Easy DIY Chick Brooder

Easy DIY chick brooder

When it comes to animal housing I have three main rules: Safe, sturdy, and easy to clean. Which is why my DIY chick brooder is pretty much the easiest thing you’ll every make for your farm! And, of course, it’s easy to clean. Because let’s get real here {as usual}: Ain’t nobody got time to clean something that takes ten years to get apart, or is too heavy, or is awkward…you get the point. You’re much more likely to clean something if it’s easy, right?!

The reason my brooder is so easy is because it’s just a large Rubbermaid tote. Mine is about 18 inches wide, 36 long and 18 deep. But the size all depends on how many chicks you want to have. I have 5 in mine right now, I could probably get away with 8. They need to have enough room for food, water, and some extra space but they do like to stick close by each other and cuddle up so don’t stress too much about making it roomy. Also keep in mind, the larger the tote the more energy is going to be required to heat it.

Laced wyandotte chicks

Look at those cuties!!!!! Check out our Insta for more cute chick pics.

Easy DIY Chick brooder. Fast and easy to make, super simple to clean, and the prefect home for your little chicks!

I cut the interior of the lid out and then drilled holes around the edges so that I could use zip-ties to secure chicken wire on the top. This allows for good air circulation while keeping them safe from cats and other predators. They are in my garage, but during the day I like to open the doors and leave the brooder in the fresh air.

lid of brooder

I bed the brooder with straw, because that is my bedding of choice for all of my animals. With chicks, stay away from cedar and pine shavings for bedding. The strong aromatic oils can irritate their respiratory tracts and cause permanent damage.

Chicks in brooder

The waterer I use is a nipple drinker made for chicks. The only thing that makes it different from a nipple drinker made for hens is that it’s small. You can also just order nipples with screw tops and attach them to water bottles. How is that for easy!

chick nipple drinker

I just mounted it by screwing holes in the tote slightly narrower than the waterer {keeps is secure} and looping a zip-tie through them. Then I hooked the wire holder through and the waterer just slides in through the top.

Waterer attachment

This is waterer is working SO much better than just using a traditional on the ground waterer. I always had issues with spilling and soiling the water literally seconds after changing it. I taught them how to use this one by holding them up and pushing it with my finger until they felt it on their beak. Once a few get it, they all go crazy. I have also noticed that this waterer has helped reduce how much they peck at each other. They not only drink out of it but they also use it as a toy. Bonus!

Chicks at waterer

I just use a basic feeder, nothing special. It does get pooped in, but such is life with chicks.

Chick feeder

I can mount my heat lamp one of two ways. If the lid is off, I mount it on the side of the brooder on the handle. We cut a slit right below the end of the handle for the bottom clamp of the heat lamp. If the lid is on, I mount it on a corner where I snipped one connection of the chicken wire to allow the top clamp to mount onto the lid. I do hope to replace my heat lamps with a safer heat source in the future, but for now they are working fine and we are safe when using them. Keep in mind, if your heat lamp is directly next to the plastic, it will melt it.

Tell me your favorite brooder setup!

PS: Need help with a project you want to start on your farm? Check out how we can help you with it here.

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