Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Chick Brooder

Recently I collected eggs from my hens and put them in my incubator.
 I gathered 33 eggs. I hope to hatch at least 20 chicks. My next problem is a brooder for them. A Brooder is  ( for those who do not know) is a place to keep the chicks warm until they grow feathers enough..and the outdoor temps are warm enough..that they can go outside in their coop.  Last year..When I bought 11 chicks from the co-op..I kept them in them basement..I made a brooder out of an old trunk..and a heat lamp from a 60 watts bulb and fixture.
However..This year..I have the potential of hatching 25-33 chicks...and will need a larger space...This  gave me  pause..as I do not have space in my coop to section off an area to brood chicks..and for the first couple of weeks..its best to do it in the house, where I can control the heat.
But my husband is very close to finishing our basement..and I have no "rough" basement area to corner off and put a LARGE box in.
But I came up with an idea!
A local Hardware store has sold and is selling off stock at clearence prices..and I noticed a small plastic wading pool about 4 feet across!!
THis would be PERFECT..it is plastic so will protect the floor of where ever I choose to place it..and will be easy to clean afterwards!!
NOW..the only problem left..was how to keep the chicks inside it once they grow big enough to hop the 8 inch edge...Then I had another IDEA!! Also at the same hardware store..I bought his last 2 remaining rolls of 24 inch high chicken wire...I bought this to put around my garden this year..just to train my dogs not to go in that area..And while I slept..or tried to, last night..I came up with a plan...why not do the same with the chick pool???
My husband stopped tonight at the same hardware store and..at my request..picked up six, 3 foot lengths of 1/4 inch dowel...and here is what I did!

TA DA!!!!!
We wound the wire around the pool..holding it up with the dowel..when we reached the end..we just over lapped the edge ..pulled it tight..and sewed the ends through with the last stick of dowel..it holds the wire snug agains the pool sides!!  It is also completely collapsable and reusable!!!  I am already saving newspaper to shred in the shredder for bedding..and my husband will bring in the heat lamp from the coop ( they won't need it now till next winter) and rig it up to hang over top!!! I will take pictures once the chicks are in the brooder!! This is in my sewing room..which is the most unused area in the basement right now.
Hey Folks! Here is an update on the brooder...It is now in my front porch. I have surrounded it by an old piece of roofing tin..to keep the dogs and some drafts out...
and am now testing it for temprature.

If the temps are to hot or too cold..I will simply adjust the height of the lamp..The chicks are due to hatch in a few days..and I want to be ready!

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