Our latest project on Old Redding Farm is building a multi-level brooder for our chick hatching and growing operation! For the past several rounds of incubation we have been using scrap wood that we had around the farm and put together an incubator which we would then take apart once the chicks were big enough to incorporate into our outside flocks.
Currently we have 9 chicks brooding on our kitchen table, there are 40 eggs incubating on the kitchen counter, and there are 25 silkie chicks on the way from Cackle hatchery which should land at our local post office mid-next week! Since we have SO much going on in the chicken hatching department we knew that we needed a bigger and more permanent solution to our chicken brooding set up.
If you shop around online there are plastic multi-level chick brooders that have feeders and waterers and even heaters built into them. These are top of the line and can run upwards of $700 so while we think someday something like that would be so nice to have, currently, it’s just not in the budget!
So John had to bust out his carpentry skills and we used 100% free lumber to put something new together. Even the hardware cloth that we set the sides up with was free since it was left over from a project that we did at another person’s house helping them to expand their chicken run.
This brooder is going to live in our mud room for the time being. Each level will have the ability to hold enough chicks to keep the different “rounds” of chickens separate from each other while their sizes are different to help keep the peace.
Even though our brooder isn’t as fancy as the plastic set up, it will be very usable while we continue to work on different infrastructure projects around our farm. We are looking forward to filling it with cute baby chicks!