Chick season is here and building your own chick brooder is easier than you think! Before you bring home your chirping balls of fluff, you need to make sure they have a safe and comfortable home.
Chick brooders can range from temporary to permanent and simple to downright fancy! We’ve used several different styles of chick brooders over the years, and you’ll see them in the list below.
Regardless of how you decide to create your chick brooder, there are some basics that your chicks will need:
- Fresh water
- High quality chick feed
- A source of heat
- Dry bedding
You will also want to make sure that your chicks can’t jump out of the brooder box and that predators (or your household kitty!) can’t get in. Outside of that, the possibilities are endless!
Check out these 12 DIY chicken brooder ideas for inspiration!
DIY Entertainment Cabinet Chick Brooder
This is our current chicken brooder. We found the entertainment cabinet for free on Craigslists. With a little paint and ingenuity, we transformed it into an awesome brooder!
Plus, when we aren’t using it for a brooder, we drop in a few shelves and use it as our seed starting area. Here are the full step-by-step instructions on how to make your own DIY chicken brooder from an entertainment cabinet!
Super Quick & Easy DIY Chick Brooder Bin
It doesn’t get easier than this! Oak Hill Homestead shows you how to make a simple brooder using a storage bin and wire. If you want a temporary brooder that is cheap and easy to assemble, this is a great option!
Pallet Wood Brooder
This was our first brooder. Lindy made it out of pallet wood and hardware cloth wire. The bottom was lined with a leftover piece linoleum flooring for easy cleaning.
It was heavy as heck to move, but I absolutely loved it and so did our ducklings and chicks!
Kiddie Pool DIY Chick Brooder
Montana Homesteader used a kiddie pool to make a comfy brooder! This is a super cheap and easy brooder idea!
As your chicks grow and discover they can escape, you can easily wrap it in chicken wire to keep your babies from running away!
Dog Crate Brooder
A Home Made from Scratch shows us how to convert a wire dog crate to a chick brooder in just a few easy steps. This is a great idea for a temporary brooder!
The crate can be folded down and stored away until you’re ready to use it again. We always keep a couple of these wire crates on hand. We use them when we introduce new chickens to the flock and to separate injured/sick birds.
Spacious Storage Bin Brooder
If you are ready to expand from a basic storage bin, this spacious brooder from Sage & Shepherd Farm is perfect! They attached two storage bins to give their chicks extra room to move and grow! Those look like some happy chicks to me!
Repurposed Crib Brooder
Put an old crib to good use! Amy, from This Mama’s Life, shows you how to turn a crib into a perfect chick brooder! I would have never thought of this but it seems so simple and easy to adapt the crib. Plus, old cribs are easy to find for free or cheap!
Simple “In the Coop” Chick Brooder
This is the brooder we used in our former chicken/duck house. I absolutely loved having the chicks and baby ducks in the same coop with the adult birds because it made a breeze to introduce them to the flock!
The brooder frame was assembled with a couple 2×2 boards and then wrapped in chicken wire. The heat lamps were securely attached to the shelf above the brooder and the cords were run along the roof so they stayed out of the way of the chickens.
When we moved, we actually broke this down and turned it into two smaller pens that we now use as “playpens” for our chicks so that they can go outside on warm days!
“Redneck” Storage Bin Brooder
This “redneck” chick brooder from The Self Sufficient HomeAcre is super easy to assemble using a plastic storage bin. Rather than using a heat lamp, they creatively DIY’d a heating area for their chicks using seedling heat mats! Pretty genius!
Wood Crate Brooder
Everstuft Ranch created this brooder from a wooden crate! I see these crates listed for free on Craigslist a lot! It makes the perfect brooder and gives the chicks lots of room to run around!
Scrap Lumber DIY Chick Brooder
This sturdy brooder from Scott Family Homestead is awesome! It looks like it would last for many years – which means lots of chicks! And it was made with scrap lumber, making it affordable and practical!
Easy-Clean Feed Bag Brooder
This chicken brooder from Little Missouri Homestead is pretty darn genius! They lined the bottom of the brooder with hardware wire and hung feed bags below the brooder. That way, the chick droppings will fall through the wire and into the feed bags for easy cleaning!
I would also recommend adding a section of flooring that isn’t wire to help protect your little chick’s feet and give them a break from the wire. But this coop is definitely a fun concept that I haven’t seen before!
What kind of chick brooder do you use? Share with us in the comments!
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Friday 30th of April 2021
This is our second year having chicks. The first time we only had 7, and they outgrew their plastic tote by week 4. But we kept them in it for a couple more weeks until they could go out in our carport in a wire dog crate. This year we have 10 chicks, and 4 of them are Silkies, so smaller. I decided to do the double tote option used above and I hate it. I don't recommend it for keeping chicks inside. The whole brooder is so heavy I have a hard time picking it up and dumping out the shavings. I think a wood and hardware wire box would be much better, and I'll consider it for future chicks. I love the idea of the linoleum on the bottom also!
Monday 10th of May 2021
Thanks for the feedback! I am always interested to hear other people's experiences and what works/didn't work for them. Good to know about the weight of the brooder - we had the same issue with out first brooder that we made out of pallet wood. It worked well but it was sooo heavy to move! Keep us posted on which design you decide to go with and how it works for you! :)
Thursday 10th of December 2020
that entertainment unit brooder is too awesome...I would be raising poultry in my living room all the laying year round lol
Sunday 13th of December 2020
Thank you! It's by far one of my favorite things that I've ever made! We have since converted it to double as a seed starting cabinet when we aren't using it as a brooder! You can check out that post here if you are interested: https://rootedrevival.com/diy-grow-light-system-seed-starting/
Thursday 27th of August 2020
Thank you for sharing my Redneck Brooder Box! Happy Homesteading!
Friday 28th of August 2020
It's such a great idea! I'm happy I got the opportunity to share it! ?
Wednesday 13th of March 2019
You are amazing to coming up with so many ideas with images, wow. Do you have them all at your place?
Friday 15th of March 2019
We have used a lot of different styles of chick brooders over the years! Several of ours are pictured in the post. Experimenting with new styles has really helped us perfect how we take care of our chicks!
Tuesday 12th of March 2019
These are great ideas! The entertainment center brooder is such a good idea, but I personally like the idea of keeping the baby chicks in the coop... we had chicks one year and it did not work out well for us. Probably would have gone much better if I had some of these ideas beforehand! Thanks for sharing!
Friday 15th of March 2019
Yes, we love that as well! We also love having a broody hen do all the work for us if possible! :D