DIY brooder box and new Australorp chicks

I built a chick brooder box and I’m a little bit proud of myself. It’s a simple thing but often they’re the most rewarding, especially as I now have six new one-week-old Australorp chicks happily peeping outside my back door.

I used as many recycled materials as I could and loosely followed some instructions off the net. I’ve been clearing out my shipping container and getting rid of box after box of baby clothes (a cathartic but slightly melancholy experience) and repurposed one for my brooder.

  1. I cut out most of the box’s rectangular lid with an angle grinder to provide ventilation.
  2. I had to buy a piece of heavy gauge wire mesh to fit over the lid, cut it down to size with the angle grinder with a hole for the lamp to fit / hang, drilled holes and secured it with cable ties.
  3. Add to that some wood chip mulch for bedding.
  4. I found an old spotlight buried on a back shelf of the garage which still worked, then inserted a new red globe to provide heat.
  5. I splurged and bought a thermostat online which is an awesome gadget. You plug it into the wall, plug the lamp into the thermostat, set your desired temperature, put the temperature probe at chick head height and you’re set. The light turns on and off automatically to maintain the correct temperature. Simple genius! It guards against chicks over or under-heating, saves me having to manually adjust the light and gives me comfort that I’m not going to start a fire, melt the box and kill my chicks. All good things.
  6. Add a mini waterer and a plant saucer full of chick starter crumble.
  7. Add chicks and voila!