I’ve been wanting to build a box type (Ohio) brooder for years. Well, this year I got my lazy butt off the couch and made one. It cost approximately $40 Canadian and I already had a power cord.

If you know how to wire light fittings it’s a breeze, if not, get a professional Electrician to do the job. In fact, even if you think you can do the electrical work yourself, get it checked by an Electrician. Stay safe.


Materials Used

  • Two 8ft lengths of 12″ x 1″ pine – Sides, ends and top
  • One 8ft length of 2″ x 2″ pine – Legs
  • Two Ceiling Light Holders ( I used 3, it only needs 2 )
  • Two 1½” Standard Wiring Boxes
  • Electrical Wire and Power Cord with Plug
Attach two of the legs to one of the end pieces. I used screws but you could use nails. The legs should be flush with the sides of the board. Repeat with the 2nd end piece and the remaining legs.


I decided to make my brooder 3ft x 2ft. From what I’ve read it will accommodate up to 75 chicks. I had 51 White Rock broiler chicks on order, so that size would be perfect. Why 51?  Well, the price per chick drops 50 cents when I ordered over 50.

The sides need to be 4 inches off the floor, so the four legs were cut to 15¼” long. That is 4 inches longer than the width of the pine board (11¼”). That’s correct, a 12″ board is actually 11¼” wide. What a rip-off!



  • Four 2×2 legs  –  15¼” each
  • Two Sides/End Pieces  –  21″ long
  • Two Long Sides  –  36″ long
  • Two Top Pieces  –  36″ long
So now you have the ends completed. Next, you add the long sides to the ends.

For a brooder this size, you only need two lights, one at each end. I put three on mine because, well I’m an idiot.

Drill a hole where you want the wiring box to go, wide enough for the wire to pass through. The lights need to be as high as possible without putting the bulb too close to the top of the brooder.
This is the brooder with the wiring done. I ended up only using two of the fittings with two 75 watt heat bulbs. I got mine from Amazon for half the cost of my local supplier.

Top on and ready to go.