What's your chick brooder look like?!

BellsCluckers

Chirping
Apr 21, 2015
143
6
86
I'm getting ready to make my brooder for my chicks coming in April. I'm curious to see what diy brooders everyone has that have been cheap, reliable, and safe for the little ones. Would love to see pictures for ideas for my own. Thank you!
 

lcwmt

Songster
Jun 16, 2017
387
878
214
N Central MT
We used a zippered dog pen last year. It was left over from when we had a dog recovering from surgery. She needed to be contained but also part of the household for 6 weeks.
Plastic, then cardboard on the (wood) floor were placed underneath, pine shavings inside. Set the whole thing under my seed starting table in the dining room. The (7, early April) chicks were safe from the curious cat and dogs; we could monitor and be amused.
The zippered top allows for easy access to food/water/clean up tasks as well and for handling. A seed starter mat was used for supplemental heat the first while.
Chicks got big fast and needed more room at about 4 weeks. We got creative.

In late May, they went outside at 5 1/2 weeks and did fine. They seemed delighted to be on grass. Every year is different here. We watched the temps , esp overnight and acclimated them slowly.

https://www.amazon.com/ESK-Collecti...d=1520699485&sr=8-7&keywords=portable+dog+pen

Eventually I hope to have an outdoor brooder, but I will brood inside again this year - It's the best way to assure the exuberant Catahoula adopts the chicks as hers. Will use same set up this year but in the side room instead of the main part of the house. And for only 3 chicks. HAH good luck there, eh?
 

BellsCluckers

Chirping
Apr 21, 2015
143
6
86
We used a zippered dog pen last year. It was left over from when we had a dog recovering from surgery. She needed to be contained but also part of the household for 6 weeks.
Plastic, then cardboard on the (wood) floor were placed underneath, pine shavings inside. Set the whole thing under my seed starting table in the dining room. The (7, early April) chicks were safe from the curious cat and dogs; we could monitor and be amused.
The zippered top allows for easy access to food/water/clean up tasks as well and for handling. A seed starter mat was used for supplemental heat the first while.
Chicks got big fast and needed more room at about 4 weeks. We got creative.

In late May, they went outside at 5 1/2 weeks and did fine. They seemed delighted to be on grass. Every year is different here. We watched the temps , esp overnight and acclimated them slowly.

https://www.amazon.com/ESK-Collecti...d=1520699485&sr=8-7&keywords=portable+dog+pen

Eventually I hope to have an outdoor brooder, but I will brood inside again this year - It's the best way to assure the exuberant Catahoula adopts the chicks as hers. Will use same set up this year but in the side room instead of the main part of the house. And for only 3 chicks. HAH good luck there, eh?
Oh that looks so cool!
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,051
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
I brood my chicks in a grow out coop. They start with MHP in the loft area which is 4 x 8. by the time they are 3 weeks old, they are using the loft, and coming down into the lower 8 x 12 run area. It's very important to give chicks enough room. By the time they are 2 - 3 weeks old, they should have at least 2 s.f. per bird. IMO the worst thing you can do is brood them in the house in a rubbermaid tote with a heat lamp.
 

BellsCluckers

Chirping
Apr 21, 2015
143
6
86
I brood my chicks in a grow out coop. They start with MHP in the loft area which is 4 x 8. by the time they are 3 weeks old, they are using the loft, and coming down into the lower 8 x 12 run area. It's very important to give chicks enough room. By the time they are 2 - 3 weeks old, they should have at least 2 s.f. per bird. IMO the worst thing you can do is brood them in the house in a rubbermaid tote with a heat lamp.
We are thinking about taking an old rabbit hut and making a small grow out pen with it.
 

lcwmt

Songster
Jun 16, 2017
387
878
214
N Central MT
I brood my chicks in a grow out coop. They start with MHP in the loft area which is 4 x 8. by the time they are 3 weeks old, they are using the loft, and coming down into the lower 8 x 12 run area. It's very important to give chicks enough room. By the time they are 2 - 3 weeks old, they should have at least 2 s.f. per bird. IMO the worst thing you can do is brood them in the house in a rubbermaid tote with a heat lamp.

Agreed. We did not and will not use a heat lamp indoors or out. Giving the chicks enough room last year was an ongoing engineering project until they could go outside.
 

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