-3 weeks and just clean it after I'm done ---- take it outside, dump bedding in the compost and use a garden hose on the tote. Easy peasy. I use a wire grate from a dog crate to hold a 75 watt lamp over them, no falling lamp problems that way.
This method is cheap
The EcoGlow thing looks really neat, but I don't have a spare $60 to drop on my hobby for an item that will only be used a few weeks of their life when a $5 flood light bulb will accomplish the same results.


Hey, I'm WALKIN' here !
10 Years
Oct 19, 2009
Paradise (Braham), Mn
I always get so tired of shavings in the feeder and in the waterer. To solve this I put the feed in deep pans that the chicks have to hop into to scratch around and eat. They are too deep for them to scratch out the feed, or scratch in the shavings. I start out with little Gladware containers and gradually move up to 3 inch deep pans for the older birds. they do poo in there a little, but it seems to dry out really fast, and is easy to scoop out.

For the water problem, I have decided to use my nipple waterers as soon as they go in the brooder. I do use the little water dishes for a week or so, to make sure they get good and hydrated, then as soon as I'm sure they know how to peck at the nipple, I take out the ever-soggy dishes. I put the nipples in the bottom of 1 gallon plastic pitchers from the dollar store, usually 2 or 3 nipples per pitcher. these hang from the top of the brooder at whatever height is need for the size of the chicks. So far this is working really great for me. It wastes so much less feed, and no more dirty water. I also have been adding a crushed garlic clove to every one's water to help with immune sysytems.

I use the infra-red heat bulbs for the really little guys, then change them out to regular bulbs as they get bigger. I REALLY want to eventually get the ceramic heat-emitting bulbs. The chicks can stay warm and get the natural light/dark cycle too.

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