My Simple Chicken Brooder


Social Media Yard Sale Pages! Holy crap do I ever LOVE these things. Here in our area, there are seriously SEVEN of them. Seven in this tiny town! One thing I’ve learned in the process of starting our tiny farm, is before you buy or make, ask on one of those pages!
If you know what ISO means, I’m sure you’ve used it. If you don’t know what ISO means, allow me to introduce you to one of the greatest abbreviations of all time. ISO= In Search Of. Whenever I have anything I’m looking for, the first thing I do is ask the community. Free concrete blocks I used to build my garden beds? Absolutely. Free firewood someone was cleaning off their property if we picked it up? No brainer. Free pack-n-play? Thank you Jesus!
When we first got chickens, I made one of the BIGGEST mistakes I could have ever made. I bought chicks and had absolutely nothing prepared for them at all. I was just so damn excited to be getting chicks I didn’t even bother. NEVER, EVER, EVER under any circumstances simply wing it. Unless, of course you’re as crazy as I am, with an amazing Mr. Smivie who is extremely handy and will build you and entire chicken coop in two days. When I say we had nothing ready, I literally mean we had nothing, as in we bought the feeder, heat light, and waterer when we bought the chicks, and stopped at the store and bought a plastic tote on the way home… Not one of my proudest moments.
The day after the chick’s got home I put up my ISO request for a child’s pack-n-play, within minutes I had someone willing to give me one as long as I came to pick it up. Which we did gladly (those things are expensive, and like hell I’d put baby chicks in a brand new one). It had been used for puppies, and was kind of cruddy when I got, so we set it up in the drive way and I power washed that thing! OH! And for future reference, if you are a couple with no children and you leave a pack-n-play in your drive way, everyone in a 5 block radius will stop at your driveway and tell you congrats on the pregnancy and ask when you’re due. To which, I started simply smiling, giving them the finger, and simply explaining that I’m just fat and not pregnant. But anyway…
After said pack-n-play was dry, I took the bottom piece (you know, the sturdy thing that goes in the bottom and serves as a kinda case when you fold it up) and I wrapped that booger up in a giant black trashbag and duct taped the hell out of it. Put the duct tape part facing the bottom of the pack-n-play and laid puppy training pads on top of it, then filled it full of wood shavings. The little peeps lived in it until I had a coop ready, and until It was time to get them out into it. And I’m not going to lie, that damn thing was PERFECT! Plus, I still have it, and we can always break it out to use again!
I’ve seen simple cardboard boxes, watering troughs, plastic totes, plastic kiddie pools, you name it people have used it! How about you, what have you used to create your brooder? Let me know in the comments below!

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