I'm planning on getting about 8 baby chicks in Feb or March. We're new to chickens, but have been a multi-pet household for a long time, so I happen to have several options available as I get ready to set up a brooder. Please, help me pick:
1)Small-animal cage, 1x1/2 wire mesh, about 24"wide 30"long 18"high, with a 3"deep drop pan. Dog & cat secure, but maybe on the small side.
2)Large small-animal cage, also 1x1/2 mesh, about 24"wide 30"long 36"tall, with multiple levels & ledges & ramps, 2"deep drop pan. Don't really know how or whether this would work with chicks.
3)Wire dog crate, 28"wide 42"long 30"tall, no slide-in tray as for some reason our dog decided it would be a good idea to destroy that part. Concerned about what to put on the bottom and about keeping cat paws from "fishing" between the bars.
4)Plastic Rubbermaid-type bins in various sizes.
Whatever we do, I think the plan is for chicks to be in our basement until they feather out and move outside. I think we are probably going for a Mama Heating Pad setup (because I'm cheap and husband worries about fire.) Homemade chick feeder and waterer if I can work out how to make them. It's likely that whatever we keep them in, it is going to be opened and closed about a million times, since I doubt our kids will be able to resist playing with the chicks, and to be honest neither will I.