Thursday, May 30, 2013

Baby Chicken Brooder

Well, hubby and I thought it would be fun if we documented the start of the whole chicken raising process that we are going through.  We recently built the brooder, this is where they will spend their first month or so.
Then we will build a nursery/breeder, and then the real coop (which will be movable around the yard as well as when we move from the house we are renting).  The Brooder turned out amazing!  Much better than I thought it would, but, as you can probably guess, hubby designed it and he's so smart and a real thinker.  So here we go.

Okay, here is what the inside of part of the top looks like.  We designed it so that the top can slip onto the other pieces to hold it all together, then we don't have to worry about things getting inside it and its all one piece.

These are the two pieces that comprise the top of the brooder.  We used a lot of 2x2 to make the forms and some other boards, they look like 1x4.  The whole brooder will be 4 foot by 4 foot, and I think 2 feet tall.  So, we just got 8 foot and 12 feet lengths of wood and cut it with the saw.  We put those little triangles of excess wood that we had leftover from the garden stakes to add some extra support for the door.  

The top is done!  Only one side of the top opens, so we used hinges to attach that securely.  On the right, there is a latch that we will use to keep the door down, so that if any critters do get in the garage they shouldn't be able to access the babies.

We thought about using chicken wire and screen (for mouses), but we found this kind of mesh stuff at Lowe's and decided to go this direction.  We got a heavy duty upholstery stapler to attach it to the door, which worked a heck of a lot better than nailing staples in.  Also, we used a nail gun run by a cute tiny air compressor, and it sure did a fantastic job and made quick work of the whole brooder.  We only used real screws in a few places and almost a full bottle of wood glue.
We have the one side of the top open to let out some of the heat from the heat lamps and give the chicks a cool place to be, otherwise they would probably melt and it wouldn't be good for them.  This way, if they are cold (which I doubt will be the case) they can hang out under the heat lamp or they can run to the different parts of the brooder.  They're actually really smart little animals.  

Here is the base of the brooder put together with screws.  We have made it so that it will come apart and store well so when we have little chick babies again we can put it back together and use it again.  We put a little hole on one side in the 1x4 near the top so that we could run the cord for the heat lamp and that it wouldn't cause problems with the door.  Then hubby got a nail and made a hook on the top part so that we can hang it with some wire.

This is with the top resting on it.  It's so freakin' awesome!  I'm so excited!!!!  It is by far our best brooder that we have ever made (probably the most expensive too, but we're not talking about that).  Plus it is just so light and easy to handle.  Excellent!

We decided to paint it green.  I hate painting.  The paint is a cool dark green, its by Olympic, and its called (I wanna say) Dark Green Velvet, but that seems had green velvet in it, I know that much.  My memory is sooo bad!  Ugh!  Here's the painted top part...

And the four sides..
Oh yeah, we decided to paint it because, number one, it looks really cool and really good, and if we are going to use it again it might as well be nice.  And number two, painting it should help it last a lot longer in the stupid humidity that we have out here.  Theoretically anyway, its just a guess, we don't know!  But it feels right, so we'll go with it!

We pick up the baby chicks from Murray McMurray Hatchery on Saturday Morning, June 1!  We are sooooo excited!  Saturday!!!!!!!

Bedtime.  xoxo

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