HELP!!! Need a quick throw together "brooder" for babies and momma

MakMurrayFarm

Chirping
May 8, 2019
73
76
87
I had all of my girls and their week and 3 day old chicks in what I thought was a SAFE coop ! After years... I was wrong. A large king snake got in, killed several babies and one of my sweet girls that was co parenting with my other hen. I'm devastated. Just finished burying her.... I need a quick way to throw together a SAFE mini coop for my one hen and her surviving babies. I have bought 25 feet of hardware cloth and wood. Now how do I make something quick for them that will be safe? I bought plywood for the top and hardware for the ENTIRE brooder coop. Please help!!
 

Elsveta641

Songster
Sep 30, 2018
407
2,197
227
USA
16160-1.jpg
Sorry for your loss. I'd build a Aframe. They are easy and mine is the only one predators never have been able to RIP open. We built it for quail, but makes a great brooder. Here's one sold for bunnies. Ours is like this but 2'H 3'W and 6'long and the floor is solid, plywood with steel flashing nailed over it to be easy to clean. And on ours the entire front side is the door, with regular door hinges on top.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
72,891
77,410
1,557
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I had all of my girls and their week and 3 day old chicks in what I thought was a SAFE coop ! After years... I was wrong. A large king snake got in, killed several babies and one of my sweet girls that was co parenting with my other hen. I'm devastated. Just finished burying her.... I need a quick way to throw together a SAFE mini coop for my one hen and her surviving babies. I have bought 25 feet of hardware cloth and wood. Now how do I make something quick for them that will be safe? I bought plywood for the top and hardware for the ENTIRE brooder coop. Please help!!
Pics of what you have now would help.
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
17,615
23,090
906
southern Michigan
I use a large pet airline crate, and for bantam chicks I add duct tape along the bottom rows of the door. It needs to be the BIG crate, so raccoons can't reach inside and kill everyone. :hit
Would that work for your snake invader?
Otherwise, build something big enough and sturdy enough, with no openings larger than 1/2" diameter.
Mary
 

MakMurrayFarm

Chirping
May 8, 2019
73
76
87
I have built something for the time being... but I'm not satisfied with it. I honestly hate it. Their other coop was so nice and this just sucks. They cant scratch the ground etc. I have EVERYTHING hardware cloth with wood around too. But i dont like it. Now I need a new one lol this may be an emergency coop, but I need something better lol
 

slippednfell

Songster
Apr 20, 2019
219
416
167
AR - OZARK Mountains
I use a very large dog crate. I used 1/2" hardware cloth and zip ties to go around the entire thing, including the bottom, under the pull out tray. I use a bungee cord to keep the tray in, as something has pulled it out partway in the past to get inside. I use some dowel rod at two different levels for them to roost on. I used zip ties to secure these in place. We put a piece of plywood on top to give more shade and protect from rain. It sits on a piece of plywood that is raise up a little by cement blocks.

I would've put money on this that it is predator proof, but there is one little spot near the door that something managed to squeeze it's little claw into and we lost one. Haven't lost any since. Be sure to go crazy using the zip ties. you can't have too many.
 

MakMurrayFarm

Chirping
May 8, 2019
73
76
87
Is it possible to secure the old nice coop until you can plan better for the new one?
I'm honestly terrified to even attempt that. That would be a nice idea, and would be perfect. I have no clue WHERE or even how the snake got in. Tin roof, full hardware cloth and wood. Etc... Like I just dont know. But in way too terrified to put them back out there. Their literally on my porch with a baby monitor. Paranoid? Maybe. But this has rocked me. I will not have a snake eat my hens and my poor babies.
 
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