Can baby chicks be kept in a cage?

Nuklear

Chirping
7 Years
Sep 28, 2012
64
2
94
Southern California
I was wondering if I could house baby chicks in a bird cage rather than in a cardboard/plastic box. Will a cage be too drafty for them even though a infrared lamp will be provided?

Here's the cage, I put in one of my budgies in there so you could get an idea on how big it is:



The flooring will be replaced with wood shavings, of course. I plan on ordering 5 chicks in the spring, will this be good enough or will I have to provide some extra room for them?
 

jak2002003

Crowing
Oct 24, 2009
3,146
1,278
396
Thailand
You would have a problem with the chicks kicking out all the bedding through the bars and onto you floor.

It may also be too draughty, but you could put a box in there, with one side cut away, with the heat lamp over it.
 

AlienChick

Crowing
Apr 9, 2010
2,917
125
251
Glasgow, KY
Sure they can be kept in a bird cage. I kept mine in a large dog crate at one time.
Just remember to wrap something around the bottom sides to keep the litter from falling out.
Chicks are very (very) messy and will have shavings all over the place.
After a couple of weeks they will also be very smelly and very (very) dusty.
So make sure the cage is not in a room where you plan to “live.”



 
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Nuklear

Chirping
7 Years
Sep 28, 2012
64
2
94
Southern California
Hmm okay, thanks!

It's going to be in my room, since we have a cat inside the house I don't want him eye-balling my babies or I'll end up locking him in a room. Hopefully the smell won't bother me too much.
 

AlienChick

Crowing
Apr 9, 2010
2,917
125
251
Glasgow, KY
And remember... it's not just the smell... it's the DUST also.
After they're two weeks old, there will be a very thick layer of dust on EVERYTHING.
Hopefully, you do not have any electrical equipment in your room (TV, Computer, etc.).
A garage would be a far better location for the cage.
 

ramzroost

Songster
7 Years
Nov 19, 2012
27
65
109
North Carolina
I have had two batches of chicks that I kept in a large dog kennel. I only kept them in a tub for the first week. Once I put them in the do crate I placed a thick plastic table cloth (red checkered one I found in camping supplies) on the bottom and had it coming up the sides about 3-4 inches then put shavings about 2 inches thick. This helped some of the shavings stay in. Unfortunately the only space I had to keep it was in the corner of my living room by the sliding glass door. I also have a cat and she was curious but I kept her out by wrapping three sides of the crate with green plastic hardware cloth I had laying around. It just happened to be the height of the crate. My cat couldn't get her paws through the square holes. Other than being a little curious she never really bothered them. I clipped a lamp on the inside of the cage and used large sticks as roosts. Both sets of the chicks did well. My first batch stayed in the cage until they were old enough to go outside to the coop that we had been building while they were inside. The second batch of chicks stayed inside until their featehrs came in. Now they are still in the kennel a little longer but the kennel is outside in the coop so they can get acclaimated to the older chickens. I also have 2 Zebra finches so I know that they sell plastic covers or netting that can go around the base and bottom portions of bird cages to keep the bedding in if you choose to use the bird cage. Again with the light on the dog cage my chicks did fine and it wasn't to drafty. I hope some of this is helpful to you. Good luck!
 

Nuklear

Chirping
7 Years
Sep 28, 2012
64
2
94
Southern California
Thanks for your replies!

I've decided that I'll try and find a large cardboard box to house them in rather than having them in a cage. Like you guys said, they'll kick the bedding out of the cage and I've tried putting cardboard around it, but it won't really stay. I would also hate to constantly vacuum the mess, possibly scaring the chicks with the loud noise it makes.

As for the dust, will a air purifier help?
 

mommamarsh

In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
10
0
22
Check with "U-Haul" store for very good cardboard boxes.They come in many sizes .You could make a lid from a 2x4 (or 2x2) covered with hardware cloth or screen
wire to keep Kitty out.Best of luck!
 

featheredmom

In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 5, 2012
79
2
41
Plastic rubbermaid/sterelite boxes work the best, my chicks like to spill water(regardless of the container used) and they poop which will also go right through the cardboard. We have a cardboard "sick box" for any babies that need extra attention, we have to replace the box every 3-4 days due to wetness in the box...they are really unbelievably messy. You can get by with a $5 bin and when you are finished with it clean it up and use it for something else or keep it around for the next batch of chick-they are very addictive so there will likely be a "next time."

We currently have 40 with another 50 that shipped out yesterday...the amount of work involved is beyond comprehension and cardboard would only make it worse.
 

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