Wow! Thanks to ALL of you who took the time to respond to my questions so fast. Short answer to why I have the dog crate in the brooder box....."I don't know, it Seemed like a good idea" It just seemed to me that since I was setting up the MHP in the dog crate (small one 12X19) with solid bottom tray, press and seal the sides, etc. I was gonna let the babies live there for a week or so to get settled, then I would just move the whole thing to the box in the run. Rather than re-building the MHP. It would also keep their disruption to a minimum as well. The crate has 2 doors one on the end and a larger one on the side, I was just gonna open the side door and give them access to the bigger box area and they could get to the MHP as needed and at night. the box I plan to build is a simple 4' x 8' , 2x2 board, 1/2" hardware cloth, covered to keep out weather, No solid bottom, just wire lined with old feed bags, cardboard and shavings sitting on the ground. I think my thought was they would have a more secure, drier area within the dog crate MHP, but freedom to go out into the larger area if they wanted. I don't have room in my actual coop for a brooder box so it must go outside in the run. Also want to get 6 new chicks and want to give them plenty of room to grow.
Three years ago when I went into chicken raising for the first time, it seemed I was re-building, re-fixing, re-arranging something for those chickens every day!! I want to do it once and be done with it this time.
And Blooie, thanks for the link to brooding outdoors, I had read that but with all the information overload, I got confused. That article was the deciding factor in letting me know that outside brooding was the only way to go.it made total perfect sense! My hope is that having them outside with the big girls, the bigs will get to know them and make the total transition a bit easier. My little flock of 8 have been together with no disruptions for 3 years , so it may be a challenge for them to accept some OUTSIDERS/INTERLOPERS disguised as baby chicks. Want them to see each other for as long as possible before the littles are transitioned to the coop.
The information on feed makes perfect sense, I like putting the bigs on the same grower/starter for a while and let everyone eat the same thing. Keeping life with chickens simple as possible is my motto.
Oh and Ralphie....the Murphy law thing was started by my great great great granddaddy.....he was a bit of pill! It has plagued me all my whole 67 years too. :)
Thank you all again and if you have any other thoughts, please share