Ah, Spring. That time of year when fuzzy baby chicks flood the feed stores and chicks go to new homes on impulse buys. I admit- I’ve been known to surprise the hubby with a few new chicks “just because.” But I also knew I had a ready to go chick brooder box for them. Buying chicks shouldn’t be a spur of the moment thing. You need to be prepared!
There are so many different brooders out there. Tote boxes, kiddie pools, cardboard boxes, playpens… There are a lot of options! Knowing your future plans will help a lot when you decide what kind of chick brooder is best for your homestead.
First Time Chick Brooders
So it’s your first time getting chickens. Your cute fluffy butts are on their way and you need a brooder, but you’re not sure if you’ll ever do it again. A cardboard box, Rubbermaid tote, or dog crate lined with cardboard all make great makeshift chick brooders that can be repurposed or thrown away when your chicks have grown.
Not Quite Professional Chick Brooders
So you’re ready to move up from the disposable chick brooders. You’re pretty sure you’ll be brooding chicks again, but not sure when exactly or how many. There are still a lot of great options for you to have something not quite permanent. If you’re one of those people who hasn’t quite cleaned out the basement yet and still have all the equipment that your own babies used, those folding playpens actually make great brooders that store away for the next season easily. A feed tub or stock tank also make great chick brooders and can be repurposed on the farm when not in use. Rubbermaid tubs fall under this category too if you want to make them fancy brooders. A bit of cutting and some hardware cloth and you’ve got a brooder that will last you through many, many chicks.
Hardcore Chick Brooders
If you’ve finally decided that the farm life is for you and you know you’ll be raising many, many chicks for years to come, perhaps even to sell, these more permanent chick brooders are for you. They take some DIY, but let’s face it, if you’ve decided the farm life is for you, your life is now all things DIY.
I love this one from Mr. Animal Farm that has legs! No more bending over to change feed and water and bedding. Livin Lovin Farmin has taken upcycling to a new level and turned a bookshelf into their chick brooder. The lid is so fancy!
And of course, I love my brooder. It’s not so much a box as a “chick corral.” With it’s three walls that fold in and mesh lid, it goes in the coop with the big chickens and helps them all get acquainted from day one. It’s easy to clean and store away when out of use too. Get the full DIY instructions and build your own here!
No matter what kind of Chicken Mama you are, there are so many options for chick brooders out there. You’re sure to find the exact one that will work for you. Once you know what kind of brooder you want, don’t forget the feeder to hold the starter chick feed, the waterer, a heat source for the little fluffy butts, and whatever sort of bedding you decide is best for your chicks.
Don’t forget to take a tour of our chicken coop too!
Thinking about hatching your own? Get all the info you need in this great tutorial!