Wire Brooder Vs Box Brooder Pros and Cons.


Orpingtons Are Us
9 Years
Dec 1, 2010
Owasso, Oklahoma
I hatch quite a few chicks and I'm looking for the easiest to maintain and info about both.

Wire brooder:
No shavings in feed or water.
No eating feces or shavings.
Drop pans for waste.
Stack ability.

Box Brooder:
Easy to heat and ventilate.
Easy to make.

Please any input would be great! Thank you.



10 Years
Sep 6, 2009
Ridgefield, WA
I have a brooder box in the barn that is 3 feet wide and 10 feet long. It has a wooden frame/wire mesh covered divider in the middle so I can run two groups if I need to. The sides are solid and the only thing I would change is adding some wire mesh covered "windows" on the front side to give more natural daylight and ventilation. We are going to modify it with the wire windows before I need to move the next batch in. That's in about a week
the top is two wooden framed chicken wire covered lids that lift up to open. I suspend the heat lamp from the roof above so it's not inside the brooder box. I recently stopped using the red heat lamps and bought Brinsea EcoGlo units for warmth to reduce the energy to heat and give a more natural feel to the day/night.


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 13, 2010
I've done both- enclosed box w/ floor and wire cage.

With the wire cage, you're going to need more heat, because the wire holds absolutely nothing in. I brooded my chicks in a wire cage in a tack room in a CA spring, so heat wasn't that big a deal. You're also going to need a place where they can rest their feet from the wire (a piece of plywood, etc for them to walk on) or they can end up with wicked foot problems, which kind of defeats the purpose of the wire floor. You could also end up with sick chickens later on, as they get no gradual introduction to cocci and other bacteria from the litter- they just go from wire to whatever will be in their coop, and that sudden of an introduction to a bacterial load can mean bad things. On the upside, they're much easier to clean, and you're not spending money on bedding (yet).

The brooder box with the floor is the way I go these days. It's more "natural" for them, gives them the chance to build up immunity, and the box holds in heat, which is a good thing, as I now live in VT. It is more difficult to keep clean, but by more difficult, I mean I have to scrape out bedding, then haul it outside, hose it out, and apply a scrub brush and bleach solution, as opposed to just hauling it outside and scrubbing it out. Not that much more effort, really.


8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
Hmmmm.... I really like the wire dog kennel for a brooder. I have an extra large one from Fleet Farm, which was pretty inexpensive and I bought it on sale.

It's predator proof against my household pets and now it keeps them safe when integrating. I have two access doors, which is nice as well. I use pine bedding, but I did have to make side panels out of sheet rock when keeping indoors to keep the pine from spilling out.

I personally like pine, it's very absorbent and it keeps the odor down.


8 Years
May 6, 2011
Brigades- I was considering a pool brooder as well. Do they jump out and get stuck between the pool and the PVC walls?

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