My how they've grown in 4 short weeks! So, with the help of my youngest, who is off school Mondays, we cleared a space in the garage for the huge Costco potato box and I cut the octagon and placed it in the bottom of the bin to cover the gaping hole in the middle. Here my little guy wanted to be in the picture and in the bin, sporting his PJs.
You may notice the dozen or so holes at the bottom of the bin. My brother's bin didn't have those, so I spent about 15 minutes cutting small pieces of cardboard and duct taping them on the outside of the bin. I wasn't worried about the girls getting out those holes, but they'd definitely kick bedding out them, which would be a big mess. Then my son and I filled the bin with what seemed like a ton of wood shavings. We went about 3 inches deep.
Sorry for the mess, the garage still needs to be cleared out of all the stuff we don't want or need to find a place for. You know how it is. Anyway, I had been straightening out the 3 foot wide piece of 1/2" hardware cloth that my brother gave me for the roof, for several days. Though when I placed it on top, I realized there was a several inch gap on either side that would be problematic. I wasn't worried about the birds escaping as they're too big to fit through, but I didn't want them trying to escape and getting hurt on the sharp wire. So, what now? Well, I thought back to the cover I figured out for the previous brooder. I had plenty of window screens saved from our renovation project two years ago. I've used them with limited success to shade my lettuce during the heat of the summer to stave of bolting. Out back I had three big screens, so I grabbed two and threw them on top. Presto! I had my lid.
Oh and I took about an hour to figure out the proper position for the heat lamp. It took my three foot chain I bought for the lamp, plus a few saved chain pieces that came with my shop lights for my light system, but I got 70 degrees. I really should be at 65 now, but I decided to give them a few more days at 70 to ease the transition. I've found the temp on the other side of the brooder is about 60 degrees, so in a few weeks, I'll remove the lamp altogether.
At this point, it was time to move over all the gear from the old brooder. Boy were they confused when I took the water and food away. It was at this point that I had to do some tinkering with the pieces to fit the new brooder, as well as, their new larger size. For one, the 2x6 I used to keep the water bedding-free was too low, so I screwed some scrap 2x4s and 2x2s to the bottom to raise it up a few inches. Next, I took two 2x4s and placed the food on it rather than on the bedding itself to keep it from becoming covered with shavings. Finally, I had to figure a way to stabilize the roost. Before it was braced by the 2x6 that the water rested on, as well as, the brooder wall. Now it was just too wobbly on the bedding. So, looking around the garage, I found just what I needed... a paint stir stick. I cut it in two and screwed it into the bottom of the roost. Good as new. Hey, if you hadn't figured it out by now, I'm completely function over fashion.