Backyard Chickens

Brooder Box Checklist

Raising backyard chickens has been the most fun part of homesteading for me. I love each of our chickens and their personalities that come with them. When I first began raising chickens, I thought it was going to be a lot harder than it is. There are some very important items that you need to start raising chickens, but this brooder box checklist will make it just a little simpler.

A simple brooder box checklist to easily start raising chickens. You don't need much to begin raising chickens, but the list is important.

The biggest thing to remember is that baby chickens need food, water, clean bedding and warmth. Having a secure enclosure is very important too. You don’t want your chicks getting loose or susceptible to danger. All in all, we spent about $100 in begin our brooder setup; including the price of chickens.

A simple brooder box checklist to easily start raising chickens. You don't need much to begin raising chickens, but the list is important.

Many people use bins or tubs to keep their chicks in. This is a great way to cut cost, but I personally recommend the one listed in the favorite items to purchase below. It is what we used for our chickens. I purchased it because it already has an adjustable brooder heat lamp hanger. Something I just didn’t have the patience to build. It also folds for storage for safe keeping.

Want more homesteading tips? Check out Growing Vegetables from Scraps; Green Onions.

Brooder Box Checklist

  • Brooder box (tub, bin, brooder box kit)
  • Red Heat Lamp
  • Pine Flakes (NEVER use Cedar!)
  • 1 Quart Waterer
  • 1 Quart Feeder
  • Chick Starter Grower Feed
  • Small Perch
  • Thermometer

Purchase some of our favorite items:

 

These few items will get you started in caring for your baby chicks. Ensure they are placed in an area with no draft and no predators that can easily access them. You also want to back off the heat lamp every week to ensure the chicks do not become too warm.

Approximant Heat Needed by Age

  • Week 1: 90 – 95°
  • Week 2: 85 – 90°
  • Week 3: 80 – 85°
  • Week 4: 75 – 80°
  • Week 5, 6, 7: 70 – 75°
  • Week 8: 65 – 70°
  • Week 9: 65° minimum

Signs to Look For

The biggest thing to look for is how your chicks are reacting to the heat. If they are huddled together under the lamp, they are too cold. If they are up against the brooder wall, they are too warm. They should be dispersed throughout the brooder, or laying neatly together like a carpet.

A simple brooder box checklist to easily start raising chickens. You don't need much to begin raising chickens, but the list is important.

Heat Lamp Tip

The reason I say to get a red heat lamp is because the red keeps the baby chicks from pecking one another to death. If chickens see blood, they will continue to peck. It is in their nature. The red heat lamp helps detour this.

A simple brooder box checklist to easily start raising chickens. You don't need much to begin raising chickens, but the list is important.

A Few More Tips

  • Always keep fresh water avaible. Also, keep feed avaible.
  • When you get chicks home, dip their beak quickly in and out of the water. This helps show them where it is. Ours adapted right away after doing this.
  • Have everything ready to go for them before bringing chicks home.
  • Sprinkle some feed around the brooder for entertainment. We eventually purchased a chicken toy when they got older. It holds treats to keep them busy.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy your new family members. Chickens are amazing how much personality they have. Each of our girls have their own flair. It is fun seeing how their feathers turn out. They are a treat to have on the homestead.

A simple brooder box checklist to easily start raising chickens. You don't need much to begin raising chickens, but the list is important.

I hope this brooder box checklist and tips helps start off your chicken raising a little easier. At least a little less stressful because honestly, raising chickens isn’t all too difficult.

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