My Epic Self-Sufficiency Failure with this Chicken Brooder

Front of chicken brooder
Started its life as a dresser. It’ll work for a couple chicks but I didn’t think through the space I’d need well.

A while back, I made the commitment to myself and to my family that I was going to get chickens. I looked all over Pinterest for ideas; I had read several different books and websites about how to raise chickens. Mostly because of Pinterest, I had found these little brooders, which, was really fun looking and I like tinkering so I decided I was going to build one.

I promptly went to craigslist and I found there a dresser had not been used in probably dozens of years and I decided that I would convert this dresser into a really cute little chicken brooder. For those of you who may not know chicken brooders…they are controlled space and environments for baby chicks up until a time when you can actually put them in a coop.

 

Chicken brooder in all its glory
Looks great! but, a large cardboard box (refigerator size) is perfect…and, you can throw it away when you’re done.

So this brooder is approximately 2 ½ foot wide and about 18 inches deep and about oh 24 inches tall. It has a couple of drawers at the bottom, which you can see. Here’s the problem that I had, I wanted about 10 chickens. I quickly discovered the 10 chickens were not going to fit into this tiny little brooder for long. So I poked around a little bit and I found that I was able to procure for myself a rather large refrigerator cardboard box. I promptly removed the lights that I had so carefully placed within my brooder, put them in the cardboard box, rather unceremoniously and found the perfect solution.

See while the brooder looks fantastic and in theory should work fine, the reality is that little chickens are a complete mess. The cardboard box turned into a sloppy, wet yuck-fest, which just needed to be thrown away by the time the chickens were old enough to be able to be inside of their long-term house, the chicken coop.

Chicken brooder side

As always I’ll encourage you to take baby steps in your self-sufficiency journey it’s more of a marathon that it is a sprint. Learning the skills that are required to be truly self-sufficient is a lifetime endeavor. What I found is the more I know, the more I realize how much I don’t know. And if you like me learning never ends and that really is the beauty of life. I encourage you to take control of your life and the lives of your family and do what’s best for them and figure out ways to make your life more self-sufficient it’s truly empowering it’s such a great feeling to know that you are the master of your own destiny.

 

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