Most of the time people save projects for the weekend and we are no exception. Both of us here at Two Old Oaks work and our time during the week is limited, but we love to spend whatever time we have left building and adding to our homestead. Sometimes however that means staying up late to get something ready for the unexpected!
Last night we both came home to find these five baby chicks a relative found for free! As you can see these guys are still tiny and super fragile. Judging from their size we guess they are only a week or so old so we needed a better setup than the cardboard box they came in. After a few minutes thought we got to work!
We took the box and and got to work measuring what we needed. Thank goodness for leftovers from previous projects! Chicken wire, boards from the bedroom renovation, some cedar planks from a lucky find, and a couple old door hinges and we were good to go. (Oh and of course hammer, nails, drill, screws, and the old saw!)
We took the chicken wire and molded it over one half of the box so the peeps could get heat and see outside. The other half of the box we covered with three boards pushed flush together and a fourth board (the long one before we cut it to size) about a quarter inch from the first three. Half of the fourth board covered the chicken wire to help secure it, while the space let us set hinges down and make an easy-open door for our little brooder! With the cedar planks we fastened the first three boards together and installed the matching hinge. After tapping the pin into place the door was complete!
Of course no brooder is complete without a heat source so we took a few final pieces of scrap lumber and made a square arch over the chicken-wire where we could easily (and safely) hang a heating lamp. When all was said and done we had the perfect little home for our new chickies!
Overall the project was just as easy as it looks, but the unexpectedness of it took us by surprise so we thought we would share it with you.
Once we’d finished the build we put some bedding down (in the form of shredded papers) and tried to introduce a mama hen to the babies to see if she would be willing to adopt. Unfortunately both the hens we tried to introduce weren’t too keen on the idea of taking care of them. The first was too young (hadn’t gone broody before) and the other we think is just old and ready to retire. After putting the hens back in the grown-up house we shut up the brooder and the babies have been loving it!
Hopefully all five survive and who knows? We may have more soon! (Just after we got done we found our Muscovy duck has built a nest and is gathering a clutch.)
Only time will tell but I think it is safe to FINALLY say….SPRING HAS COME TO INDIANA!
Thanks for reading!