What do you use for a brooder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by shelleyd2008, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    I have a lot of chicks inside. Normally it's not that much of a problem, since most all of my birds are bantams. I have a couple 40-something gallon totes and a 50-something gallon tote. I rarely have more than 20 chicks at a time.

    Then I heard of the MPC special, and couldn't pass that up! So now, in addition to my 20 or so bantam chicks, I also have 26 LF chicks. All the LF chicks are in the same tote, and are outgrowing it fast!!

    I need ideas on how to 'upgrade' them, without seperating them. They most likely will all be together once they are big enough to go outside, so I don't want to seperate them now, only to reintroduce them later on.

    Any tips?
  2. gvntofly05

    gvntofly05 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    I'm using my kids plastic (gate like) outdoor play yard in the garage. I cut cardboard to surround it for draft protection. It's a good size, a little over 3'x6' and on the plus side it can be broke down and stored easily when I'm not using it.
  3. duck walk

    duck walk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2009
    white springs, fl
    I use the large, deep kiddy pool with chips...I have a piece of chicken wire cut to size to put over the top as they get ambitious and start flying out...that usually holds them for the time a heat lamp is needed, then they move to a kennel run especially wired for little feathered persons, which holds them until they can graduate to the big chicken yard...I have had as many as fifty babies in the big pool at one time...
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    I use a dog crate. It is one of the powder coated rectangular dog crates - largest size I could buy several years ago. Over the years it has housed our dogs, foster dogs, foster kittens and now chicks [​IMG]

    At one point I had it out on our back deck so covered it with a tarpaulin that is zip-tied all the way around so only the front is open (where the door is).

    For the chicks, I cut cardboard 6-8" tall and put it all the way around the bottom, between the plastic floor and the walls. This has the dual purpose of a) reducing how much of the pine shavings they are able to kick out and b) reducing drafts even further.

    For heat I use a reptile heating pad. I didn't like the idea of having lights on 24/7 - seemed like it would disrupt sleep, even though I know if they have no choice they will sleep. This is the second lot of chicks I've brooded this way and they've all seemed very happy.

    I buy plush toys for 25c apiece at the thrift store (the dogs like to chew them up) so I put a plush toy in the corner of the brooder where the heat pad is. They like to crawl under it and sleep. I imagine it feels like crawling under Mama Hen. Here is a pic I just took. There are 4 chicks under the plush but only 3 visible - the 4th was all the way under. Right now I also have the heat pad from the shipping box in with them - I figured as long as it was still warm, they could continue to use it.
  5. michelle1017

    michelle1017 Goat Mama

    Aug 21, 2008
    I use a playpen lined with plastic and wire on the top. It will hold several for quite a while.
  6. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2009
    i'm all about the extra big rubbermaid tubs! when they get crowded i move them out to the brooder coops in the hen house

  7. tallieb

    tallieb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2009
    I use a galvanized water trough
  8. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I use an extra large dog crate. (cuz I already had it) It's the plastic kind with the metal door.

    And I LOVE the idea of the reptile heating pad instead of the brooder lamp. How much are those heating pads?
  9. bryan8

    bryan8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2009
    New york
    I have a plastic pond that you would set in the ground.

    Im going to end up getting a galvanized water trough
  10. Nyrial

    Nyrial Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2009
    Lake Stevens, WA
    A retired Graco Pack N Play with cardboard cut to fit to prevent drafts.

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