Need Very Temporary Coop for 12 pullets - Tent? Tarp? Other?


In the Brooder
Sep 29, 2020
I am in need of a very temporary solution for moving a dozen 9-week old pullets out of the house. They are currently in a 20 sq ft cardboard box brooder, and I am working daily to get their full time coop set up. Keeping them in the house while I finish up the coop construction is no longer an option (I really wish it was, because then I would just keep them inside a little longer). I also do no have any other outdoor buildings (i.e. shed, garage, etc...) that I can just move them into at the moment. So I am looking for suggestions about how to transition the ladies to a VERY temporary (2 weeks max) structure outside.

I DO have the chicken yard/run set up. It is a 25ft x 18ft area that 5ft tall wood fence on 2 sides, and 5ft hardware cloth fence on the other 2 sides. The hardware fence is also stapled to the posts and buried 10 inches down into the ground. There is also hardware cloth running 3ft up the sides of the wood fence, and extending 1ft into the run from all sides that we installed with garden staples. There is currently no top covering on the run/yard, and due to the size I was planning to leave it uncovered.

I got the idea of using a 2 person tent from another member who did this for the brooder, but that was inside and with chicks. So... I'm not sure if that would work as well with pullets. I'm also skeptical of using a tent due to the potential for nighttime predators knowing that what I have done with the run will not keep raccoons or opossums out. I have looked through posts in the chicken tractor and hoop section, but I am already building the permanent coop and don't want to spend a lot of time and $$ on a very short term solution.

Any suggestions on how to keep my chickens safe outdoors, without spending a ton, while I finish up their permanent coop?

Many, many thanks!!!

Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
Belding, MI
My brooder was an extra large sized crate. With 6 chicks, it was crowded by the time they were ready to go outside. For 12, you might need two. The crate I bought was $85; not cheap, but I do have other uses for it.

Can you borrow a dog crate or two from someone?

I like chickenlittle21's idea of building a temporary shelter out of pallets. Where I used to work, we got stuff on pallets all the time. When they were empty, we set them out by the dumpsters. If they were in decent shape, they were gone in a day or two, taken by pallet scavengers. So they are out there, free.


Aug 13, 2020
Rochester, NY
I used a baby play yard with bird netting hung from a ceiling over it (most people with young children have one laying around, so not hard to find for free or cheap). Mine spent 4 weeks in the garage that way and loved it. I wedged wooden broom handles and paint roller handles in the holes to create roosts around the perimeter and added mirrors, toys & a dust bath to keep them busy & happy.


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In the Brooder
Oct 20, 2020
Sydney, Australia
Buy or find second hand large dog kennel or dog crates. Cover crate with hw cloth for predator protection and tarp over for weather protection. Crates come in handy for sick bay too, isolating, brooding etc.
Yes, this will work really well. I am doing this in the afternoons to let my little girls get used to free ranging without disappearing out the fence again. Mine was sold as a puppy play pen.
You would want to tie down the wire mesh cover and add a tarp. Wouldn't stop anything from digging though.

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