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Brooder Pen

  1. Dizzydog
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    I decided on the spur of the moment to buy some baby chicks to replace my old hens that are getting long in the tooth and short on egg production. I needed to keep the babies separated from the old girls until they were big enough to hold their own so I built this little temporary brooder coop. I will also be able to use it if I decide to set a hen in the future.
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    I built it from a set of old window frames that I had laying around. The frames were 2 foot wide and 4' long. I covered each pair of them with a 4 foot wide piece of chicken wire.
    If you didn't have window frames you could build frames from 1x2s and fasten them together with Kreg jig screws.

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    The chicken wire created a hinge. When I take the pen apart I will be able to fold the pairs of frames for storage.
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    The two sets of window frames are held together by 2'x2' square end panels made from 2x4 materials. 4 bolts with wing nuts hold everything together. The door can be flipped to allow chicks to get out but prevent adult birds from getting in.
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    The top folds up to allow access to the chicks. The bottom frame is covered with chicken wire too so the pen is totally enclosed on all 6 sides.

    The brooder box lid is just a frame covered with some aluminum flashing and held on with a rubber bungee.
    THIS DID NOT WORK!
    Racoons raided the coop. They were not able to get into the coop but they lifted the lid of the nest box enough to reach in and grabbed 2 of the chicks. I ended up placing 3 large concrete blocks on the lid. I then proceeded to trap 3 racoons who decided to come back for more. I think a couple of hinges and and a latch are needed to secure it better.

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    I used the window latches for latches to hold the top of the pen. They fasten the top down very securely. The raccoons were not able to get in here.
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    The brooder box is two 2'x2' squares similar to the end panel with some old cedar 1x4 fencing nailed around them. I used additional cedar boards to create a wood floor.
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    I rigged a small pig feeder to the outside of the brooder box with the business end inside so the feed stays dry. The hexagonal opening was created when I need to make the opening smaller but didn't want to add framing to attach it to. (Framing = weight) The 45 degree angle allowed me to toenail into the adjoining piece. It just happened to work perfectly to allow the feeder to poke into the box.

    The weather was mild so I didn't need to add heat but it would be easy to add a light bulb or a heating pad if needed.

    The entire project took 2 days to build.

    It was made entirely from bits and scraps that I had laying around so cost is a bit speculative. If you bought new materials this is what it might cost.

    4 old window frames picked up at a garage sale $5.00
    10 ft of 4' wide chicken wire $5.00
    3 - 2x4 8 cedar @ $8.00 each $25.00
    50 liner feet of 1x4 cedar @.50 per foot $25.00
    Nails, nuts, bolts, and misc. ? $5.00
    Pig feeder $10.00

    Total $75.00 to $100

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