Heat a Seedling Shelf with a Chicken Brooder

Are you raising chicks and starting seedlings this year? These two springtime activities can be completed in the same room to help you work smarter, not harder.

| February/March 2015

  • Chicken Brooder Seedling Shelf
    Combine two spring activities for a more efficient seed-starting setup.
    Photo by John M. Williams

  • Chicken Brooder Seedling Shelf

We live in gardening Zone 4a, and in early spring, we use our mud porch as a makeshift greenhouse. We have less space than the average greenhouse, so we have to make every square inch count. One of the clever things we’ve done is use our brooder, stocked with chicks, to heat the porch. 

We then place our seedling flats above the chicken brooder’s heat lamps, on a table or atop 2-by-4-foot frames covered with hardware cloth. The heat from the brooder radiates up, increasing our germination rates dramatically and allowing us to start plants earlier. The chicks exhale carbon dioxide, which improves seedling growth, while the plants release oxygen for the birds.

John M. Williams
Aurora, Wisconsin

5/22/2018 10:41:35 PM

I use the plans at WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG to build my own DIY projects – I highly recommend you visit that website and check their plans out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling… there’s like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha. Go to WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG if you want some additional plans :)

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