The rest of the hours between No Peeps and When We Leave Go Get The Peeps have been filled thus far with activities and projects to make sure we have somewhere warm and safe for the girls to go once they come home.
We have feed. We have a feeder. We have a waterererer. We have a heat lamp and an infrared bulb. We have white wood shavings.
And now we have a brooder.
Not a fancy-pants brooder, but a rigged one that I feel will do the trick- for $13- without a lot of fuss.
Here's what I used:
- 1 18-gallon tote with latching lid
- 1 scrap of 1/2" 19-gauge hardware cloth
- lightweight wire (salvaged from one of the rolls of hardware cloth used in the coop)
- Duck Tape
Here's what I did:
|Wearing safety goggles, I cut just inside the recess of the lid all the way around (the hubs says the "saw" I used|
was actually a grinder with the guard removed, so maybe here do as I say and not as I do).
|I then removed the flap and tossed it in the recycling.|
|Next I drilled holes roughly 2" apart all around the remaining recess of the lid.|
|With tin snips, I cut the scrap of hardware cloth to size,|
making sure it was larger than the recessed part of the lid
but smaller than the lid itself.
|Using the salvaged wire I "sewed" the hardware cloth onto the lid, |
using the holes I drilled (this is a view from the underside of the lid).
So there you have it, our rigged chick brooder. According to my various go-to chicken how-to resources, chicks need 6 square inches of space per bird in a brooder for the first 2-3 weeks, and a minimum of 1 square foot after that until they go out to the coop. Because they need their small brooder for such a short time and we're just starting out in this whole process, it felt wise to do something that didn't require a huge investment.
It seems there are 100 right ways to get a flock started, and after I have some experience under my belt I may figure out there are 100 better ways to go about it, but for now I'm feeling good about this project, and I'm looking forward to filling it up!