Brooder and Hover Plans

As promised, I have uploaded our plans for building portable, low-cost brooders and hovers. These brooders are modeled after one pictured in Joel Salatin’s book, “Pastured Poultry Profits”, but we developed the design ourselves.

The following pictures should be of help to anyone who is inexperienced in construction.  They are really easy to put together, and require minimum tools; just a circular saw, a cordless drill, a hammer and a square.  The cost for each one came to just less than $200.

There are probably ways to build these better, and if you’re experienced you’ll probably catch things we did wrong.  But at the end of the day, they are sturdy, watertight and are doing a great job brooding chicks.  Use our guide as a base and make any changes as you see fit.

Link to PDF file for plans:  Provenance Farm Brooder and Hover Plans

one wall, partially constructed

completed wall

all four walls joined to create the brooder frame

brooder frame, with partially completed plywood walls

cut removable plywood panels for sides

attach hinges for lids

Finished brooder (with sides removed)

Select an experimental chicken

test brooder for chicken-holding capacity

When satisfied with chicken-holding capability, drag brooder to designated Brooding Spot

Build a few more, and you're in business

Link to PDF file for plans: Provenance Farm Brooder and Hover Plans



Filed under Project Start a Farm

14 responses to “Brooder and Hover Plans

  1. Pingback: Chicken Dorms « A Daring Adventure

  2. Do you leave your brooders floor-less or do you fill in with wood chips?


    Maniac Grass Farmer
    Sylvania, Georgia

    • They have no floor, but we put 4-6 inches of sawdust in the bottom, and a little on top of the hover for insulation. You can buy sawdust by the cubic yard at a mulch or bark supply place. It takes just less than 1 cubic yard to fill the brooder floor and top of hover to 4-6 inches deep.

  3. P.S. – Thanks for putting your plans on the web. Appreciate the details.

  4. Deb

    Thanks for posting the plans and pics.

    Does the hover fit inside the brooder? Do you use it in this manner with chicks needing the hover hit?

  5. elke

    Well ok they look great but even though i live on a farm im might be looking for something that ,oh i dont know, might fit in your main living area or kitchen!!!

  6. Rachel,

    I was searching for brooder images on google and yours came up. It was the one with your husband holding the side up. Such a great design, I think its the one we will go with this year. Thanks for the step by step details!!

  7. We built your brooder and hover. Put our first chicks in this week and it’s working great so far! Thanks for sharing!

  8. It should be noted for anyone wanting to build these that they sides are removable for ventilation and cooling on hot days. As the chicks get older they need fresh air. On really hot days opening both sides allows a stream of air in so the birds don’t overheat. This year we added hinges to the sides so that we can just fold the sides up and down. What a time saver!

  9. Pingback: Chicken Brooder | faithfulhomestead

  10. How do you keep the chicks warm enough if they are outside? Is there a light in this brooder? What is the hover? I don’t see that in the pics?

  11. Clint

    Thank you for sharing the brooder plans, going to make one of these this
    year to brood my young poults.

  12. Elisabeth

    Thanks for the plans! Much appreciated!

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