After we came home with our chicks, it was time to assemble the brooder box. We had everything we would need, but we hadn’t put it together yet. While it’s often recommended that you have everything ready to go before bringing home the chicks, I’m glad we waited until we had the chicks. We were better able to consider the size of the chicks in our plans when they were there in front of us. Plus it took about 5 minutes to assemble everything, so it’s not like the birds were in the traveling box for an inordinate amount of time.
We had saved some cardboard boxes in anticipation of using them as the brooder box, but we quickly realized that all the boxes would be too small. We had an unused Rubbermaid bin, and it was large enough to be the brooder, so we setup that. We laid down newspaper, and then covered it with shredded paper. It’s important that chicks have a textured surface to walk on, or they can develop leg problems. So just laying newspaper would have been bad, but the shredded paper made it great. We also set in the food container and the waterer we made, which is described below. We also setup some lights since it’s important the chicks be kept warm. A couple regular houselamps with 100 watt bulbs did the trick. We set them up right at the edge of the bin so they were as close as possible. Continue reading