Ahhhh baby chicks. How can anyone resist them come spring time? I know I sure can’t.
Every year I “talk” Beau into getting a
few LOT. They are so cute and fuzzy! Then when they grow up they give you the nourishment of food (whether meat or eggs). What a wonderful way God has blessed us right?
Especially when you can do it in your own backyard.
Chickens are a great start to starting a homestead…even if you don’t own acres of land.
So…You Want Chickens! What’s Next?
Okay. SO, you decide that you want chicks and you know that you have to prepare for their arrival but are stuck with what to actually put them in when they arrive. You google search and BOOM!
You find brooders…for HUNDREDS of dollars. And…your heart sinks. At least mine did. I don’t like to pay hundreds for something that I will only use for 4-6 weeks. Even if I use them EVERY year! This is our third year buying chicks in the spring time so we have tried MANY different homemade brooders. Prior to this we usually used a good ol’ rubbermaid container. But this time Beau and I wanted something CHEAPER since we needed four of them. Say what?!?! Four? Yep. We needed four for:
- 25 Meat Chickens
- 10 Cornish Cross
- 10 Easter Egger Pullets
- 12 ducklings
A good ol’ rubbermaid container is about $18-22 for the ones we needed. That becomes super EXPENSIVE when you need four y’all. We just ‘ain’t’ paying that. So standing in Walmart we had to think of something else. And we did. A KIDDIE POOL! Beau is a granite fabricator so he brought these awesome things of cardboard home. I am sure you can find these anywhere that uses boxes…for FREE! You could always take apart a box too. The coolest thing about these brooders is that you can change out the cardboard with a taller one as the chicks grow (and learn to fly). And believe me they do that VERY young! So, here’s the breakdown for supplies:
- piece of cardboard
- kiddie pool (cost $6)
- duct tape
Yep! You read that right. THIS CHEAP DIY CHICKEN BROODER COSTS UNDER 10 BUCKS TO MAKE! Whoop Whoop!! Here is how we did it. And YES, there is BLUE carpet in our house (so circa 1990s but ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ folks). And YEP! We put the chicks/ducklings in our school room. And yes again, we kept them there until they were 3 weeks old then we moved them to the front porch (yeppers… it is enclosed).
Now, here is what we did once they got bigger and we moved them to our front porch. We used another piece of tall cardboard that they couldn’t fly out of. Beau made it to where one side folded down so we had easy access to their food and water. Then you just “fold” it up when you are done putting fresh water and food in! Note: You could just use the larger piece from the get-go but the kiddos wanted to see the baby chicks so we started small.
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