Build a Low-Cost Mobile Brooder Box

Use these simple plans to construct your own incredibly versatile brooder box. You can set it up to house a broody hen or to raise mail-order chicks, you can use it inside or outdoors, and — best of all — you can build it on the “cheep.”
By MOTHER EARTH NEWS Editors
December 2012/January 2013
Add to My MSN

This mobile DIY brooder box design works for broody hens or mail-order chicks and for both indoor and outdoor use.
Illustration By Elayne Sears


Content Tools

Related Content

Wrong About Freedom Rangers

I was wrong about Freedom Rangers. Freedom Rangers are pretty close to Cornish Cross chickens. The F...

How Do You Support Sustainable Farming?

Here's a helpful guide to help you make sustainable choices while shopping or out to eat. What else ...

A Mama Hen's Worst Fears: Moving Chicks Into the Henhouse

As mama hens, is there ever really a time when we don’t worry about our little chicks?

Using a Foster Broody Hen to Raise Chicks

Instead of using a heat lamps to brood just a few chicks, consider using a broody hen to do the job....

We’ve designed a secure, lightweight brooder box that is relatively easy and inexpensive to make for indoor and outdoor use. You can house a broody hen on her eggs, or use the box to raise mail-order chicks from a hatchery.

The frameless wire cage is made from 1-by-2-inch welded wire (not poultry netting) and is about 3 feet wide by 4 to 5 feet long by 2 feet high. The wire sections are attached using J-clips. The lid has folded-down, 4-inch sides for added security. A large plastic tub set inside the cage serves as a weatherproof, easy-to-clean shelter, with a low-cut door for the mother hen and her chicks to go in and out. To raise chicks without a broody hen, secure an electric light bulb inside the tub (be sure you use a bulb size and placement that won’t melt the plastic tub).

Read more: Raise Your Best Flock Using Broody Hens 








Post a comment below.

 

Amber Baker
1/4/2013 2:56:25 AM
Thanks jean. I was wondering why they didn't suggest a floor but your idea of cardboard is great. I had thought of wood but cardboard is sturdy, lightweight, compostable, and it can be a great way to recycle.

Jean Nick
11/14/2012 3:30:21 PM
Be sure to cover the floor with something like cardboard or newspaper to keep tiny chick feet from going through the holes -- especially if you ever plan to pick the cage up and move it with the chicks loose inside it, or even slide it a few inches sideways. Tiny legs and toes break very easily if caught under the floor wire. You'll save yourself heartache and weeks of splinting tiny feet with tape and matchsticks..and feeling like a heel.








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.