17 Jul. 1990|
Diy plans for a chicken brooder,cardboard furniture making,entryway shelf with hooks plans - .
I have tried brooding chicks in lots of things - plastic kiddie pools (they quickly learn to fly out) galvanized tubs (snakes can get in, don't ask!), cardboard boxes (they get wet and I worry about the fire hazard from the heat lamp) and finally settled on making my own brooder box out of a plastic storage tote.
Using the jigsaw, cut four pieces of the furring strip to form a frame the same size at the hardware cloth, then pre-drill a hole in either end of each strip.
Cut the dowel to make some miniature roosts (use small nails to attach the legs) and use small screws drilled through the side of the tote into the ends of each dowel to secure them in place. Newspaper can be too slippery for little feet and can cause spraddle leg, so I use several layers of newsprint covered with a sheet of rubber shelf liner for a non-slip surface of the brooder. A heat lamp (preferably with a red bulb) or Brinsea Eco Glow is needed to keep the brooder a toasty 95 degrees the first week and then 5 degrees cooler each subsequent week until the chicks are feathered out and the temperature is around 70 degrees, at which point they can be moved outside (if it's warm enough) or you can remove the heat and keep them in the house or garage for a bit longer if you live in a colder climate.
Pine shavings or chips can be added to the floor of the brooder after the first several days once the chicks figure out what is food and what isn't (never use cedar shavings, which can be toxic). While you might have read it's okay and might be tempted because it seems easy, DO NOT use sand in your brooder. I think the older hens somehow know what it means when the brooder comes out of the barn and gets dusted off!
The tote works for a handful of chicks best, any more and you might need to build them a duplex.
For more on successfully brooding and raising chicks, as well as more photos of the brooder box set-up read HERE. I don't know how it is in your household, but in ours, I'm the one who builds stuff - most likely because I'm too impatient to wait for my husband to get home from work and explain or draw out what I want built (but that's a whole 'nother story). After your initial investment, the money you save building things yourself will pay for these tools in no time! The old brooder (the red box pictures above) served well until they had grown for seven days. The chicks were elated with their new home, but even more so when we gave them pine shavings instead of shredded financials – they basically bathed in the stuff, flapping their wings and rolling around in it, making a mess as all babies do.
I built one like this three years ago when I started with chickens, only very slightly different.
A teacher turned stay-at-home mom turned urban homesteader - my days are filled with laughing and tears, joys and frustrations, chickens and children.
I drew the outline using a Sharpie and then scored the plastic first with the box cutter before trying to cut all the way through (don't worry, it doesn't have to be perfect).
The chicks will eat it which can seriously deprive them of nutrients if they fill up on the sand and don't eat enough of their feed. Placed in a quiet part of the house - we usually use our laundry room or guest bathroom - the chicks are safe from our curious cat and playful puppy. A small dish of chick-sized grit is necessary to help the chicks grind up and digest any food you feed them other than chick starter feed. You don't need many, in fact I have built two chicken coops and a duck house using only a cordless drill, hammer, staple gun, jigsaw and circular saw.