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Improvements for these cages?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by earthnut, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. earthnut

    earthnut Songster

    Sep 18, 2007
    Seattle, Cascadia
    I have two 4x3x3 ft cages that were originally meant for breeding parakeets. I plan to have 3-4 chickens. They look like this:


    The sides are easily removed and I can attach the two cages together at a side to make one long cage or one square cage or one tall cage. The floor is wire with a slide-out tray underneath. How would you make them chicken-friendly?

    My current ideas are
    -remove the wire floor on both and use them as a chicken tractor
    -cover one for shelter, and add a shelf, perches and a nesting box
    -make the top(s) openable for cleaning
    -twist-tie the doors shut to prevent racoons from opening them

  2. schmoo

    schmoo Songster

    May 7, 2007
    West MI.
    I think the tractor idea is good. They would be perfect for that.[​IMG]
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Unfortunately, I'd be very concerned that a raccoon would just rip the whole thing right apart. Coons are =strong=; the juncture of those cage walls/floor/top, probably not so much.

    Also if you remove the wire floor, they will become a lot less rigid and more flimsy.

    They might be useful for quarantine, recuperation etc inside of a really predator-proof building, though.

    Alternatively, if you really want to use these cages *now* and really want a tractor, it might make sense to build a frame of 2x2 that was sized such that you could disassemble the cages and staple the individual wire mesh panels onto the tractor. Lots of strong fence staples, and/or screwing the mesh on through battens, *should* be pretty coon-proof, and at least you wouldn't have to buy and cut a whole bunch of new wire mesh which is always a PITA.

    Good luck,

  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I've had coons go through chicken wire so I'd be wary of just twist tying anything together. As for the tractor, two cages together will be good for a few hens if you keep the tractor moving. I suggest covering the top from rain and one of the sides or more depending on your weather. The suggested inside space per chicken is 4 sq feet inside space and 10 sq feet outside space but many break the rules.
  5. earthnut

    earthnut Songster

    Sep 18, 2007
    Seattle, Cascadia
    Hmm... you really think a coon could rip it apart? It uses J clips. Maybe if I sewed up the sides with wire? The J clips require pliers and a little work on my part to remove.

    Yes, thinking about it, I'm sure twist ties would be too flimsy. I'll probably secure the doors by sewing with wire.

    The birds will be in them at first at least, because it's what I have.
  6. Yes, thinking about it, I'm sure twist ties would be too flimsy. I'll probably secure the doors by sewing with wire.

    Yes twist ties they could get apart.

    As for the wire and J clips not even my African Grey Parrot can pull them apart, those cages are made to be strong just for that reason.

    I would not worry about racoons breaking the wire or being able to pull apart the walls that have the J clips.​
  7. marie_martin

    marie_martin Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
    I actually had some cages like these and tried to do what you mentioned. I removed the bottoms and connected two together to make a larger cage. The problem was that after one side or bottom piece is removed from the cube, it makes the rest of the sides less rigid and more easily moved in and out and so forth. Takes away the strength of the cage. It can also be tipped over and if there is nothing on the bottom, well, your chickens would be at risk. I also would suggest measuring and then cutting wood and making a frame that would accommodate the mesh pieces and would give more weight to the structure and be more secure but still portable. I would cover one end and put in a roost and a nest box if you plan to have them in there much of the day. Just my humble opinion and I am not the most experiencec chicken owner but have had a little in this regard. Good luck and make sure you post pics of your changes.

  8. earthnut

    earthnut Songster

    Sep 18, 2007
    Seattle, Cascadia
    I have smaller dividing pieces I was thinking of attaching over the seams to reinforce it if I did link them up. I'll have to try it and see. Certainly they would be light by themselves. I should probably go with wood for the covered area for that reason... I'll have to see what scraps my dad has!

    I'm leaning towards reinforcing the edges with wood, for security and weight. My dad probably has some leftover brackets from framing the basement.
  9. allen wranch

    allen wranch Crowing Premium Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    Can't tell how close the wire is, but raccoons can reach in, grab a chicken, and eat them through the wire.
  10. earthnut

    earthnut Songster

    Sep 18, 2007
    Seattle, Cascadia
    Coons could get fingers in, but not a whole hand. Two of my fingers won't even fit through those holes.

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