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Build a better brooder (chick brooder)

Many homesteaders use cardboard boxes for brooding chicks. Here's a way to make that basic brooder better.

Many of you have probably raised chickens. And many of you have probably had to construct or buy a chick brooder. As you know, brooders range from a simple box with a light bulb to fancy metal bins with propane fueled burners. There are also many different designs in between, but we think one of the easiest, cheapest, and quickest of these is the one that we designed when we first began raising chickens.

Our model is constructed of two cardboard book boxes (like the kind that you get when moving).

First you need to unfasten all the glued or stapled flaps so you can collapse the box.

With a pair of scissors, cut straight down one corner and unfold it. You will now have half of the brooder (See Fig. A).

Do the same with the other box.

When finished, overlay a small side flap of one box onto a small side flap of the other box and tape well with masking tape.

Next, bend up all the flaps that are on the bottom, and make a hexagon shaped ring by bringing together the two loose large side panels. Tape these together so as to make it draft proof. Now all the flaps underneath should be crossed over each other.

After positioning the ring to make it neat, take all the flaps that are underneath and tape them to each other. (Make sure that they are all inside the ring.)

Now turn the brooder over and tape the flaps on their other side. Turning the brooder again, fold down all the flaps that are on top and tape them underneath and on top. You will now have a ledge that hangs over the inside of the brooder. In addition to trapping heat, this also makes it stronger. Cut two pieces of four mil plastic sheeting to the size and shape of the bottom of the brooder. Once again turning it upside down, tape one piece of plastic outside on the bottom and the other piece inside. Now tape, securely, every possible place where a draft could flow through, and you have your own inexpensive, efficient chicken brooder.

All there is left to do is fill the brooder with whatever litter you choose and hang a heat lamp at the appropriate height. This brooder comfortably holds approximately 30 chickens for two weeks.

When your chickens begin to outgrow this brooder, you can make another; except this time, use three boxes instead of two. This brooder should last until they are ready for the hen house.

We had our chicks in the basement where it stays at about 60 degrees year round, and the brooder held the heat very well; I must say I think our chickens were very pleased.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Countryside Publications Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Meusel, Justin
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Nov 1, 1993
Previous Article:Save eggshells for starting seeds.
Next Article:Chickens for meat without the butchering.

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