It’s been two weeks since we brought our baby chicks home and so far we’ve enjoyed having them. They are getting so big which saddens me because they are slowly loosing their fluff and getting their big girl feathers. I mean, I know they need their feathers and all but they are just so cute when they are just little balls of fluff. Though we are exited for them to grow into adult chickens so we can start gathering eggs from them.
So far our chicken adventure has been pretty smooth sailing. The only really big adventure we’ve, I mean my hubby, has been having to clean one of our chick’s butt free from her poo. Chicks can get this thing called Pasty Butt and you have to make sure that their butts stay clean. Other wise you’ll need to clean their little butts out so other problems don’t develop.Past this small problem, we’ve been having a great time with our chicks!
DIY Brooder Box
For the first six or so weeks of a chicken’s life, they live in what’s called a brooder box. There are many different things you can use for a brooder box. What you use is a personal choice and somewhat depends on how many chick’s you are going to have. Some ideas of what you could use for a brooder box are a cardboard box, large plastic tubs, plywood box, or cattle stock tank. Due to my fear of melting plastic and burning cardboard, we went with building our brooder box out of plywood. It ended up costing around $17, which when you think about it, is about what it would cost to buy a plastic tub around the same size of our brooder box. (unless you have one lying around the house)
Here’s how we built our brooder box.
- 1 sheet of 4’x16′ plywood
- Chicken Wire
- 2: 8′ 2×2
- 1: 11′ 2×4
1. First we cut our plywood down to size. We did this by cutting our plywood down from 4’x16′ sheet of plywood into four 2’x4′ pieces. Then we took one of the fours pieces and cut in half so that it was 2’x2′.
2. Once our pieces were cut, we started constructing our brooder box. First we attached the 2x2x2 (which we forgot to buy, so we took some 2×4’s we had lying around and ripped them down to size) to the 4′ long plywood. Then we screwed in the 2′ long pieces of plywood to create our box. After we were done creating the walls, we attached our bottom by just putting a couple screws through it into the walls. We also attached in two 2×2 around 44″ long along the long walls at the bottom to of our box to give a little more stability to it.
3. After our brooder box was complete, we created the lid and post to hang the heat lamp off of. For the lid we took two 2x2x4’s and two 2×4’s at 20″ and screwed them together. We slightly inset the 2×4’s so that they would set inside the box to help keep the lid on and our dog and cat out. To make the post for the heat lamp, we just took a 2x4x4, screwed it into one side of the box and then screwed a 2x4x2 onto the top of it. To add a little extra support for our heat lamp we attached in a corner brace.
4. Once our brooder box was completed, we moved it from our shop into the back room of our garage and set it all up for our chicks. We hung our heat lamp with some link chain and carabiner clips. This makes it easy of us to raise our lamp up every week. (by raising it up, it helps lower the temperature in the box)
So far our brooder box has been working out great. Our chicks have plenty of room to run around and when they get bigger but can’t be in the coop yet, they’ll still have enough room to move around. Now we just need to build their coop, so in a couple of weeks, when they are ready to be moved, they’ll have a home to go to.
I hope you are enjoying following along in our chickens adventures and if you are new to this series make sure to check out my other post on our six chicks.