Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pallet Brooders

We've used pallets in a lot of farm projects. We've made a deck, a compost bin, a goat mountain and now brooders. We're lucky to have a two stall open air barn but the 10x10 size is a little too large for baby birds. I've made two brooders, one in each stall. The first I made yesterday for the ducklings, goslings and poults.

 The far right pallet is attached to the wall using L brackets which makes it easy to disassemble. I've wrapped one side with chicken wire nailed in place using U staples for fencing. I had a few spare hinges I used to attach the pallet on the left to the stationary pallet on the right.

The shorter wall I used some salvaged IKEA laminate flooring simply screwed into the pallet to prevent poultry escapes. Then we secured a rubber strap (again we had lying around) to keep them closed.

Close up of the wire on the pallet.

Cozy poultry.

This is the smaller brooder made with the same concept. L brackets secure this pallet to the wall and hardware cloth is tacked on only the bottom half of the pallet. 

 The second side is secured with a fence kit I bought for some project years ago and never did.

Inside the chicken brooder.

The lock on the chicken brooder.

Total cost for all these projects was very reasonable. We got the pallets for free or $1 a piece. The chicken wire was a gift from my mom (when she gave us the 10 chickens at Christmas) but would have cost approx $10. L brackets cost approximately .50 a piece (we used 6, so $3). Rubber strap was about $2.

Chicken brooder costs roughly $8 for 16 square feet of brooder space. (fancy lock)

Turkey/Duck/Goose brooder roughly $6 for 32 square feet of brooder space. (less fancy locks)


  1. You say this is in an open barn? You may want to put a top on it of some kind to keep critters ('coons, fox) out. Looks like it works good!

  2. Very creative idea! Seems like there are always pallets listed for free on craigslist.. I like the idea of using them for a compost bin also. Thanks for the info!