The Double-Decker Brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Wifezilla, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    After hearing the horror stories about how much of a mess my baby duck will make it the brooder, I decided to get creative and hopefully head off some of the problems.

    I started with 2 different brands of plastic storage tubs. I made sure that when I put the top one inside the bottom one there was plenty of gap. If you already have 2 of the same brand, you will need some kind of spacer. A couple of bricks would work.

    Once I got what I wanted as far as fit, I took a hot knife and cut through the plastic on the bottom of what will be the top tub, making sure I left a lip. The lip is important because you will need it for the next step.

    Next, cut a piece of hardware cloth to cover the opening. Use screws or bolts to secure it to the bottom of the tub. Then also cut a piece of shelf liner to fit over the hardware cloth.

    Fill the bottom tub with your bedding of choice. I used some wood stove pellets I already had laying around.

    Now put the top tub inside the bottom tub. Add a guinea pig waterer with a small pan under it to catch drips and a wild bird food feeder to even further cut down on mess potential. I used bailing wire to fashion custom holders for both the waterer and a harness for the bird feeder since the suction cup wouldn't stick to the side of the tub. Hang a light from some kind of pole, dowel, etc... (my light pole is an old rigid vacuum cleaner hose.
    If you end up with a lone hatch, or only have a few ducklings, duct tape a turkey feather duster to the side so the babies can snuggle up to or under it for comfort (I have found out they really like playing with the feathers too). Insert duckling and enjoy.
    I did a clean up this morning and it literally took me about 2 minutes to have hubby hold JJ while I took out the pad and sprayed it off with sink sprayer. I then shook it off and put it right back in. So far so good. We'll find out if this is a sound plan when I add more ducks today [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
    1 person likes this.

  2. Shared Acres

    Shared Acres Songster

    Aug 10, 2008
    Northeast Fla
    Good idea, cute duckling!
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I like it a lot. I was planning on using 1/4" hardware cloth when my chicks get here next month, but I would never have thought of the shelf liner to make clean-up so easy plus the bedding in the container underneath will last so much longer. And the container in a container will cut down on drafts through the wire.

  4. oldchickenman

    oldchickenman Songster

    Oct 2, 2008
    Parsonsburg Md.
    nice idea i just got doe raiseing 20 ducks in a brooder they were one he#$ of mess i will never raise ducks inside again. we just moved them outside yea. next time ill wait till summer and raise them outside.

  5. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    The only thing I was worried about was the waterer, but JJ figured that thing out only a few hours after hatching. So far I have a pretty good theory with some promising initial results. The true test is later today when I get JJ some friends at the feed store [​IMG]
  6. Gloria

    Gloria Songster

    Good idea you have there, great job!

    One thing though, be very careful with the tape. I have found the heat lamp keeps the adhesive from sticking for very long. Constantly having to replace it because it keeps falling off.
  7. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Thanks for the heads up. If it starts to peel off I have more bailing wire [​IMG]

  8. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    ohh great idea, my ducks use a water bottle with a nipple and it was the smartest thing I ever did lol!
  9. Dace

    Dace In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2008 are BRILLIANT!

    My 4 little ducklings make such a wicked mess! I never knew they could learn how to drink out of a waterer like that...and I love your hardwire double decker brooder idea.

  10. L*A*G*

    L*A*G* Songster

    Nov 19, 2008
    planet chicken
    you're so smart zilla! my brooder was made out of a tote too until they needed more space.

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