Build a Low-Cost Mobile Brooder Box

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

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