Why would you need to build a chick brooder?
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So, you already know how to incubate and hatch your own chicks. You know how to set up their inital early stage brooder. But, a chicken math sets in you may find you have a need for a larger chicken brooder. We have some easy chicken brooder plans that we use to build ours.
If you have more than just a few little chicks to brood, or if they are getting older, but not quite ready for the coop (and you want them out of the house) then these chick brooder plans are for you!
When Will You Need A Larger Chicken Brooder Box?
When we started out raising chickens we would only have a few (like 10 or so) chicks at a time. So, having a pretty small chicken brooder inside the house was super easy to handle.
However, then we started raising pullets to sell. We would only get about 25 or so at a time, but that was too many to have in a small rubbermaid tote which was our original chicken brooder box. So, we built a smaller chicken brooder from 2×4’s and chicken wire in our basement.
As chicken math often times will do, those 25 chicks at a time started to increase a lot when we started breeding our own chicks regularly. We introduced about 8 different breeding pens (we build these chicken runs for our breeders and they have worked GREAT!).
So, when we started getting into hatching our own chicks regularly and we would have single hatches of 25 chicks or more.
We quickly realized that the smaller chicken brooder in the basement just wasn’t going to cut it anymore.
We were lucky enough to already have a metal storage shed (complete with electricity) already on our property. We were not currently using it. So, we started designing a larger chicken brooder to fit into our shed.
I have to tell you, it was a BIG relief to get the dusty chicks out of the house and into a shed outside. These large DIY chicken brooders work super great! We have four of them that fit snugly into our metal shed.
You could certainly put these chicken brooders in your basement if you have a large one, or in a barn area as well. We chose a metal shed because there is not hay and whatnot to blow around and create more of a fire hazard.
We have an easy guide to build a nice and sturdy chicken brooder perfect for your feathered (or almost feathered) friends.
How to start your Chicken Brooder Plans:
Before starting you will want to measure the area in which you want to put the chicken brooder. You are, of course, free to make any modifications you like so that your chicken brooder will fit comfortably wherever you choose to put it.
This set of chicken brooder plans will make a chicken brooder that is 3′ tall (1′ off the ground + 2′ brooder height), 2′ in depth, and 3′ wide.
We have actually used these chicken brooder plans to make 2 brooders this size and then we modified them slightly to make 2 additional more square chicken brooders.
This sized chicken brooder can very comfortably fit 30 – 50 chicks as day olds. Of course, as they start to get older and bigger, they will need more room.
Chicken brooder building supplies:
4 – 3′ 1×4’s (width)
4 – 3′ 1×4’s (height)
4 – 2′ 1×4’s (depth)
2 – 3′ 1×2’s for lid (width)
2 – 2′ 2″ 1×2’s for lid (depth)
2 – 2×3 sheets of plywood or 0.375-in treated/untreated wood siding panel(front/back walls)
2 – 2×2 sheets of plywood or 0.375-in treated/untreated wood siding panel (side walls)
3 – 2′ 2″ 1×2’s (support for bottom and lid)
1 Pack of 2 cabinet hinges
1 drawer handle
1? Torx screws
2 – 2′ 2″x3′ sheets of Galvanized Steel Hardware Cloth
1 1/2″ fencing staples
Drill or Screwdriver
Rubber Mallet (optional)
Chicken Brooder Plans – How to Build a Chicken brooder Step-by-Step:
1.) Build your Chicken Brooder Frame
First, measure 12″ up on each of the 3′ 1×4’s (height) and make a mark with a pencil. This 12″ section is the lower part of the brooder leg.
Line the end of one 2′ 1×4 (depth) perpendicularly with the mark you just made on the 3′ 1×4 (height) so they are flush. Screw these together.
Repeat this with another 3′ 1×4 (height). You should have 3 pieces connected to form an ‘H’.
Connect a second 2′ 1×4 (depth) to close off the top of the ‘H’ you just made. This should form an ‘A’.
Repeat the above to steps to complete construction of the chicken brooder’s sides.
Use a level to make sure each side is straight and does not wobble.
Take a 3′ (width) piece and line it flush with the lower section of the side piece where the height and depth pieces connect. Screw them together.
Repeat this with the other side piece. This should again form an ‘H’.
Connect a second 3′ (width) piece to close off the top of the ‘H’ to form an ‘A’.
You will now have 3/4’s of a box complete. Flip the box over and use your remaining 3′ (width) 1×4’s to complete the frame.
Flip your finished frame upright and make sure it is level.
2.) Close the Sides and bottom of your chicken brooder plan
With your frame lying down, line your 2×3 sheets of plywood or 0.375″ treated/untreated wood siding panel with the front opening of your frame. Screw this in place.
Flip the frame over and repeat for the back.
The side 2×2 sheets of plywood or 0.375″ treated/untreated wood siding panel may fit a bit snugly. If they will not fit easily into place you may need a rubber mallet to tap them into the proper position. Once they are in place, screw them down.
Turn the frame upside down and stretch a 2×3 sheet of Galvanized Steel Hardware Cloth across the bottom. You may need to use the wire cutters on each corner to make the sheet fit around the leg of the frame. Secure the sheet with 1 1/2″ fencing staples.
Finally, with the chicken brooder still upside down, measure 12″ in from each side and attach a 2′ 2″ 1×2’s support for bottom at each spot. You can use zip ties to secure the hardware cloth to the supports.
3.) Build and Attach the Lid of your new chicken brooder
Line one end of a 2′ 2″ 1×2 with the end of one 3′ 1×2 and screw them together; forming an ‘L’ shape.
Repeat the above step so that you have two ‘L’ shaped piece.
Connect the ‘L’ pieces together to form a box.
Take the final 2′ 2″ 1×2 and secure it in the center of the lid. It should look like a long rectangle containing two square sections or a sideways 8.
Stretch a 2×3 sheet of Galvanized Steel Hardware Cloth across the lid and secure it with more fencing staples.
Place the lid on top of your brooder and make sure everything lines up as it should.
Measure in 12″ from each side of the lid and attach a cabinet hinge to each position.
Finally, attach the drawer handle to the front of the brooder lid.
Final thoughts on these chicken brooder plans
These chick brooder plans should not take too much time to complete and your new chicken brooder will keep your fast growing chicks safe and secure!
Using the above dimensions for your chicken brooder plans should give you a brooder big enough for about 30 full sized young chicks. Of course, as they get older, they will need to be split into probably two brooders and then can be put into your coops.
These chicken brooder plans have made it possible for us to hatch a lot of chicks to sell while keeping the chicks happy and healthy with plenty of space.
Are you planning to use these exact chicken brooder plans or will you change the dimensions? We would love to see your completed chick brooders!