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Today, I want to show you how you can build a chicken brooder out of almost anything and how you can use your chicken brooder as a mini chicken tractor to fertilize your garden for free.
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What Is a Chicken Brooder For?
The purpose of a chicken brooder is to keep your chicks warm while their feathers come. It can also be used to protect them against predators and the weather. It also gives your chicks easy access to food and water whenever they need it.
How to Build a Chicken Brooder out of Almost Anything
It is really easy to build a chicken brooder out of almost anything as long as it accomplishes those things. And if you know me, I’m a big fan of reusing things that you already have to build stuff on your farm.
Today, I’m going to take this old bookshelf and I’m going to apply what I’ve told you and turn it into a chicken brooder. And not only that, I’m going to build this chicken brooder in a way so I can utilize it to fertilize my garden for free. So, let’s get started.
I’ve removed all the shelves out of it and I’ve removed the crown molding off of it. I’m going to put the open side on the ground so I’m going to flip it over and cut a hole in the top of it so I have access to my chickens.
Here’s what the completed chicken brooder looks like.
Here is the hole that I cut in the top. Inside, you’ll see my heat lamp and bulb as well as food and water for the chicks. You’ll also notice that the bottom is open. The reason for this is because I want to use this chicken brooder as a mini chicken tractor in my garden. Every day, once they’re done with this spot, I’m going to move it. That way they’ll have a new place to forage and a new spot to fertilize. And the best part is I won’t have to spend any time cleaning this thing out.
In this picture, I have the hole open that’s on the top but normally that’s covered in chicken wire. You are going to want to build yours in a similar way because you don’t want your chicks to get too hot, especially, if it’s a sunny day. At night you can cover the it up with a piece of wood or something else to keep the heat in if necessary. You’ll also want to cover it up to keep the rain out if it’s raining.
You should also build it in a way to keep the predators out. You’ll notice in the background that I actually have electric poultry netting going around my garden which offers an extra layer of protection.
Also, make sure you build your chicken brooder big enough so your chicks can get away from the heat lamp to cool off. You’ll probably want to turn the heat lamp completely off on a warm and sunny day so they don’t overheat. And, try to avoid low spots in your garden in case it rains because you don’t want it to flood them out.
How to Build a Chicken Brooder out of Pallets
Like I said, you can build one of these out of almost anything. Here’s a few pictures of another one that I built.
As you can see, this one is built out of pallets. What I did is I put pallets up on their side and I screwed them all together. I then covered the entire structure in chicken-wire except for the top and the bottom.
The great thing about building this brooder out of pallets is that it breathes a lot better than the other one. The downside though is it’s a lot heavier than the other one I built and it’s much harder to move.
IMPORTANT: I have created a YouTube video outlining each step, however, I highly recommend watching the video and reading the article on loading pigs below which includes some additional information.
So that’s how you can build a chicken brooder out of almost anything as well as use it as a mini chicken tractor to fertilize your garden for free. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. I’m always happy to help.
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