When we moved in to this house, we pulled a white cabinet from the bathroom that we didn’t want anymore. I was going to sell it on Craigslist, but then we had a better idea. With a few alterations, we turned the bathroom cabinet into a brooder for my baby chickens.
First, my husband put in a removable floor on the cabinet. It can be popped out of the brooder for easy cleaning. Then he made a window for the chicks by cutting a square rectangle in one wall and attaching a 4″ roll of hardware cloth (the screen) to it with a staple gun.
That was all there was to it. We added newspaper to the bottom as lining, a water bottle, and baby chick mash that we bought at the feedstore. And finally, we put in our two baby chicks, Lucy and Penny.
Baby chickens need warmth. According to this site, you “start with 90-100 degrees F the first week. Then, lower down temperature by 5 degrees every week until the chicks have feathers that will protect them.” We tried putting a light bulb in the brooder, but it seemed unsafe, so we decided to use a space heater to heat the room to the temperature they need. The heater’s thermostat keeps the room from getting too cold. We also put the heater beside the brooder so that some of the heat goes into the box with the chicks.
So far, the chicks seem happy. We got them on Friday and they have already grown about a half inch and are starting to develop pin feathers on their wings. We must be doing something right.
After the chickens outgrow the brooder, we will recycle the cabinet again by turning it into a seed starter for next year’s plants. I guess I want to see how many babies can I put inside of one old bathroom cabinet.