Monday, February 17, 2014

Preparing the Brooder Box

The time had come to pick up the chick supplies!  We had planned to do all our shopping at the Urban Farm Store, but recently the Portland area went through a snow and ice storm that caused the store's roof to collapse. Thankfully no people or animals were injured, but we were saddened to hear the store would now be closed until further notice.

Due to circumstances at the Urban Farm Store we had to change our plans and find a new store. After some quick research we found Healing Ponds Farm and Garden Store located in Beaverton, OR. Not only did they sell farm and garden supplies, chicks and ducklings, but also sold pastured raw milk, pastured meats, pastured eggs and ferments. Now this was our kind of place! 

The girls playing with 3 week old chicks at Healing Ponds.
The woman that was working the day we stopped in to purchase our supplies was incredibly friendly, knowledgable and helpful. She loaded us up with all the chick necessities and allowed us to loiter and watch the chicks for a good 45 minutes.  The girls were sad when it came time to leave, but we promised to return the next morning to bring home the chicks.  On returning home, the Rooster and I got to work preparing the brooder box.

Items for the Brooder Box
Here are the following items needed to prepare the brooder box for 3 chicks:
Additional items to have on hand:
  • Disposable gloves (For brooder box clean up)
  • Dust mask (For brooder box clean up)
  • Hand Sanitizer (Keep by brooder to use after handling the chicks)

The Brooder Box
There are MANY choices for a brooder box.  In the end we chose a 54 gallon Rubbermaid plastic tote.

Inside of the brooder box

The Brooder Box Lid
To prevent the chicks from flying out the Rooster designed a special lid.  He cut out the middle of the tote lid and secured hardware cloth with screws, nuts and washers.

Brooder box lid

Brooder box lid

The Heat Lamp Stand
The Rooster designed a heat lamp stand using the following materials:

  • 2  -  1"x 1" x 3' square wood dowels
  • 1  -  2"x 2" x 3' square wood dowel

He used the 1"x 1"x 3' dowels to build the legs and arms of the stand and the 2"x 2"x 3' for the body. He drilled evenly spaced holes in the body so that the arm could be adjusted.

Heat Lamp Stand

The brooder box is ready to go.  Now it's time to pick up the chicks!  I hope I can sleep tonight.

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