Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Buckingham Palace of Chick Brooders

I read an article a while back about a woman who experimented with raising her chicks in one of those greenhouse windows that you see on houses. Her theory was that the chicks that were raised on the ground in cardboard brooders could not see their surroundings and were terrified when their owners reached down into the brooder to feed, water or handle them. She said that when she was reaching down into the cardboard brooder it fired the chicks instinct that a hawk or owl was swooping down on them. She felt that if they could see the trees and birds out the window and see her whole body at eye level when she tended to them they would be much happier, tamer birds. We are going to free range out birds when they are old enough so it will be a great benefit to have tame birds that will come out of the woods easily at night to go in the coop and not fly up and roost in trees. I also wanted a safer brooder so we are not using heat lamps. Don already had one house burned to the ground because of heat lamps and that is a tragedy no one wants repeated. After doing some research on alternatives I decided to use 2 of the Sweeter Heaters. 

So I set to work on designing a brooder that would keep the chicks healthy, happy, visually stimulated and socialized. I think I might have gotten a bit carried away. Anyway Don finished putting it together today and he drove me up to the feed store, Agway and Tractor Supply so I could get the rest of the items we needed to prepare for their arrival. We will be raising them organically so we were happy to find organic chick stater close to home.

 Don putting the sides on the base. The protective film is still on the plexiglass in this photo so it looks cloudy. 

 The top is made of hardware cloth, a fine wire mesh that is very sturdy.

 I wanted to have two separate doors that folded down in the front for easy access. I also wanted them to be able to be closed at different degrees with a chain and hook for extra ventilation if needed. 

 The brooder is 6' wide, 4' deep and 2' tall from the platform. It's about 3-1/2 feet tall from the floor. 

 Some of the supplies we gathered today, the rest of the stuff is in the car. We were too pooped to unload it tonight. 

Here are the two Sweeter Heaters I bought. They are radiant heaters that are very safe and energy efficient. 

"Sweeter Heaters are safe, energy-efficient, reliable heaters for up to 85 chicks, or for chicken coops in the bitter cold. This type of heater is our favorite by a mile! They are far, far safer than the traditional heat lamp alternative, and will save you money on electricity in the long run. Please see below for full product features/benefits." ~My Pet Chicken 

You can learn more about the Sweeter Heaters by clicking here: My Pet Chicken 

Stay tuned our 35 day old chicks should be here either tomorrow or Saturday. 

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