DIY Brooder

Brooders - They need to provide protection and warmth. Of course, you need to add water and food, but the brooder itself is for these two things.

So what can you make a brooder out of? Well, anything that will give the new chicks protection and warmth! Depending on the weather where you live, as little as a cardboard box could work.

Some will want something a bit more though, so below are a number of brooders starting with the first one we made when we started out. So have a look around and remember, these directions are not written in stone. Explore a bit.

Don't forget to let us see a few pics of your new brooder! And have Fun!


 Our First.

 I had a few panes of glass from an old window sitting around so thought I could put them to use. And as it turned out - I found that using glass was a real bonus as the chicks were not so skittish when they came out to go into the yard because they were used to all the people movement around them!!

 The sides are uncut 615mm W x 400mm high, 3mm window panes. The ends were both cut down to 410mm in width. Bottom is made from an old piece of plywood, coated with a waterproofing agent, " ".

The glass had sharp edges so to cover these up I used an edge molding from the local hardware store. The molding is usually used for fiber cement sheeting. The corners are the same kind of molding but interior corner.

Around the bottom of the glass, attached to the plywood base, is 19mm pine quarter round molding to both dress it up a bit, and to hold the glass down.

Here is how I did it.......

Sides - Two peices glass 615mm W x 400mm H.

Ends - Two peices of glass as above, cut to 410mm W x 400mm H

Plastic Edge Molding - 1 piece @2400mm (For top edge of glass))

Plastic Interior molding - 1 piece @ 1800mm (to connect sides and ends)

Plywood Base - 450mm+ x 660mm+ x minimum 12mm thick.

19mm pine quarter round molding.

1 tube All purpose silicone or similar sealant. (preferably water clean up)


 Once sides and ends are cleaned and dry - Cut interior molding. You will need fourpieces 380mm long.

 Once interior molding is cut - Dry fit the four sides together using the molding in the corners. This way you will get a feel as to how to put the sides together with the silicone.

 Place a small amount of silicone inside the molding space where the glass fits - just enough so that when you insert the glass, the silicone does not squeeze out making a mess. Only do one at a time, working your way around and back to the beginning. The silicone is forgiving enough to allow you to work at a decent speed without having to hurry!

 Make sure the bottom edges are flat - tops are all at same height and corners are square. Molding is at bottom of glass leaving a 20mm uncovered bit of glass at top.

Good job - time for a cuppa!

Now, for the base fitting. You will need to cut two pieces of quarter round molding. One for the end and one for an adjacent side. One end of each piece is to be cut at 45degrees so that when joined they will fit the corner of the base. Cut approx 100mm longer than needed to allow enough off cut for 45 degree angles on ends. Place this pine molding on the base - in place.

Carefully place the glass sides and ends you have put together on top of the base so that the corner fits into the corner created by the pine molding. From here you can easily mark the cuts to be made on the pine molding and fit into place. After this step you will also to be able to mark base for any cuts to improve fit.

Once satisfied with fitting, disassemble quarter round, base, and place glass aside.

Place a small amount of silicone on one end and bottom side of pine molding and put in place. Follow with each piece till back at beginning.

Place a bead of silicone on the inside of the pine molding where the glass will go. This can be a good size bead as it has to hold glass to the base. About 4 or 5mm dia..

Carefully lower glass into position on base, inside the pine molding. Adjust as necessary, and when happy, leave for awhile to dry.

Great job! Time for another cuppa!

Okay then - almost finished. The edge molding can be placed a couple ways.

1. cut each piece to fit.

2. cut one piece to wrap around.

When molding has been cut and a dry fit test run performed, put some silicon in the channel of the molding and apply to glass.

Wait over night to give silicone time to dry (cure) and then use a water proofing agent to seal the plywood base.

Because of the fumes from silicons and water proofing the brooder should not be used until they are fully cured and dried. I would suggest that it sit out in fresh air for at least 5 days to make sure fumes are gone.

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