Have you heard?

7:00 AM

If you follow along with my social media accounts, you've seen the news - we have baby chicks!

Last week we picked up three chicks; two Black Australorp and one (Silver Laced I think) Wyandotte. A new shipment with different breeds are coming in this week, so we may be adding a few more to our flock.

Until our little chickies are old enough to go outside, they are currently residing in their brooder in our laundry room. We started them out in our bathroom, but were unable to keep the room warm enough and still be able to sleep at night.  So off to the laundry room (and separate AC unit) they went.  Another bonus is that if I need to run the dryer, they stay nice and toasty.
Sometimes you just need a snuggle under a heating pad

We didn't want to spend a lot of time or money on a brooder, since they will spend a very short amount of time in there.  We wanted something inexpensive, easy to clean, and in an emergency - cat proof.  I looked around online, and found a few fellow bloggers who had used a large plastic storage tub as their brooder.  So, off to Wal-Mart we went.

We found a large tub for under $20 that is the perfect size.  It's a nice long rectangle, which gives the chicks different zones to hang out in. At one end we have their heat plate, and at the other is their food and water.  This leaves an open space in between for them to run around and stretch their wings.  We're going to add a mini roost this week for them to start practicing on when they're ready.

In the base of the tub, we put a vinyl drawer liner (to keep the chicks from slipping and to help with cleanup), as well as a puppy pee pad.  We got both of these from the Dollar Store.  Next we added pine shavings that we got in a giant bag from our feed store.  We will never run out of pine shavings.

For the lid, we cut out a section for ventilation, and zip tied a section of hardware cloth over the opening to keep cats out and birds in.  The container has locks on all four sides, so we know that the babies are secure.  We also had to cut a small hole in the back of the container to run the heater cord out.

Cleanup is a breeze, and the pee pad helps absorb liquids and keep odors away.  I'm able to do a quick  cleanup every day, and then a complete empty of the bedding as needed.  A quick disinfectant wipe down, followed by a rinse and dry and I'm all done. Now if I can just get them to keep their food out of their water...

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