Building a Chickie Brooder

I wanted to share how we built out chicken brooder. First, I had Lucy’s old puppy crate. I knew it would good to reuse it, since it mostly lies in disuse behind the chicken coop. I wanted a base that I could move the chicken brooder around on without too much work – and  i wanted to be able to disassemble the entire thing when we were done with it for the season. I plan on getting three to four new chickens very year to keep egg production high. I need to figure out what to do with those ones who aren’t laying as well…and who they are exactly. Another time…

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To start, I bought 2 x 4 from the lumber store, where they cut it for me into two pieces of 2x4x24 and two pieces of 2x4x36 (the dimensions of the dog crate). I wanted the crate to rest on these 2x4s. I bought some plywood and had it cut to in 24×36 for the base that everything would rest on. For the bottom, it was cheaper to buy a pre-made wheel thing that people use to move furniture (I’m sure it has a more specific name) than to purchase individual wheels and attached it.  We also bought a number of wood screws and u-hooks to secure the crate to the base.

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Once we arrived home, I laid out the 2x4x24 and 2x4x36…and realized to fit all that on the base…I needed to cut off about one inch from the 2x4x24. Live and learn. Didn’t take too long to cut the extra bits off, and then screw them together to form a rectangle. I used l-brackets for added security. After attaching the base outline to the plywood base, I then attached the wheel thingy to the base. After that, I placed the crate on top and secure all around with the u-hooks. Pretty easy! 2015-03-19 12.53.48 2015-03-19 13.03.49

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We had bought our four baby chickens (maran and welsummer) earlier that day at the hardware store, with the understanding we could be back in a few short hours to pick them up after building the brooder. And we did just that.

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After a few days of having the messy baby chickens in my sewing room, and then the kitchen, I thought to add plexiglass to the sides to keep the pine chips inside the brooder. It didn’t help as much as moving them outside to the front porch, where the mess is much easier to clean up. And the chickens are fine with the heat lamp, even at night. I add a blanket to their coop at night to keep the chill off.

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These girls are growing! Soon, I’ll need to sort out an in-between the brooder and the main coop solution once they outgrow the brooder…

 

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