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How to Build a Brooder for Your Pet Bird

There were times when parent birds refuse to hatch their eggs or brood their chicks due to some reasons. Bird owners usually make a move in order to help them survive even without the presence of their parents. Although there are commercially available bird brooders, a pet owner can still make one on his own. Here's how to make your own brooder.

There were times when parent birds refuse to hatch their eggs or brood their chicks due to some reasons. Bird owners usually make a move in order to help them survive even without the presence of their parents. Although there are commercially available bird brooders, a pet owner can still make one on his own. Here's how to make your own brooder.

Materials Needed

Empty Box -- If you are to brood more than one chick, consider getting a much larger box. Hint: for every chick, you will be needing two square feet box size. The more chicks to brood, the larger the box. Get a box with top cover if necessary. This will prevent the chicks from escaping and will also spare them from outside forces like attacks from other animals such as cats and dogs.

Bulb -- This will give your chicks the heat that they need. Use a three wavelength bulb and make sure it doesn't exceed 20 watts, or else it will be too hot for your chicks or worse, it could lead to fire disaster.

Lining -- You can use old newspapers for this purpose. Pine shavings, rice hulls, straws or peat moss could also be another option.

Waterer/Feeder -- You can use a small dish or you can buy a feeder and waterer from your local pet store. If you will be using a dish, make sure it is a shallow yet heavy dish to prevent water from spilling even if the chicks step on it.

Screen -- To be put in the box's hole for proper ventilation and it will also serve as protection from other animals in the house.

Steps to Make a Brooder

1. Get your box and put an opening at the top cover. This will serve as their ventilation. Also put small openings on all sides of the box. You can put two small holes per sides.

2. Insert the bulb on one of the holes and put the socket. You can use a tape to hold them in place.

3. Put your lining inside the box. Don't put too much. Just enough to cover the bottom of the box will do.

4. Place the dish or the waterer and feeder at one corner.

5. Plug the bulb and after a few minutes you can put the chicks in. The brooding box should be heated before putting the chicks in.

Reminders

After building your own brooder, always check the temperature of the box. Initial temperature of the brooder for the first week should be at about 95° F (35° C). It is important to monitor the temperature because the lack and the excess of it will badly affect your broods.

After two or three weeks since the eggs were hatched, you can remove the chicks from the brooder. You can tell if they are ready because they will have fully developed and well-grown feathers.

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