Building a Bigger Brooder

big brooder

There is no space left in the brooder. The chicks have gotten too fed up with each and there is more squawking than we can stand. They are still too young to move into the coop not to mention the snow and wide temperature swings that could potentially kill them. It’s time to get creative and take drastic action. We cut a number of large packing boxes boxes open and duct taped them together into a large 7 X 7 foot box in our basement spare bedroom. We put a tarp underneath it, a tarp on the inside of it, lined it with protective paper an then dropped in pine shavings. The room has it’s own thermostat so we brought it up to 80 degrees and the hung a heat lamp over the box to keep the box at 85. Works like a charm! Although a bit dusty. Hopefully this will only be for 2 weeks maximum.

It is so nice to finally see the chicks run, jump and flap their wings. We started to see more chicken like activity like scratching and pecking the ground. Now they are starting to establish a pecking order. They come face to face with the competition, stretch up tall and start bumping chests! It’s a riot! Much more fun to play with them in their new environment.

The Chicks in the Mail


This is an empty brooder. Why is it empty? The newly hatched chicks were mailed 2 days ago and still haven’t arrived! The best way to get a cheaper, high quality chick is to mail order them. It’s recommended to find a hatchery close to you, and this one was only 10 hours away. I’m stressing…..a little. The chicks feed off of the yolk up to 3 days. I’m sure we’ll get a call first thing in the morning.  

For those of  you who don’t know what a brooder is, it’s a box that heats up with a lamp to 95 degrees. That’s how warm the chicks need to stay for the first week of their life. The temperature is lowered 5 degrees a week until the temperature in their coop matches the temp they have lowered to. Our neighbor was kind enough to loan us his extra techy version!

We are getting 30 chicks + 1 surprise exotic chick that came free with the order. It’s going to be fun to figure out what type it is! Because we bought so many, we won’t be able to keep them in the brooder for more than two weeks. There won’t be enough room. Then into the coop they go with a heat lamp!
Can’t wait until tomorrow when I get the call from the post office saying “come get these chicks out of here!”

And by the way, this is the first time I’ve given my husband permission to go pick up some chicks if I can’t make it!


The Coop Room

Coop room

We just finished up the inside of the coop, minus the linoleum we plan to put down to ease the clean up process. We put small perches in front of the nesting boxes and the raised the roosts. But the best addition is this wall to divide a small room we can use for multiple purposes including storage for feed and cleaning supplies, separating an injured chicken, or even a brooding space.

The outside is fully painted, including the trim, leaving the inside bare. Less chemicals for the chickens to get exposed to.

Unfortunately we ran out of energy so the linoleum will have to wait until later in the week.