grow out pen

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by montain_dweller, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. montain_dweller

    montain_dweller Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey everyone. I was curious what everyone uses for grow out pens. I have 2 chicks which are about a month old now. I have been using a extra large dog crate as a brooder, its been working good, the 2 older chicks are in their awkward feathers growing out everywhere stage and soon I would like to move them to something larger, as lately they have been racing back and forth in the cage, and just all around getting wild.
    I am curious how much space these birds should have, as I do not want to take them outside yet, still a lot of snow where I am and a lot of cold nights ahead. I was thinking I could put them in my dirt floor basement. its a solid 20 degrees cooler then the rest of the house so it would give them a slight cold hardening. once the spring sun has melted the snow and started growing grass I plan on moving the pen outdoors onto the yard, near the chicken run, so my older girls can get use to the new comers.
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't know how large your dog crate is but that inside a tractor run would be fine for a grow out pen. You know, bedding in bottom and fashion a roost for them, keep rain off and able to lock it at night so predator proof.

    My grow out pen is a 4x8 run on wheels. The back portion is lower and supports a childs play house on plywood. Wait, I think I have an old picture of it. It has better wheels now and four of them to move to fresh grass easier.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. montain_dweller

    montain_dweller Out Of The Brooder

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    thanks for the great idea. how many birds can that fit comfortably? I may make two just like it, minus the plastic house... as I dont have that but do have plywood.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    What is the wall material on this? It looks like plastic? thx
     
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, my grow out pen is only covered with plastic fencing. Not secure but had no losses with it. Go figure. I should add that I used 2X2's to keep it light, 2X3 for bottom lengths for strength. Predrill holes for screws or they will crack. Oh, and the 4x4 area made for coop is overkill, would be lighter and as useful at 2.5X4 coop end.

    I can hold 12 birds or more straight from a brooder in this. As they grow obviously I need to cull. Few cockerels to make space then a big cull of cockerels at about 12 weeks old for grilling. That makes room for them to grow enough prior to being introduced to large pen and final cockerel roaster culls. Currently this thing is being used as a breeder pen for a trio. Just useful to have a tractor type growout/quarantine/breeding pen type thing in your yard. Cheap start to chicken raising giving you time to build the coop and run. And useful for many years after.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  6. montain_dweller

    montain_dweller Out Of The Brooder

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    I built my coop and run last year in the spring. I battles snow and I feel that the bad weather caused me to rush a few things. This spring the coop will be getting a new roof. I am also going to rebuild it from 4x8 to 6x10. I will be replacing some of the plexiglass removable windows I have for some double pane windows I salvaged from a building project. I will also finish it all off by adding some siding, and put an aluminum roof on. I have the plans of building a rain catch waterer system as well, but its at the bottom of my list right now.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Thank you.

    I'm not worried about predators in my yard, it's well patrolled by my dog. And then, I wouldn't be heartbroken and devastated if I lost some birds, just out some time and $. I think it's a great idea, probably much cheaper and definitely lighter and easier to move. We don't have much in the way of lawn here, but could build something similar.
     
  8. annagarret

    annagarret Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Cute!!
     

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