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Here’s How To Make Your Own Chick Brooder Box

If you’re going to raise your own chicks, you definitely will need a chick brooder box!  Under NO circumstances use a cardboard box.  It would be a HUGE fire hazard.  The easiest brooder for a small flock is definitely a plastic tub.  The biggest problem with those is a good top.  In a pinch you can use things like netting or an oven rack, but if you have a really determined cat, they just won’t do.  The best design I’ve seen is from  Fresh Eggs Daily.  I used their directions to make my own chick brooder box with items that I already had laying around on the homestead and it turned out awesome!

Here's how to make an easy DIY chick brooder box for a small backyard flock just by using chicken wire and a plastic tub.

Items You Need To Make a Chick Brooder Box

Here’s How To Make The Chick Brooder Box

  1. Cut a rectangle in the tub lid. Make sure to leave a lip around the edge big enough to attach your wood strips
  2. Measure the strips of wood and cut them down to the right size to fit around the remaining edge of the lid.
  3. Cut a piece of chicken wire to completely cover the hole and sit underneath your wood strips.
  4. Drill eight holes through your wood strips and plastic lid, one in each end.
  5. Thread the bolts through the wood, sandwiching the wire between the lid and the wood.
  6. Secure the bolts with the nuts and washers.

Your brooder box is now complete!  Now it’s time to get it ready for your chicks.  Fill it with straw or wood shavings to absorb droppings and keep them clean.  It can help to keep the box cleaner longer if you prop up your feeders and waterers a bit.  (I like to use an old brick).

If you are planning to use a broody hen to raise your chicks, check out How To Set Up A Brooder Box For A Hen And Chicks for even more details. 

Cleaning the brooder box is super easy too.  Move your chicks to a temporary safe spot, carry it out to the compost bin and dump everything in.  Now you can hose out and sanitize your chick brooder box before refilling with clean bedding.  In fact, you could buy two plastic totes that fit the same lid and move your chicks from the dirty one right into the clean one.

For more information on chicks, read the post New To Raising Chicks? Give Them The Best Care

Make Your Own Chick Brooder Box (with lid closeups)

And here’s a video of our very first chicks in their brooder!

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Tuesday 19th of March 2024

This is a great idea. Thank you

Amanda Clonts

Thursday 11th of February 2021

great idea! where do you put the chicks when they outgrow the plastic brooder?


Friday 12th of February 2021

As mine get bigger I like to put them in the yard supervised during the day or in a small run, and then back into the bin at night until the weather warms up.

Katherine Stubbs

Monday 20th of April 2020

Thanks for posting this. I'm a beginner on raising baby chicks.


Monday 20th of April 2020

You're welcome! Raising chicks is one of my favorite parts of keeping chickens.


Saturday 7th of March 2020

Thanks I am a little kid and me and my dad are getting ready for chicks and will keep this in mind thanks.-megan-


Saturday 14th of March 2020

Have fun!


Wednesday 22nd of May 2019

How many chicks will fit in the tub brooder?


Wednesday 29th of May 2019

Plan on about 1/2 a square foot per chick. I tend to brood small batches of three or four and they do just fine.

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