‘Tis the season for brooding chicks and I thought I would show you how we brood ours. There are tons of creative ideas out there and so many ways to successfully brood chicks. Though my favorite way is under a hen – sometimes we need to brood them ourselves. We have been using this same method for several years and are very happy with it.
We use big plastic storage bins as the brooder boxes. Mtn Man cut off the tops and put welded wire on them with some duct tape to be sure the chicks are safe from the cats. We house the brooders in a room the cats don’t go in, but accidents happen and we don’t want to risk them getting eaten if a door gets left open.
We actually have 3 bins, but only two have the lids and are used as brooders, then the third box fits the same lids and makes for easy cleaning.
To clean them we simply move the chicks, heater, food and water into the extra bin and put the lid on it. Then we can dump the bin they were in and put new shavings in it. Then we move the chicks and equipment from the second brooder into the now-clean first brooder bin and put the lid on it. Then we dump the second brooder and put new shavings in it and it is ready to be used for the next cleaning. It makes it super fast and easy to clean – it takes less than 10 minutes.
Inside the brooder box we have food and water on a piece of lumber or a flat rock to help hold it up out of the shavings. We use the little round plastic water/food dishes you see here because they are inexpensive and interchangeable. And we also have a brooder heater in each bin.
We use the Brinsea EcoGlow 20 brooder heaters – we have two of them. We LOVE them. We have had them for 5 years now and have used them many times to brood chicks (I am guessing they have each had close to 42 weeks of use in 5 years time – 294 days – 7,056 hours of use) and they are still going strong without any problems. They are so much safer than heat lights. We use them both in the brooder boxes, and out in the barn and coops when we move the chicks out until they are fully feathered. They fit nicely in our brooder bins too.
We have sometimes had to use a heat lamp for a short period of time for one reason or another, and whenever we do it makes me realize yet again how much we like these brooder heaters. And no, I am not at all involved with Brinsea nor have I been compensated to say this. We just really feel like this is a product that is totally worth the money if you plan to brood chicks. We are very glad we bought them all that time ago. You can read some more details about them and tips about using them in this post that I did back when we first got them.
So that is how we brood our chicks here at WCF! How do you brood your chicks?