Our first time raising chicks taught us a lot about what to do and what not to do. Providing your chicks with a proper brooder box from 0-6 weeks makes things easier for you and them.
One thing we learned was that chicks grow fast! They transformed from tiny balls of adorable yellow and brown fluff into mini feathered raptors. Sweet and curious raptors though, not the scary meat eating kind.
Originally we used a kiddie pool for a brooder box, but our chicks kept hopping out until I found a better solution. (I know, I know! I should have done more research on raising chickens before starting on this quest.)
Next we tried a general plastic container, but it still wasn’t quite tall enough after another week or so of booming chicken growth.
The final solution? It was a 45 gallon storage container with a lid. Why this didn’t occur to me sooner is beyond me. My only issue was how to craft the lid so it would keep the chickens in, but also allow for air flow.
Cut out the center and replace it with chicken wire of course! Here’s how we made our cozy and secure brooder box:
Items You’ll Need
- Chicken wire
- Wire cutter
- 45 gallon storage container (Target for $17)
- Power Drill (saw disc and drill bit)
- Sturdy twine or craft string
Removing the Center of the Brooder Box Lid
We used our power drill with the saw disc attachment to cut out the center of the lid. There are probably more ways to go about this, so do whatever is convenient for you.
We kept the lid attached to the container for added support during the sawing process. If you do it this way, make sure to wipe the container and lid down really well afterwards. We didn’t want our chicks eating any of the plastics granules or dust left over from drilling.
Drilling the Holes on the Lid
The plan here was to create small holes so I could weave my string through and secure the chicken wire to the lid.
I used our regular drill bit to punch holes through the lid. I spaced out the holes roughly 3 to 4 inches apart.
Attaching the Chicken Wire
Luckily, I had some left over chicken wire from when we built our outside coop so I didn’t have to buy any. I grabbed my chicken wire and rolled out just enough to cover the area I needed to cover.
I trimmed the wire with my wire cutters making sure to leave a 2 inch overlap so I would have enough wire available to weave my string through.
Once my wire was trimmed, I centered it on my lid and started weaving my string through.
No fancy industrial string here. I had this craft string laying around and it seemed sturdy enough to handle the job after a couple of tug tests.
I wove the string through an extra time on the last hole and tied a knot to keep my wire in place.
Now you can sit easy knowing your chicks are happy and safe in their brand new brooder box.