New Brooder for Baby Chicks

The last time we raised day-old chicks, we got the babies later in the season. They were able to go outside and enjoy warm weather fairly early in their lives. This time, we got our chicks at the beginning of March which means that we'll soon have finicky April weather to deal with. The reality is that our chicks may have to spend much of their second month of life indoors.

So, we built a bigger brooder/coop with the long-term in mind. We combined purposes!

We started with coop plans from Building Chicken Coops for Dummies and adapted them. We were lucky because we were able to keep costs down by using the last of our scrap wood. For the brooder stage we lined the walls with plastic chicken mesh and brown paper to keep in the heat and keep out our curious indoor cats. We used the cover we built for the plastic tub brooder as a door. We lined the wood floor with newspaper and then covered it with wood chips.

We plan for this brooder/coop to stay in place until the babies can go outside permanently. At that point, we'll take the coop outside, give it wood walls and elevate it off the ground. It will; hopefully, be used as a "junior" coop until the babies can join our existing flock. After that, we'll keep it as an isolation coop should it be needed.


Construction is under way.


We've moved the brooder/coop inside and added a roof, paper on the sides and clean bedding.


With the front door on, the brooder light hooked up and a perching branch installed, the chicks are exploring their new home.


The door's closed and everyone is cozy!
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