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How to Build a Brooder regarding Baby Chicks

Written By Arthur king peters on Monday, 12 November 2012 | 07:30

Keep Your Baby Chicks Happy and Healthy 
In case you have been preparing for the introduction of some fluffy baby the baby birds, you'll need a brooder on their behalf. A brooder is a place that could keep the chicks contained, cozy, and dry. Typically, it involves some sort of walls, a bottom surface which might be covered with shavings, a brooder lamp fixture, and possibly a top to help keep them from flying out. It must also house their food and water.
What to Use for the Brooder

You can easily improvise the following. You do not have to get a brooder out of the hatchery catalog! But of training course, that's an option. Consider the size of the brooder. You will require about 2 square feet per chick.

a kiddie pool
the feeding trough
a plastic hard drive tub
a cardboard box
the wooden box
a fish tank

If you can find a brooder that may be about 12 inches deep, you simply won't have to worry about putting a lid into it, as the chicks won't have the capacity to fly out. If the brooder will be shallower than that, consider having a top on it so they cannot escape.

If you have inquisitive dogs or kids, or in case you are using a brooder shallower as compared to about 12 inches, a top can be be extremely helpful. The chicks need air flow, so it should be breathable. Hardware cloth or screen material works well. We used an old display door over our first brooder.
Brooder Light

You'll need a brooder lamp to help keep the chicks at the appropriate temperature. Purchase a 250-watt infrared high temperature lamp, preferably a red bulb rather then a white. You can uncover these at feed and hardware stores. You'll also need to buy a reflector and a clamp regarding mounting the bulb. Don't get DIY here; you're asking to get a fire hazard. Make sure you will get the wire guard that goes beneath bulb, too. When hanging this particular over shavings, the guard makes certain that if the lamp falls, it's unlikely to start a fire.

The height of the lamp is what's going to determine the temperature at the amount of the chicks. You'll need to experiment to learn what height works best for you. It's a really, really good idea to figure this out before the chicks arrive. And, having methods to easily adjust the height from the lamp (a piece of sequence and an S hook perform well) is handy, because daily you will reduce the heat by 5 degrees F.

To confirm that temperature, you'll need a thermometer of some kind. I've always used one using a wire and sensor so that i can read the temperature easily on the edge of the brooder, while the sensor sits right under your lamp. The chicks will peck for the wire, but they've never done any damage, and I usually tuck it under a lot of the shavings.

I like to make use of pine shavings in my brooder, after a short time on paper towels so that they chicks don't eat the shavings. Never use cedar shavings when they are toxic to poultry. Never use newspaper because the chicks can develop spraddle legs on the slipperiness of the newspaper.

One to two inches of bedding in the bottom of the brooder is satisfactory for comfy and happy the baby birds. You should change it whenever it gets overwhelmed with excrement or is stinky.
More Products

Waterers, feeders, electrolytes, and the right type of feed. Read all about it in more detail.

Supplies for Baby Chicks

Try out some of these ideas, and you'll have satisfied, healthy baby chicks for a fraction of the price of the commercial brooders. Have enjoyment!

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