Dog crate as outdoor coop for bantams?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by rubyred, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. rubyred

    rubyred Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 30, 2010
    Does anyone have any pictures or ideas for converting a metal dog crate to a temporary outdoor nighttime coop while we have to leave our 6-week bantams for a week unexpectedly?

    I'm thinking about wrapping the crate with 1/2" hardware cloth, putting it on brick or paver risers to make less attractive to predators (raccoon, skunk, neighborhood cats), and so the poo will fall out. I would also partially enclose sides with cardboard, flooring tiles, or whatever I can to create a windbreak/rain protection (likely to get wind and/or rain here in NJ). I'm assuming I would also create some kind of a nest box, maybe out of a cut off gallon milk jug since they like to snuggle into corners of their brooder at night.

    I'd appreciate any suggestions, thoughts of eventual problems I may run into, and/or pictures!

    Thanks!
     
  2. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    I don't have pics but the hardware cloth is a good idea. I would put an extra lock on the door (small padlock) and anchor the crate to the ground. You wouldn't want a hungry predator rolling the crate around. I would wrap it in a tarp, all sides but the door and a long side for air circulation. You can attach it will plastic zip ties.
     
  3. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2011
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    Do you have a coop? We keep our chicks in the coop inside of a metal dog crate, we then put some poles inside for them to roost (except they just chase each other around on them). They have plenty of room to move, they have food and water and are protected from elements and the other chickens, even gives them some time to get used to each others company.
     
  4. rubyred

    rubyred Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 30, 2010
    Quote:Thanks to you and dianaross77! We do have a coop, but it's too small to fit the dog crate and currently occupied by big girls who are not terribly excited to cohabitate with the babies yet (lots of pecking through the dog crate when it's in the run). That said, maybe that's an easier option--could keep them in the run, wrap the crate with hardware cloth to keep them safe from the big girls, all while speeding up the introduction process... I just feel nervous leaving them together for a week when we've had mixed results at introductions so far.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  5. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2011
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    I suppose as long as it's sheltered and secure and won't get that cold you could. Our roo did try to peck at the crate when it had our rabbit in it, but leaves the chicks alone.

    What about leaving them in the garage, basement or laundry room. Put a light on a timer.

    I'd be worried if it rained hard or temp suddenly dropped.
     
  6. melroseladi

    melroseladi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Melrose, Florida
    I have a large wire dog crate housing my 2 silkies that hatched out 3 guinea keets. I have it in my chainlink run. I wrapped it in hardware cloth, going around the entire sides in one piece. I wrapped it in one piece so there would be less places for a coon or other predator to grab and pull at. I started at the front door, around completely covering the side door, around the back, the other side, and around the front to the front door opening. I cut a separate piece covering the front door and extending past the door on both sides so that it overlaps the hardware cloth that is already attached. I secured mine with tons of strong cable ties since this is only a temporary situation. I set the cage on top of a piece of small holed vinyl lattice that extends past the bottom of the cage to help prevent digging. I put a piece of plywood on top that also extends past the actual cage size.

    I put a wooden nightstand, shelves removed and placed on it's side, inside the crate and that is where they all huddle up to sleep. I put wood shavings in the nightstand and in the bottom of the crate. I secured a rabbit feeder to the inside so that I could keep enough food in there. baby keets eat a lot. I put a small piece of plywood under the feeder and raised up a water fountain for them, but it would be really easy to set up a water nipple system in it and would take up less room.
     
  7. rubyred

    rubyred Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 30, 2010
    Thank you all! These are brilliant recommendations! I'm mulling them all over, but think I can make something work based on this great advice.
     
  8. CatsCrazyCoop

    CatsCrazyCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 1, 2011
    Putnam Valley, NY
    I guess someone taking your bantams for the week for you isn't an option?
     
  9. Percysmom

    Percysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    I am using a big dog crate for my half grown chicken. I was just given her yesterday and don't have a coop yet. I took one of those heavy plastic feed bins and removed the little door and it just fit tightly inside the cage door. I attached it and put pine shavings inside. I also drilled holes in the bottom so if the chicken peed it would run out onto the ground.I had large hard plastic tray that I put on top to keep rain out of the cage part.I put this against the shed to keep it warmer inside until I get my real coop. I also put a tarp around the cage for added warmth at night.
     

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