Re: Re:Cats and Chicks..
Jesse and Jim,
I can't find the original plans after all - I guess I gave away the
magazine, but it's all based on using standard lumber, if I recall. The ends
are 2'x 2' plywood. The bottom and sides are 2'x4' plywood. The frame is of
the same dimensions, made of 2"x2".
One half of the top is covered in half-inch hardware cloth. The other half
of the top is 2'x2' plywood. The screened part is hinged.
The solid half has a cut-out to allow hanging a heat lamp. The lamp is
completely inside the brooder. The hanging loop is ingeniously held by a
square of 1"x1" and 2 nails.
There's a small piece of plywood (about 2' x 6") that acts as a curtain
between the two sections, and I usually hang a cloth (part of an old
pillowcase or something) that goes nearly to the litter to keep the heat in
for the chicks. That way they can run into the enclosed part to keep warm,
or run out into the more open area for exercise.
Dad cut some viewing windows - about 6x9" into the solid part, and used some
leftover acrylic stuff for windows. They're each attached with one screw so
that I can swing them aside and tend to the chicks or ventilate slightly if
necessary. I hang the thermometer there, too.
I used an old broom handle to make a roost in the screen-top area. The
chicks are usually roosting on it by the time they're a couple of weeks old.
It's a lot of fun to see them learning to perch there, and it keeps them
from snoozing on their water jug and pooping into it.
It does a box (25) of chicks for 2 weeks, a dozen chicks for about 4, and
half a dozen for 6 weeks, no problem. I think that this year the 8 chicks
were in the brooder box for 6 weeks, maybe 8, but I don't remember exactly.
We were in the worst of the tainted dog food care then.
Jim, the way the box works provides a natural flue to release moisture and
maintain ventilation. I think that for cheese drying purposes, they
recommended a 15 watt bulb.
The original plans called for attaching rope handles at either end, but we
Jesse, don't beat yourself up for forgetting to close the door. You may have
closed it most of the way and Raja opened it. Diesel does - he's
delaminated the door from the kitchen into the utility room by hooking his
nails into the wood to do so. And sometimes we have to accept that as much
as we want all creatures to get along, nature sometimes outwits nurture.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jesse Bell" <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2007 10:30 AM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Re:Cats and Chicks..
Really? Yes, I'd be interested in seeing the magazine or online catalog
for your chicken brooder. Last night we went and bought a galvanized
steel water trough (small and lower to the ground - small sheep or goat
size) and transferred the chicks into that. I have 10 of them now and the
box was just too small. I let my guard down for 5 minutes while I went
outside to dump the old shavings into the compost pile and when I came
BACK, RAJA was sitting INSIDE the trough, with the chicks, staring at
them. Poor little chicks were all huddled at one end, scared to DEATH. I
yelled "RAJA!!!! - NOT YOURS!!! AGHHHHHHHH" and went after her...she
scampered out of there and I didn't see her for the rest of the night. I
was so lucky. Can't believe I forgot to close the laundry room door
Daryl <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
My chick brooder has a screen top on one end, and wood with some small
windows on the end with the heat lamp. Diesel loved to spend the day
watching the chicks and enjoying the extra warmth.
I was glad the chicks got big enough for Diesel to leave them alone. He
good when I was out there with him, but considering the lust in his eyes,
and what he did to a wren that got onto the screened porch, I think that
would have made lunch out of them given the chance. It was a very
well-traveled wren before he dropped it in the dining room and I was able
get it out from underneath the furniture. Don't want to do that again!
BTW - the plans for my brooder came from Countryside and Small Stock
and it can double as a cheese dryer, if you're interested. I can raise
a dozen chicks to 6 weeks w/ no problem.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jesse Bell"
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 9:39 AM
Subject: [CHAT] Re:Cats and Chicks..
Raja has been sitting by my newly hatched chicks every day that I've had
them in the house. They are safe, in a big plastic storage box with a lid
that has holes cut in it. I have a heat lamp in there - BUT - you can
sort of see the chicks walking around inside the box because of the light
shining on it, and Raja sits there, with HUGE eyes, and stares at the
I take the lid off to change the food, water and wood shavings, and to
play with the little cuties..and Raja sneaks her head over the edge and
looks at them, then looks at me like "can I have 'em?" and I say, "NO
Raja - not yours" and she sits back down, looking very put out. But she
knows when I say "not yours" that she has to leave them alone. But she
really, really wants them. I love those silly chicks. Because I've had
them since day 1 or 2 and handle them all the time, they just sit in my
hand and fall asleep. We had a new one hatch yesterday and I left it
under the mother for the first day. They do
better that way. I think I'll have 2-3 more before it's all over. It is
so amazing to watch this whole process. Very cool.
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