Monday, January 17, 2011

The Newest Pen and Brooder Building Projects

Well I wanted to share with you the last couple of projects my hubby and I have completed.  I needed an enclosed coop/run for my silkies as they tend to not get out of the rain when they should.  So I started by picking up a couple of carport shed pipe frames and put them together to make one long frame.  Then I cut the legs off to 4 feet high, because I didn't need it any higher than that.
This is what it looked like. The pen is 10 feet by 26 feet.  My son David is climbing on it.
Then we added plywood to the side for weight so that on windy days it couldn't fly away and to enclose the sides.
Then we added chicken wire to the top and used zip ties to attach it.
Next we covered the top with a heavy duty tarp (two actually).  This will keep the rain and weather out.
The next step was to frame in the ends and add doors.  The upper part is covered with chicken wire and it open for ventilation.  The big square plywood pieces are removable and have chicken wire underneath.  That's if I want to remove them in nicer weather.
Here is a shot from the inside.  I put the 2x4 across the middle so I can put up a fencing divider for 2 pens.
Here is my son, David acting like a caged animal. =}
The whole pen took a week and around $300 to build.  It is my favorite pen!  It keeps the birds nice and dry and safe.

The other project we did very soon after the pen was my brooder. 

I spent a few weeks researching other people's ideas on brooders and came up with this plan for mine.  It has 2x2 legs that are 6 ft tall, the back is a 4x4 piece of plywood.  The sides are 2x4 with the plywood on the inside for smooth lines for the chicks.  The 2x2 runners are for holding the 3 shelves. 
Next we added the 2x4 shelves and secured them.
Next we installed ceramic light bulb lamps, these will hold the heat lamps.  We just used an indoor extension cord and cut the end off and attached it to the socket.  There is one in each level.  (BTW-we ended up having to install 2 sockets in each level for more even heat for the newborns.  I use 2 100W red flood bulbs at first then down to 100w red light bulbs and finally turn one of them off as they need less and less heat.
This is how the cords look coming out the side.
Then we framed in doors for each level on hinges and with latches.  Next we added plastic hardware cloth (my new favorite thing!) to the fronts of the pens.  Then we added a 1x4 across the bottom of each pen to keep the litter inside.
This is the finished project.  It took one day and about $50 to complete.  I enjoy having a brooder that is always ready to throw babies in. I can put 25 babies in one level for maybe 1 week, then I have to start splitting them up as they grow. =}


  1. I seriously need to steal you guys away to help build some of our stuff. Very nice!!