I’ve had my share of make shift brooders, and all the headaches that go with it. Anybody who has raised baby chicks knows all about cardboard boxes, plastic storage containers, dog crates, etc… as make-do brooders. Flimsy chicken wire tops that shred your arms during cleaning, and an aching back from crawling around the floor for six weeks is another consequence of not having the right equipment.
I searched online for something suitable to build for raising baby chicks. My husband is willing to take the challenge, so this is what I found…
I want to raise this brooder up on legs, have two riser platforms for a drinker/feeder, and a bar attached above for a heat lamp.
Build it Right the First Time
As a chicken keeper myself, I can’t stress enough the importance of having adequate housing for your birds. Saving money by building too small will inevitably prove a bad investment when you become overwhelmed by the difficult chore of keeping it clean. Cramped housing also presents problems among the social ranking of the pecking order, thus causing injuries and poor egg production as a result.
A chicken coop is a place you will be spending time in too. Tending to chickens must be done whether its raining, snowing, freezing, or smoldering hot. It only makes sense to build a convenient and spacious coop that you will enjoy, after all, nothing is fun when it becomes a dreadful chore.
Remember, you can build small, but when it’s all said and done the first egg usually ends up costing $750. If that sounds like a lot of money, be warned, it could double after two seasons, when you feel the need to upgrade your coop. Buy smart and build it right the first time!
Vinyl Shed with a Floor, Windows and Doors, Costco, $600
It’s easy to find a suitable chicken coop, but for the money they always seem too small. If you do find one that’s roomy enough, the price is rather spendy, at least for what it is. Certainly can’t use a store bought chicken coop and not worry about it being wind proof, or rain proof. You’ll be spending a lot of time and more money draping tarps over it, or worse, nailing boards to a flimsy framework . I think if you’ve spent any time on-line looking for a chicken coop, you’ve already seen everything you really want is well over $300. That will only accommodate about 4-6 birds and not exactly with enough room to spread their wings so to speak.
This shed from Costco is ideal, if you build a shelf on three sides about half way up for nest boxes you have created the perfect set-up. There’s ample space for feeders and a water source, so you have less to worry about in inclement weather. This shed provides a safe haven from predators when you close it up at night, and there’s no need to worry about ventilation because they have windows!
If your worried about how they hold up, don’t. Folks have been using them as tack rooms on ranches for years here in Phoenix. They’re pretty tough considering they bake out in the sun where temperatures reach 115+ degrees.
Another point to consider is this shed will be far more useful over the years, a chicken coop is what it is – and probably not for very long. So what are you waiting for? Build a fence around it and you’re in business!