Sunday, February 27, 2011

Homemade Chicken Brooder

I just ordered a mix of super cute little chicks--all girls, all different breeds. They'll be here next week (there will be pictures, I promise)!
Since they will only be a day or so old, the peeps need a place to keep warm and grow a bit--enter the brooder. This one is made from a big Rubbermaid tub, with the top replaced with some hardware cloth:
Kitty-proof chicken brooder
 We may have been able to use chicken wire, except for one thing...Darby! Darby is our beautiful but evil long haired cat. She was a feral kitten, and still bites if you look at her the wrong way. Cleo is scared to death of her. Darby's specialty is birds--the prettier the better! She isn't interested in  mammals--but we get about a bird a day in the summer--bells, keeping her inside, placing bird feeders up high, nothing works, she just escapes and slips off the collar and goes hunting.

So, back to the chicks--a bunch of small, flightless, helpless puffs of fluff will be too tempting for her--even though we have no intention of letting her near them. Just in case, we made the brooder super strong (and by "we" I mean "Jeff":

Cutting the wire for the lid

Here's what he did to make this one:

Big plastic tub with locking lid
Wire hardware cloth with 3/8" openings
Plastic covered wire

Wire snips
Small hand saw with skinny blade

1. Remove the lid from the plastic bin. Use the drill to cut an opening for the saw.
2. Use the saw to cut out the recessed portion of the lid, leaving a 3" border of plastic all the way around.
3. Us the wire snips to cut the hardware cloth so it covers the opening entirely--it should overlap each edge by at least 2 inches.
4. Drill holes ever 3 inches or so around the lid.
5. Place the wire on top of the lid, and "sew" it into place with the wire. Twist the ends firmly to secure.

I am planning on sticking a treat Darby really likes inside, then putting the lid on--I want to see if she can defeat it!

We already have a heat lamp and feeders, so all we need now is the chicks!

Chicks outgrowing the brooder? It's time for a chicken coop! Click here to get started.

Click Here for easy DIY Chicken Coop Plans!

1 comment:

  1. I had a hen who hatched some chicks but pushed them out of the nest in favor of the eggs still under her. She's still sitting on one egg and I have her five 1-2 week old chicks in the house. This is a good design for a simple brooder. :)