Monday, July 30, 2012

Our Little Coop Brooder

After hatching and rearing nearly hundreds of chicks and having them in our brooder, I now have confidence this design works and wanted to share it with you.

Our Little Coop Brooder with hanging heat lamp.

After doing a lot of research into what would be the best brooder to have for both chickens and quail chicks, I knew exactly what I needed wouldn't be available to purchase.  I wanted a brooder that would provide enough space for a small hatch of chickens yet would be large enough to hold a large hatch of quail.

Chicken and quail chick brooder

Although putting together a brooder for chickens is fairly simple, putting one together for quail is a little bit of a challenge.  The main concern with quail is their natural tendency to fly straight up when startled.  Unlike chickens, quail grow their flight feathers in a matter of days after hatching.  To overcome the safety concern of them hurting themselves if suddenly scared, I used backdoor screen material for the top, which will absorb any head strikes from flying quail. 

Divider to separate chicks or to aid in cleaning.

Keeping a brooder clean is also a  concern for many breeders.  As we all know, it is difficult to clean a brooder with little chicks running and jumping all over the place.  To overcome this challenge, I added a simple divider which slips in between the two doors, to section off the brooder.  At any given time, one side of the brooder is clean and I can flush the birds over to that side and keep them there while cleaning the other side out without risking any jumping out or getting sucked up into the vacuum. 

Shelf liner used in bottom of brooder to help against chicks getting leg injuries.

Spraddel leg is a common concern with newly hatched chicks.  As stated in one of my previous articles, I only keep them on shelf liner material for the first few days of there lives and the same holds true in this brooder.  After day 3, I add a layer of pine shavings right on top of the liner material.  This aids in clean up by being able to lift the liner out and dumping the contents into a garbage bag.  As the birds age, they are either left in this brooder for a little longer on the 1/2" hardware cloth or moved to a growing pen.

Brooder ventilation is important but having little or no drafts is critical.

Air circulation is provided by an open bottom design and the use of louvered vents on either side.  Drafts are prevented with the use of the solid walls used to construct this brooder. 

For those who hatch and sell chicks from home or at swaps, this is also a great way to show your birds to your customers.  Cheers! ~ Kevin


  1. that is a very nice idea & brooder, will have to be one of my next projects, or rather on a honey do list :)

  2. Very nice! One question, have you ever experimented with brooding on the grass? This is something we have been working on but would love to hear any pros/cons you all have had with this?

    1. Hi. haha sorry I missed this and I know he answered on our facebook page. Keep us updated though please!


Thank you for your comment!

Other Posts You May Like