Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fancy Brooder Cage

My broody hen hatched one of her eggs. I was so excited I raced over to Tractor Supply and got chick supplies as well as six more chicks. Last night I stuck the new pullets in the cooler that was going to be an incubator, except for one aggressive chick that I stuck out with broody Buffy and the newly hatched chick.

Today I went to check on the broody hen and her little brood. The smell was awful. Time to clean the coop!

Doctor Dolittle came out and we cleaned the coop, the nest box, and the broody nest cage. Coughing together in a big cloud of dust, Doc and I hatched a new plan. We decided to transform the broody nest cage into a brooder cage.

We cut up soda can boxes and taped them to the sides of the cage, along the bottom. Then we filled the cage with sand and took a few pictures.
Fancy Brooder Cage Work in Progress
We added another band of cardboard to keep chicks from falling out and rearranged the furniture. Well, we actually rearranged the furniture a few dozen times. Finally we added Buffy and the all chicks.
Buffy & Chicks in Brooder Cage
Oh the chickeny joy! Buffy's attitude changed from grumpy human-biter to gentle clucking mother hen.

Oh the chicken farmer relief!


  1. Is that a dog crate that you converted? That is brilliant.

  2. Mama hens can be so gentle with their little ones. I like to sit and watch them. I can feel my heart rate slow as I completely relax.


  3. What a sweet family! Congrats!

  4. So sweet. And I take it you've had no more sightings of your snake that ate the ceramic egg? I read that posting at work and laughed out loud. My co-workers had to come see what was so funny.

  5. awesome! Glad I found this blog.

  6. What a great idea. I was trying to decide if I should use sand in my brooder, and it looks like it works just fine! Beautiful family you have there. :)

  7. I've been trying to decide about sand also. I have 3 day old chicks. Sand in the brooder with paper towels over it. I'm afraid to take away the towels! I've been reading about how sand can be bad for the chicks. I guess yours worked out fine? Maybe the mother hen told them not to eat the sand? I'm new to chickens so I'm learning along the way.