Brand New Chick Brooder!

Brand New Chick Brooder!

Alright…here it is…our brand new chick brooder AKA Version #3!  The chicks have been living in it for a couple of weeks now and it’s worked out wonderfully!  I talked about our other two brooders here.

Tool Lady re-used the wood that was our original coop (it’s all just been sitting in the garage for the past year waiting for a new project) for our new and fancy chick brooder and turned it into two rectangular boxes:

  • The first box is enclosed on three sides by particle board with a lid on top that opens with hinges.
  • The second box is wrapped in mesh on three sides to allow for air circulation.  This box gives the chicks the opportunity to scratch around and get some sunshine while still being completely safe from any random cats that would love to eat them for lunch!
    • This box also has a heavier weight wire mesh stapled on top…this way, if the cats jump onto it, they won’t fall through into the run.
    • In addition, there is a portion of the top that has a lid that lifts up on hinges.  Under this lid is where the food and water hang, safe form the elements.
  • The two boxes were then pushed together to form one long rectangle.
Tool Lady working on the beginnings of the first box.
This is the box that is enclosed on all sides but one.
As you can see, the right side is a couple of inches shorter
than the right side-this is intentional.  The lower side sits at
the very end of the coop and allows for water run-off 🙂

 

Tool Lady put in two roosting bars in the first box so the Newbies
can practice roosting.

 

Measuring out where the Brooder lives.  To the left is the new compost,
to the right is the current chicken run where the 7 Ladies live.
Later this spring we will expand the current chicken run out
to the compost.  We figured it was better for now to keep the Newbies
and the Originals apart from each other.

 

Here is the second box.  This is the box that is wrapped in
mesh and allows the chicks to scratch around “outside”.

 

Once all the sides were put on both boxes, we took them outside and gave them a coat of paint to protect the wood from the elements.  Once everything was dry, we put the two pieces together and threw down some wood shavings in the enclosed part.  We also hooked up the heat lamp to one of the braces in this enclosed box.

Here you can see what the coop looks like when you lift off the top.

 

There is a second lid that covers a small portion of the mesh enclosed run.
Under this lid hang their food and water.  The lid is also on hinges and lifts up.

Like I mentioned above, the two boxes each have one end that was left open.  Those two openings connected to each other to form one long coop.

Here you can see the end of the coop is a little bit shorter/at a slight angle
to allow for run off if/when we get any rain this spring.
We installed one of those remote thermometers that tells us the temperature inside of their chick brooder so we can make sure the temps in there stay within safe ranges.  Since they have access to the warmth of the enclosed space and the fresh air of the run, though, I’m not worried about them.  I figure that they’ll be better served if they can figure out how to regulate their own temperatures now 🙂 We check on them several times a day and so far they’ve been totally fine with rain, snow, wind and sunshine.

I hope this all makes sense!  Please let me know if you have any questions about how we put it together or how it all works 🙂

Happy brooding!!!Linking up to Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #18

Written by Melissa @ Ever Growing Farm

8 Comments

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  3. Tom Stewart

    I almost have my brooder finished. I was inspired to built the second version, as it will be up in the unfinished second floor of the house to start with!
    I still need to install the hardware cloth floor and I will be ready to pick up the chicks this coming friday!
    I still need the water bottle and the feeder, but I will get them at the same time as the chicks.
    I might even get a couple duckling to add to the brooder!
    Tom

    1. Bee Girl

      I’m so excited that you’ve been inspired by our brooder! I can’t wait to see your pics of the brooder and your new chicks!!! Ducklings, ha? Now that’s territory we haven’t entered yet! Would you get them for their egg production???

    2. Tom Stewart

      I hvae always said that I would not have an animal on the place that does not produce something toward the homestead. So yes ducks for eggs, meat and comedy relief! (got two names already picked out…. Cheese and Quackers!).
      Ace Hardware had chicks for $3.99 and ducks for $4.99. Not sure of the types they are, but may have to take what I can get.
      Tractor Supply has several differant types of both, ranging from $2.00 – $5.00 each. But is a longer drive. But I might get what I want?
      Tom

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