Newbie: Best cover for chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by OHChick, May 8, 2007.

  1. OHChick

    OHChick Songster

    May 8, 2007
    Hi, I've been lurking here for a few months trying to learn all we can, we ordered 25 baby chicks and they arrive next Tuesday! I'm quite excited and think we have all we need but I do think we need some sort of cover for the big wash tub we're going to start the chicks out in, in order to keep my dogs and cats from bothering the chickies (or worse).

    Does anyone have any good ideas on what to use? We have a big roll of chicken wire and all I can think of is some sort of wood frame with the wire stretched on it, but am open to anything.

    Any ideas are appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. nikkimay

    nikkimay In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2007
    Pacific NW
    I would keep the chicks in a separate room from the dogs and cats. I can't think of any kind of cover that would keep them 100% safe from a determined dog or cat - and even if the cover keeps them from being eaten, they could still be badly scared!

    I've always kept chicks away from my dogs and cats until they are almost full grown.
  3. Newchickenmom&kids

    Newchickenmom&kids Songster

    Apr 11, 2007
    You're going to laugh...members on this site would understand.....but when our chicks came home...we kept them on our dining room table for a few weeks with a window screen over the top. I have a nonsense tzu and this was how we kept him away from them![​IMG]
  4. homechick

    homechick Songster

    Mar 26, 2007
    Mineola, Tx
    Ha ha! I totally understand. I kept mine in a large rubbermaid container I got from walmart with a window screen on top. And.. it also sat in the dining room. Starting to get smelly!!
  5. OHChick

    OHChick Songster

    May 8, 2007
    Thanks for the ideas. Our dogs are kept seperate but the cats have free roam of the outdoors and garage so I'll have to strap a cover on or something to keep them from looking in there and going 'ooo, lunch!'. [​IMG]
  6. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    If the dogs and cats are pretty calm by nature, you might actually want them to be able to see the chicks and the chicks see them. My big dog was able to see, sniff, inspect and generally stare at the chicks through the mesh since we got them, and as a result of that the now 8 to 10 week old chickens are utterly accustomed to him. Even if he bounds over towards their pen or something, they don't scatter. If he walks up to the fence sometimes the bolder, more social chickens will walk up to the other side to greet him and lightly peck his big wet nose. It is cute.

    Of course, when we were not home we shut the door to the chick's room. Even the best dog in the world could accidentally tip over a brooder and kill the chicks or start a fire. That is not a risk worth taking!

  7. Bec

    Bec THE Delaware Blue Hen


    We kept ours in a rubbermaid tub in the living room. my husband built a lit for the top that was a wooded frame with a very strong wire fencing for horses over the top. We had left over wire and wood around so it was free to make. We have 2 dogs, doberman and min pin, and we have 4 indoor cats. This kept them safe for the 5 weeks they were in.

    Hope this helps some [​IMG]
  8. Critter Crazy

    Critter Crazy Songster

    Apr 19, 2007
    Binghamton, NY
    we use a rubbermade tub, cut a nice sized hole in the top, and cover that with hardware mesh Riveted on top. I have also used large cardboard boxes, with window screen over the top. My cats were never a problem, they never messed with the birds, but did enjoy the warmth of the brooder so frequently slept on the top.


    But not all cats are as weird as mine, So I would make sure that your cats are kept away. My cats have been around hatchlings for quite some time now, so it is old hat to them![​IMG]
  9. Farm girl 1465

    Farm girl 1465 In the Brooder

    May 3, 2007
    Love the cat pictures!!![​IMG]
    Our chicks are in the laundry room in an all wire rabbie cage. We have had them a week today. Our two dogs (A lab and Aussie) are facinated by Aussie (female) has decided they are hers and will only let the lab "Visit" when she decides it's ok. My two cats visit under close supervison...A paw thru the wire was just too tempting!!! I am hoping they all get used to each other to aviod barking and storming the chicken house and run when it is time to move them outside... Any helpful advice would be appreciated...
  10. derbychick

    derbychick Chirping

    Mar 25, 2007
    Charlestown, IN
    We have our chicks in the living room, along with 2 (large) dogs and 3 cats. The chicks are in a rubbermaid tub that sits within a very large dog crate (which we happened to already have; they're kind of expensive). My DH lined the crate with chicken wire, then once they arrived we were still nervous about the cats reaching in so he put cardboard along the outside of the crate, about halfway up. It isn't lovely, but it works! The cats watch through the gaps in the cardboard occasionally, but generally don't pay much attention. We do have a rule about not opening up the crate unless the cats and dogs are secured elsewhere, esp. since the chickies are beginning to fly around!

    What I don't like about this setup is that, in order to get to the chicks, we practically have to crawl into the crate. I don't really like having my face THAT close to them when they start their fluttering.

    I like the kitty/screen pictures. That must be one well-behaved cat. Mine would have that screen off in no time!

    Hopefully they'll be going out before long... it's beginning to smell a bit like a barnyard in here [​IMG]

    Good luck!

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