Wire floor in the brooder floor.. is this ok?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cupman, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I am sick of using cardboard boxes that get old and nasty and was considering building myself a real brooder box. I was hoping to build something out of 2x4's and OSB but I wanted to have a hardware cloth floor. The idea being that wasted food and chicken waste would fall through the floor into something else that I could easily remove to wash.

    Are there any risks or downsides to having a wire floor in the brooder? Any other brooder recommendations?
  2. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    I would not suggest having chicks walk on wire.

    And besides, once all their poop gets gunked up all over the wire, you'll be faced with the horrible task of trying to scrub it all off.

    A way better solution would be to just use the dry deep litter method.

    That way you just keep stirring up their litter every so often and it all stays dry and odor free.

    That's what I do with all my brooders, and I can re-use them because the cardboard does not get messed up.

  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I also use deep litter in the brooder. 4" thick of yellow straw. I don't have to change it for the duration of the 6 week brooding period. One time. At the end. I sweep it out into the garden. Done.
  4. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    interesting that seems pretty simple maybe I'll try that.
  5. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Ya Know.... I have twenty little Wellies and am thinnin that deep litter is a very good idea.
    Thanks for the idea guys

    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  6. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    A great idea. I raise peeps on hardware cloth floors. I was taught this by a Marans breeder named Kelly Cratty back in 2005 when I bought some day old chicks from him. He explained that raising them on hardware cloth would keep their toes from being crooked. Make your brodooder with an interchangeable floor. or , use a translusant plastic tub and make hardware cloth platforms which you can lay inside. The top of the platform being 1-2 inches above the hardwood shavings below ( white bale at Tractor Supply). Use 1/4 inch hardware cloth till they are 2 weeks old. Switch to 1/2 inch hardwarecloth for the rest of their time in the brooder.
    2 years ago, I decided I was a pretty smart cookie and decided to use one of those cardboard walls surrounding a newpaper floor for raising my chicks. I paid 150. for 10 rare chicks and proceeded to happily raise them. Low and behold, all 10 developed crooked toes to various degrees. Some were crippled by the deformaties. I rehomed the flock to a local egg flock which didn'tind the weird gaits and learned an expensive lesson. Later research revealed that when chicks are raised on a smooth surface, they curl their toes underneath them when they sleep, resulting in the crooked toes as they grow. But when hardware cloth is used, the toes stay extended when they sleep and the toes grow straight instead.
    Live and learn,
    Karen in western PA
  7. karlamaria

    karlamaria Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    Western montana
    When using deep litter there toes grasp that and form normally. Having these babies on wire is not good on there little feet. Being on paper to long causes there feet to splay and crooked toes. Putting a roost in the brooder helps also. I put a tree branch piece in my brooder and they were all using it within 2 weeks of age. This taught them to roost when put into the coop later on.

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