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Our Brooder Box & Chicken Coop

When we were closing on our current house just a few months ago I felt so impatient because I couldn't wait to be able to get our first chicks! To be able to raise our own eggs and have our children share in the experience is something we always wanted to be able to do. In Georgia, our house didn't have a very large backyard and it sloped down to a creek so it wasn't the most usable space. When we were house hunting we made sure to find a house that had a decent sized fenced in backyard for not only our kids and our dogs but for us to be able to have chickens and a large vegetable garden. 

I did a lot of research on Pinterest and looked at different blogger recommendations for things like brooder boxes, coops, chicken runs, what to feed them, what not to feed them, what type of bedding to use, the best treats, etc. I'm not going to tell you that only one thing is the right way of doing it. Just do your research, see what is available near you or how easily you can access some things and do what not only is in the best interest of the chickens but what works well for you. My only piece of advice, and I didn't know this until a popular chicken blogger shared a story of a popular farm burning down and several animals dying, that heat lamps are a big NO NO! Just don't do it. Just say no. You do not want to burn your house down or even worse have something happen to you and your family because of a $20 heat lamp. There are several different ways of safely heating your brooder box and I encourage you to do some research and choose one of them. The original heating source in our home was electric baseboard heaters and while we don't use them as our main heating source because we have a gas HVAC system we did put their brooder box in an unused room that we could turn on the electric baseboard heater. We have been successful in keeping the temperature ideal and our chicks are doing very well. 

So obviously you'll have to create a brooder box. There are so many different ways of doing this, and you can find them all over the web, but I am going to show you what we did for relatively cheap. 

We built our brooder box using a extra large storage container with a locking lid. We initially had a container about half the size and found out that chickens grow extremely quickly and we wanted to give them more space so we just built them a larger one until it warms up enough for the chicks to be transferred outside to their coop. 

My husband cut out 2/3 of the lid and attached hardware fabric using zip ties. The part of the lid that wasn't removed is where he attached hooks to hang their feeder and waterer. He also used a wooden dowel to create a low perch for them. We have been using the wood shavings for our bedding in the brooder box. We will probably continue using the wood shavings inside their coop but use the all purpose sand for the chicken run so it's easier to clean. 

As you can see in the pictures above the chickens can see out from all sides and most of the lid is screened allowing appropriate air circulation. 

Here's a close up picture of the hardware fabric we used as the screen and you can see the black zip ties the hubby used to secure it. 

You can see the feeders hanging in the back of the brooder box under the part of the lid that isn't removed. The chicks can easily access both the feeder and the waterer at these heights. 

Hey girls! How's the bigger space treating ya?

They really seem to be enjoying the bigger space. We have two Buff Orpingtons named Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn. We then have a Rhode Island Red named Reba. We have really been enjoying watching them grow and pretty soon they'll be moving outside to the coop. I'll share some pics of the new coop we put together for them below. We got such an amazing deal ($150 OFF!) on it because apparently the store found it out in one of their sheds and it was an older model they didn't sell anymore. We will be adding some things to it to winterize it before next Fall but it's perfect for now. The girls will also have a tunnel attached to the little bottom door of the run that'll run along the backside of the raised vegetable garden beds and they'll get to free range and help with pest control. 

(6 foot ceilings in the run)
(photobombed by Daisy Mae)
(the nesting boxes)
(tray in coop pulls out for easier cleaning)

Well that's it! Our new, bigger brooder box for the girls and their coop that's waiting for them when the Wyo weather stays consistently warmer and their old enough to be moved. I hope this gives you some inspiration for your brooder box. It doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. Now go enjoy (or get) your baby chicks! 


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