Originally Posted by KDOGG331
Might start on the MPH thing but my concern is how huge the wire is. No clue where to cut it or anything. Like it seems really tall or I guess wide because it must be like 4 or 5 feet? I'm 5' 11" and you can see it's like at my chest. Also concerned about ticks and poison ivy and finding the wire cutters lol maybe I'll start inside first with the pad.
Um, I would have started that a few days back since the chicks are coming tomorrow morning EARLY.
But OK. Figure out what size you want the cave to be. I would choose something divisible by 2" and 4" since that is 2x4 wire fencing You got the big pad, right? The dimensions are (let me check) a convenient 12" x 24". You don't even need a measuring tape I think I would cut the wire 6 of the 4" wide openings and 9 of the 2". That will be a piece 18"x24" so they can have a 6" covered (with something other than the heating pad) porch out front of the heating pad area in the back. That will make more undercover space where they can choose the temperature they want.
Cut using dykes (diagonal wire cutting pliers) if you have them because you can get close to the welds where the wires cross, less pokey stuff to tape. Stick the pad in an old pillowcase and strap it to the wire frame along the 24" side, this is the back. Bend it into shape with the pad underneath and place something on top (maybe an old towel) to help keep the heat in and the chick poop off the pad. If you have a few old towels, you can just swap them out and wash them as needed.
Originally Posted by RubyNala97
That's actually a good idea too. Instead of making a portal, I could just prop the divider up enough to let them get in and out. You guys are always giving me ideas and making this easy! Thanks!
This is great to hear! I was thinking about that in the back of my head too. But I got the exact pad you guys recommended so, hoping it holds up!
Ok, so it doesn't really matter how long the big guys have gotten to see the chicks? Even though my chicks are a little older, I just put them out last week. I'll wait till the weekend and try letting them out when I'll be out there to watch. Thanks for all the advice.
As was said, the fussing will be around the food. I think it unlikely the older birds will take after the younger ones "just because". But where there is food to be had, all bets are off. My chickens are stupid about food. If I toss a handful of BOSS or scratch one direction, all the birds run to it. If I then toss some in the opposite ALL the stupid birds run to it, even the ones that have food right in front of them. That is when I've seen my older birds chase out the younger ones. So I just toss it everywhere and it works out. Penelope (a juve EE) was REALLY not into being chased around when it was scratch time and would hang by the barn door. I took to tossing a lot of scratch in front of the coop (it is a converted horse stall near the middle of the barn) and would talk to her quietly on my way out and surreptitiously drop some (like a Hogan's Hero character dropping dirt out of their pants legs from the tunnels they were digging) as I walked past her. Not only did she get some that way, the other birds didn't notice so they didn't rush her AND it kept her from running out of the barn when she should be in. Now she will come to me if I squat down and even eat the ornamental cherries out of my hand. The other EE juves won't do that. Guess she figured out the funky looking chicken is OK.
Your younger ones will figure it out and find their place. Of course mine only had to squabble among themselves until they were 2 months old and the broody who raised them kicked them to the curb. Before that only 2 of the older birds were allowed to get near them. Even they had to prove themselves to Zorra. One became a "mother's aide" the other is a dufus and Zorra figured out she was just wandering around following her beak. BUT the juves had to integrate themselves with the older birds once Zorra's "brooding" switch went off. She and the "auntie" had kept them together and the other birds stayed away except at night when they went in the coop. The juves kept to their little pack (with Auntie in attendance for a few more weeks) but now they seem to be integrating a bit more during the day. I would say they are still only with other birds maybe 20% of the time though.