Dog Crate for Grow Out Pen?


In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 2, 2012
We currently have one large coop with three hens and a rooster. I have a couple chicks in the brooder, which is a large dog crate with an EcoGlow for heat. In a few weeks, they will be ready to move outside.

We're going to need some way to put them outside near the big chickens, but not right with them, because I don't want them to beat up on the chicks.

I have a small coop that would be perfect for housing them, but the run was destroyed by a deer a while back.

My plan is to set up the little coop with some kind of run right next to the big chickens' run, so that they can see each other for a while, before living together.

I was thinking about just getting some materials and trying to build a run. But my husband suggested just using another large dog crate as a run - to take the chicks out of the coop in the morning and let them run around in the crate next to the big run during the day.

Is there any reason why this would not be a good idea? I'm so very new to this.


7 Years
Feb 9, 2013
I think as long as they had some food and water in it that would be fine! However, if it is too cold where you live it might not be a good idea.


6 Years
Mar 23, 2013
That's similar to what I'm doing. At night I'll keep the new chickens in the dog crate so they will be together but they won't get picked on. During the day I'll divide the chicken run with a chicken wire fence I made with a roll of chicken wire and stakes stapled to it. It's great for a temporary fence. I used it earlier in the week to make a pen so the chicks were confined in one area while my older girls could check them out.


In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 19, 2012
Carlingford, NB Canada
I will also be doing a similar thing. I am getting baby chick's this week...and when they are old enough to go into the coop with my mature hens, I'm going to use a dog crate in the coop, so they can interact with the older hens without being picked on.


6 Years
Apr 24, 2013
My chicks have a dog crate as a brooder, it's WAY too small for them so every day they go outside for as long as possible weather permitting into a play pen I built for them. It was so very easy and I have zero building skills.

I got 4- 1x2 boards at 8ft long for $ .99 each at my lumber store and bought a $10 handsaw at Walmart and a $20 nail gun (there were cheaper ones), chicken wire was $8 but it was left over from the dog crate brooder and 8 small brackets (one for each corner).

Finished it's 4x2x2. I cut 2 boards in half and 2 in 1/4s, everything is held together by wood glue (amazingly strong stuff lol I was shocked), TONS of staples, a few nails, and brackets. It's strong, my daughter leans on it all the time and it's held steady. I place a piece of plywood over the top that isn't covered by chicken wire to serve as the door and shade. It's been perfect!

And the cat just loves it too!

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Life is Good!

9 Years
Apr 14, 2011
suburbia Chicagoland
Is there any reason why this would not be a good idea? I'm so very new to this.
This is a very good idea and one which most of us seem to use. I've got a large dog crate as a mini-coop, use small (2') t-posts and wire fencing to create a mini-run. The only trouble I've had with it is if the rain comes from a specific direction, the bedding gets wet. So I'll need to make some sort of 'roof' for the dog crate, as I think the slits are too open and rain just pours down into it.

The other problem I ran into, was that the chicks were small enough to fit through the fencing! I was using 'rabbit guard' type fencing you'd use in a garden, and the chicks just slipped right on through! I switched to 1/2" hardware cloth and solved that problem! So watch your spacing!

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