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Self Sufficiency

Setting Up A Chicken Brooder

Whether you bought chicks from a feed store or hatchery or hatched your own eggs in an incubator, you’re going to need a chicken brooder until they are big enough to venture outside alone. Learn how to make one here!

Easy To Make Chicken Brooder

Young birds, which have not yet feathered – those under around 6-8 weeks, depending on the breed – will need to be housed in a secure, warm area, with access to food and water 24/7. Building your own chicken brooder is easier and a lot cheaper than you might think. So if you are considering increasing your flock, or getting started with keeping chickens, here’s a simple tutorial that you can follow along for setting up your own chicken brooder.

What You Need For Your Brooder:

What you use for a brooder is up to you and your circumstances. Many people have custom-built wooden brooders, made with 2×3’s and hardware cloth. Personally, I do not like to use wood, because I like to super-disinfect every so often, and thus I prefer plastic.

Others use Rubbermaid tubs, an excellent option if you don’t have cats. It’s hard to put a secure lid on a Rubbermaid tub, though I have seen some great ones constructed from the actual lid of the tub and hardware cloth. These make me nervous though when used in conjunction with a heat lamp. Too much potential for melting!

You could, of course, spring for one of those amazing GQF brooders. You’ll sometimes find them second hand on Craigslist, but you’ll have to be quick. They go fast. They’re all singing, all-dancing, top of the line brooders – and they’re priced accordingly.

Setting Up A Chicken Brooder

My personal favorite is to use an old rabbit or guinea-pig cage, such as what you see in the picture. They’re often at thrift stores, Goodwill, on Craigslist, at yard sales; the bottom line is, you can pick them up cheap. They’re plastic, so they can be scrubbed and disinfected, which should be done after every batch of chicks. They also have nice secure wire tops, which make it harder (I hesitate to say impossible) for marauding barn cats to gain entry. Lastly, should the wire top come into contact with the heat lamp, there’s little to no chance of fire. In an environment where there is hay and bedding, this is of paramount importance.

What You’ll Need To Set Up A Brooder:

  • Brooder box
  • Heat source
  • Starter feed
  • Feeder
  • Waterer
  • Bedding material or sand

Here’s How To Set Up A Chicken Brooder:

Step 1: Disinfect

Step 1: Disinfect | Setting Up A Chicken Brooder Step 1: Disinfect | Setting Up A Chicken Brooder
image via thegardencoop

Start with your freshly washed and cleaned brooder, whatever it is you choose to use. A great way to disinfect is to leave it in the full sun to dry – the sun is the world’s most natural bleach.

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Step 2: Fill It With Bedding Material Or Sand

Step 2: Fill It With Bedding Material Or Sand | Setting Up A Chicken Brooder Step 2: Fill It With Bedding Material Or Sand | Setting Up A Chicken Brooder
image via backyardchickens

Fill it with sand. I use play sand from Lowe’s, and I buy a bunch of it when it’s on sale. I like sand because it is naturally draining, it clumps if one area gets overly wet (such as if they dump their water over), and it doesn’t create the vast clouds of dust on everything that shavings do. Sand can also be very simply cleaned with the aid of a kitty litter scoop every couple days.

Step 3: Set It Up Above The Level Of The Sand Or Block

Step 3: Set It Up Above The Level Of The Sand Or Block | Setting Up A Chicken Brooder Step 3: Set It Up Above The Level Of The Sand Or Block | Setting Up A Chicken Brooder
image via redwicket

Take your freshly washed brooder, and set it up above the level of the sand on a block or an upturned dish. Don’t set it too high, or the smaller chicks won’t be able to reach it. Again, I like to use ceramic dishes for this purpose because they are easily cleaned. If I can’t find one, I use a brick or something, because wood is too porous. Setting it up like this prevents bedding and poop being kicked into the water as the chickens scratch around, and also limit the chance of drowning.

Step 4: Put A Dish Of Food

Step 4: Put A Dish Of Food | Setting Up A Chicken Brooder Step 4: Put A Dish Of Food | Setting Up A Chicken Brooder
image via technobillies

Put your dish of food at the other end of the brooder. The chicks will stand in the dish and scratch about, and this stops them kicking their food into the water. You could also use one of those long red plastic chick feeders, which prevents them from standing in the food, but I find these frustrating and too hard to clean.

Step 5: Set Up Heat Lamp

Step 5: Set Up Heat Lamp | Setting Up A Chicken Brooder Step 5: Set Up Heat Lamp | Setting Up A Chicken Brooder
image via backyardchickens

Set up your heat lamp above the food, at the opposite end to the water. If you put it over the water, it will heat it and cause algae to grow. Be sure to double-secure your heat lamp, so it cannot fall.

Step 6: Set Temperature

Step 6: Set Temperature | Setting Up A Chicken Brooder

Step 6: Set Temperature | Setting Up A Chicken Brooder

The temperature should be around 90F for the first week for chicks, and fall 5F a week until they are roughly at room temperature. When they can go outside really depends on the time of the year.

Step 7: Add Your Chicks

Step 7: Add Your Chicks | Setting Up A Chicken Brooder

Step 7: Add Your Chicks | Setting Up A Chicken Brooder

Finally, add your chicks!

Want more tips on setting up a brooder? Check out this video from MOTHER EARTH NEWS and Friends:

That’s it! But be very cautious when setting up your heat lamp! Every year, there are horror stories of people losing their entire barns, sometimes their houses and most if not all of their livestock too, in fires. Nine times out of ten, they were started by heat lamps that were not properly secured. There’s no such thing as being over-cautious with a heat lamp. Always take extra precautions!

Will you make your own chicken brooder? Let us know in the comments section below.

Want to know what are the best egg laying chickens? Check out here, The Best Egg Laying Chickens For Your Homestead!


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This post was originally published in June 2014 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?


Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.


  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients

Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips

Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt

Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage

Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar

Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar

You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band

Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

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Self Sufficiency


Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!


Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.


Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.


Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.


Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.


Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.


There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.


A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.


Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.


Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!




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