Homemade Brooding Unit for Chicks
• Cardboard box apporx. 28 inches long. 25 inches wide. and
14 inches high
• Gooseneck lamp with 40, GO. or 75-watt bulb.
• Water font
• Pebbles. marbles. or lh" screen
• Welded-wire cover for the box
• Litter for floor of box- wood shavings, sawdust, peat moss,
sand, or other appropriate material
This homemade brooding unit is appropriate for inside use where
it's warm (home, schools. library).
You can adapt a cardboard box for a brooding unit. The size and
shape is not as important as long as it is big enough to house the
chicks and the equipment needed to care for them.
The heat lamp/gooseneck lamp provides the heat needed to
maintain the chicks body temperature. A GO or 75-watt bulb
should be able to provide the desired temperature of 95 degrees f.
Using a gooseneck lamp may be a good choice because it can be
bent and moved, which is a perfect advantage while they are
growing and adjustments to the height of the lamp is necessary.
Always take any and all precautions in regards to the prevention
One of the advantages to having high walls on your box is that it
acts well as a draft guard and helps to keep them in the box.
You will need 2-3 inches of litter on the bottom, as chicks cannot
grip onto a smooth surface. It also acts as an insulator and an
absorbent. You can use shavings, saw dust, sand, straw/hay or
In order to provide the chicks with food and water, you must
place a feeder and at least one water font in the brooder unit. By
placing the water font on a block or stand of some kind, this way,
you will eliminate the litter dirtying the water.
If you decide to use a water dish, put pebbles or marbles in it or
wire mesh to protect the chicks from getting wet or drowning.
You can find any equipment, feed and bedding/litter that you
need at your local feed store, farm supply store or hatchery.
Please note: chickens should be fed chick starters, which is a grain
mash. And remember to feed and water chicks as soon as they are
moved from the incubator into the brooder.
And finally, you will need a cover of welded-wire screen for your
brooding unit. You can also use a 1" X 1" of welded wire screen
or mesh or 1/4" X 1/4" to 1" X 1/4.
I always recommend using a surge protector when plugging
anything like that in. And always take precautions when using a
heat lamp or any light source. Make sure it's secure from
accidental bumps, children and pets. Check your equipment
periodically to make sure it is operating correctly. If you are
using plastic water fonts and feeders, make sure they are not too
close to the heat lamp or they could melt.