You can make your Brooder from simple materials, and it may be as basic or complex as you want.
We’re creating the Brooder for this project made from a simple, easy-to-modify, plastic storage tote. The Brooder’s design is based on the size of the plastic storage tote we had, but if your brooder box is different in size, you can make any necessary adjustments.
When raising chicks on a brooder, there are several critical criteria to follow, including:
Temperature: The temperature should start at 95 ° F for newly hatched chicks, but every week, as the chicks grow and develop feathers, they should drop by 5 ° F. Generally, the heat can be adjusted by raising the lamp higher and further away from the Brooder or by using a dimmer switch.
In any event, a thermometer must be kept inside the Brooder so you can monitor the temperature. Be vigilant of your chicks’ actions as well. It could be too cold if the chicken get crowded under the light. Conversely, if they are spread out and appear to move out of the area directly under the light, the Brooder could be too warm.
Cleanliness: It is vital for the bedding to remain dry and clean to prevent the moisture and bacteria that can make the vulnerable chicks to become ill. A few inches of pine shavings may work well, but don’t use cedar splinters because they’re not safe.
Size: Don’t clutter the Brooder; if you raise a large number of chicks, you can always build or use a box with larger dimensions.
DIY Brooder Instructions
Step 1: Measure and Cut Lid
Start with adjustments to the Brooder’s cap. A hole of 9 1⁄2 by 14 inches is almost right for the dimensions of our storage tote. Leave a few spare inches at each side of the hole free to prevent interference with the locking mechanism and structural parts of the cover. Use your ruler and pencil to draw straight lines and carefully remove the plastic using the utility knife.
Step 2: Measure and Cut Hardware Fabric
Use wire snipers to cut out a 101⁄2-by-15-inch section of 1⁄2-inch hardware cloth. This spacing will allow plenty of airflows but still keeps the chicks protected. Wear gloves and eye protection when handling the hardware cloth. Set aside the hardware fabric for a moment once you’ve cut it.
Step 3: Drill Holes
Then, use the 1⁄2-inch plywood strips to create a plastic frame around the hole. Use the electric drill to make a few holes in the plywood strip and the plastic underneath once the frame is in place. Use a drill bit of only a little larger diameter than the bolt diameter
Step 4: Add Bolts
Place the hardware cloth back under the plywood with the holes prepared in the plywood and plastic. To secure the hardware cloth in place, use the1-inch bolts and nut. Tighten bolts with pliers and a screwdriver.
Step 5: Add Accessories
Provide a few inches of bedding to the Brooder, a feeder, and a watering system for the chicks and a thermometer to monitor the temperature inside the coop.
Step 6: Place the Lamp and Test Temperature
Before using, test the Brooder. Kindly mount the thermometer, pointing to the hole on the lid and watch until you reach the temperature you want. You will have to change the wattage/distance of the heat light and experiment until you get the correct combination to give you the right temperature.