[FONT=tahoma,arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Chicks Love Garden Benches
Here is a garden bench we made in about an hour, without having to purchase anything. Actually, it took me about an hour to clean it off, and an hour to build it. The DH built me the bench when we first moved into the house, and the hardware cloth was leftovers from we first built the coop.
We needed a secondary brooder to "grow out' the larger chicks so the younger chicks can go into The Hot Chick Room. We used a garden bench that had been doing duty holding "chicken stuff". You can see it next to The Hot Chick Room in the picture below.
[FONT=tahoma,arial,helvetica,sans-serif]The bench was going back against the brick wall, but one side still needed a "skirt" of hardware cloth to discourage the dogs from digging. This brooder is semi-temporary, so I asked the DH to leave the extra hardware cloth along the back. That way the cloth is still usable (probably around the garden) when we disassemble it.[/FONT]
The hardware cloth is attached with screws, and we used the wood from the original bench's shelf. The roosts were cut from a downed branch. The branches are movable.
Since the brooder is not permanent, I did not need a fancy door. The second wood shelf slides into brackets.
When playing with the grinder, wear shoes. Here you can see the kids tending to my wounds, lecturing me.
Here it is installed, before I buried the skirt.
We are temporarily using this brooder as a breeding pen. It is large enough for a trio: we free-range the chooks when we are home, so they will still get lots of exercise. The nesting box is a bread tray, and the food and water go on the bottom level. The top of the bench can still double as storage. The top level of the bench is perf steel, so I put down an old rubber/plastic desk mat. The "stuff" holds it down & help block the roosts from rain.
Below is a picture of the bench in action. As you know, hens are nosy...and ALL the banties immediately went in to investigate. Here is a picture of the DH trying to put Sweetcheeks in the brooder. In one hand he has the rooster, in another he has the scary rake. The sizzles were not impressed.