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Home Made Brooder

I had started making this before i thought to take pictures. I am by no means a builder. This is my first time around! I had a GQF brooder and it's nuts and bolts kept falling apart and finally it fell apart. I move things in and out alot. Usually swearing i won't ever bring the brooder in the house agian. But often fail.
Also forgive me if i'm over explicite with instructions. I hope that those who want to copy it can get the idea. Also want to make sure those, who like me, who never did this before can do it. :)
Step one: There was some sheets of plywood laying around and it just came to me. First i grabbed a two by four. It was aprox 144 inches long. I cut it into 4 36inch long pieces. (I measured it first and then divided by 4 as i had no idea how large i wanted anything.)
Next step was to figure out how big the ends would be. Now the piece of plywood is 4 feet wide by?? long. I figured to keep measuring easy i would make the ends 2 feet wide. Then i figured a square would be nice and made it two feet long. It was still not cut in 1/2 so i cut a 4ft x 2ft piece.  I then marked where the middle was and cut it in 1/2 for two 2x2 pieces.
{When i mark i bring the measurement i want to the outside edge of the face i'm working on. I mark on both sides of the tape, then i do it in the middle and then on the opposite end. I then take a ruler and make a streight line from mark to mark to mark. Then i use a circular saw on the inside of the line. Leaving the line on the remains not the piece i'm working on. }
Part three:
I took my 36 inch 2x4 piece and took (often i use what is handy as far as screws go, we run out fast building pens.) a 1 & 1/2 inch long galvanized screw and brought my 2x2 plywood to my 36 inch leg. I put in three screws. Keeping the wood even and just a smidge from the outside. I did this with both legs. Here is where i decided to take pictures. Here is the end result:
 

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Above and below are the finished product of step three. I made two of these for the ends. This one i turned around to show you both sides!

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<- This is step 4:
I took some extra 1 inch trim and cut it to the size of the sides I had & put double strips, one for the wire floor and one for the future tray. This is what the side looked after i finished with the trim.
Ok there is one piece an inch off because i ran out of trim and had to use the leftover piece. Which was only a smidge shorter then i needed.
I used a "9x2 1/2 inch Carpentry screw, exterior grabber gaurd screw" it needs a special bit for the screw gun. Again it's all we had around. But a 2 1/2 screw woudl work too, as it has to go thru the trim, the plywood and into the 2x4.
 
 

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I screwed the bottom pieced down first & was able to keep a relatively even line with the plywood. Once that was done i had no way to keep the second piece level. It kept moving on the ends. So i used my phillips head bit to keep an even distance between the woods. It was easy enough since i could put the end against the bottom and then the wood aganst the bit. That's what this picture is showing you. Hope it sparks your own ideas. ->

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<-Ok this is what i was left with and i wasn't sure how long to make the sides. As i said i'm no builder, just winging it! I had the old wire floor from teh old brooder and decided to use that width as my guide. I Simply put it on the one corner. Lined it up and drew my line. Then i did to the other end and whallah i had a width!

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Since it was still 4feet wide it was easy enough to measure it in 1/2 to make my two sides. And that's what this piece is. The bigger one cut in 1/2 ->

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<- As i was putting on the final side i relized the bottom of the side had to be shortened. See the bottom trim only needs to be on three sides to hold the tray. But the top trim needs 4 pieces to hold the wire floor.
So i measured the plywood as if i were about to screw it on with the top of the legs. Then i marked where the bottom of the top trim was. I did that on both ends of the trim and matched up the marks as before & cut.
Now that's the bottom of the top layer of trim. because the top trim needs four sides and you'll need the bottom of that piece to line up with it and keep it even.
You can see the bottom track in this pic to show you what i mean. Hope that's clear!?
 

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Then i took four galvanized screws and screwed the four sides together. There i my helper looking sad cause she wants to get in the box! :) Now i have a box! :) ->

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<- Then i took my old wire rack measured the inside of the box and cut it down to size. It wasn't much work with my wire cutters. Have had lots of practice helping hubby build pens. Then i placed it inside on the track! :)
Since i ran out of battery power i had to charge up and start again the next day. So i took my wire floor out of my brooder and matched it to the corner of a piece of plywood. Drew the two sides i needed and then cut the tray. I would preffer edges but hey i can't have everything. I cut inside the marks and i had to go back and trim down some more carefully.  Now i had my brooder & put it in the house.
 

Next day i decided it simply looked like a big ugly box & it needed a view. I had some plexi glass laying around and i cut a square. I took a piece of cardboard and cut the same square. I then cut the cardboard down and inch on each side. I took the cardbaord and marked the area on the outside where i wanted the window to be. I marked all around the carboard on the wood where the window would be. The inch difference was so i could screw the plexi glass to the wood.
I don't know what the tool is i used but i cut the square,  and then screwed the plexi glass on. My neighbor had some screws that self drill as they go. I recommend the heads be on the inside of the box so that if the birds get jumpy they don't harm themselves on the screw ends. It's hard to cut them off and they can harm the birds. The heads will not damage the birds.

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I had made the covers for my old brooder since it had metal covers and i couldn't see the birds. I did these lids on my own and they happen to fit well.
So now you see i have a view as i enjoy my new babies! It seems bigger then it is (tiny house) and once i put wheels on & paint it up it'll be perfect. I probably won't paint the insides but i may draw a few chickens on the outside! LOL
So this is my home made brooder and how i did it. Hope that helps others. I'm no builder just making it with the scraps i had around and the tools i had on hand.
My hubby shakes his head, my nieghbor says i have brass b*##$  to run the power tools. LOL Either way they think i'm nuts!!
I'm happy and i didn't spend a dime on it!!!! The hooded light seems to be doing the trick and just today 8-16-03 i changed to a black light as they were no longer under the light.
If i've confused you in any way please feel free to email me! :)



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