I’m gonna miss hearing the “cheep, cheep, cheep. . . “ of baby chicks this spring. Our current backyard flock is still healthy and laying strong, so it could be another couple years before we get to raise another batch of chicks.
I’ll be ready for them, anyway.
The first time we raised chicks, we rigged up a large cardboard contraption as their brooder and kept them in the garage. It did the trick, and as new chicken owners we had a lot of excess energy to put into making it work. Daily cleanup was a process, and the final cleanup (dust everywhere) was even more involved.
This last go-round, we brooded them outside in the hen house of The Garden Ark, then graduated them to The Garden Coop hen house. That worked out really well, since keeping them outside also kept the dust outside.
But next time, the coops may still be occupied, so we’re gonna start them in one of these wire cage brooders that
we now offer at TheGardenCoop.com. [UPDATE: We no longer offer these, but please see our Buyer’s Guide for brooder options.]
How do you brood your backyard chicks? What’s worked and not worked for you? Leave a comment below and let us know!
3 thoughts on “NEW: Chick Brooder Cages”
We actually keep a wire kennel in the lower back corner of our Garden Coop (which we enclosed on the 3 exterior sides below the coop) to separate broody hens and as a brooder, when needed. We added a layer of hardware cloth around the kennel’s sides to keep little chicks contained, and instead of a heat lamp which can cause fires, we use a heating plate. This has worked well even in cold temps, and our older hens quickly become adjusted to the babies so by the time they are old enough to be released from the brooder, there’s very few squabbles. (After release, we still keep the cage door open for a week or two so the littles have a place to retreat, if needed. We’ve also noticed that they will still sleep in the kennel until they begin roosting with the flock.) This has worked so well, we’re actually planning to build in a permanent broody/brooder box in this area.
Found some large topless plywood boxes behind a shop in my area. They are 32x39x 36. They were happy to have me pick them up. I’m sure with a little modification I can make acouple of chicken brooders out of them. May even sell one of them to recoup (pun intended) some of the cost. I will use a homemade waterer using the pkg of nipple waterers I purchached from you. Will send pics when they are finished.
Great set-up! We used a dog crate in the past (lined with cardboard to keep the shavings, etc. from falling out the sides). This year we’re moving up to large, 100-gallon galvanized stock tanks that we can re-purpose as livestock water troughs down the road.
I think cleaning is going to be a lot more difficult, but I’m glad to have solid sides to keep the mess somewhat contained.