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Pet-proof starter coop for baby chicks

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hypnojessi, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. hypnojessi

    hypnojessi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2007
    Troy, MO
    I wanted to post about the indoor starter coop that I will be keeping chicks in this spring. I thought it might be helpful to all here. I have a small house with limited space. I also own two kitties who love to eat small fuzzy things. When I wanted to get chickens, I knew I had to keep the chicks somewhere that the cats couldn't get to them and they would be safe and warm. The only place I had to keep the chicks was somewhere that the cats could still get to so their home itself had to be secure.

    I went to Walmart and bought a large plastic bin with a lid that snaps on. (The kind you put comforters in and such.) This would be the chicks' home but I had to modify the lid to allow airflow and a heat lamp but still cat proof. Here is the finished product:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here's how I made it: I used a box knife to cut square holes in the top of the lid. I bought some wire mesh found at most feed and hardware stores and cut squares of mesh that were about an inch or so bigger than the holes all the way around. I used a standard drill and small drill bit and I drilled holes all around the outside of the square holes in the lid. I then layed the mesh squares on top of the holes, on the outside of the lid and took thin wire (like floral wire that you can find in walmart in the craft section next to the fake flowers), and "sewed" the mesh onto the lid. Here's some pics of it:

    [​IMG]

    The above pic is the outside or top of the lid. You can see the wire is woven through the mesh and the holes in the lid.

    [​IMG]

    The above pic is the inside of the lid. The mesh is on the outside and you can see the sewn wire coming through the lid.

    [​IMG]

    The above pic is of the whole inside of the hole.

    To finish the holes, I put duct tape over top of the ends of the wire mesh on the top of the lid. This prevents the raw edges from scratching kitty or person.
    [​IMG]

    And the lid snaps on so the cats shouldn't be able to get it open and they can even sit on the hole and it holds.
    [​IMG]

    I have yet to have chicks in this yet but I will come back with updates when I do. I hope this inspires someone!! Maybe Corn the silkie could use one these?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. hypnojessi

    hypnojessi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2007
    Troy, MO
    Also, I wanted to add that when I get the chicks, I intend to line the bottom of the container with newpaper and those blue absorbant shop towels on top of the newpaper. This is to absorb poo and to give the chicks some traction. I have a quart jar waterer and feeder that I will use. I will also be using either a heat lamp suspended over the larger hole in the lid or a heating pad underneath of the container for warmth. The chicks will stay in the box until they can go outside and then I will transfer them to an outside coop that I will posts pics of later. Any questions let me know!!
     
  3. cresty

    cresty Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2007
    Oooohhhh..I like that "starter coop". How long do you think you'll have to keep the chicks in there before moving to the outside coop?

    I haven't had chickens since I was a kid and even then, I considered them as my mom's. I need to get a book on chickens I think. So much to learn.

    :eek:)
    Cresty
     
  4. pueawjapygrta

    pueawjapygrta Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2007
    I've found chickens are like everything else, you can worry about doing it perfect, or you can just do it [​IMG]

    as long as you can keep them warm, and give them enough food and clean water, little chicks grow into big chickens!
     
  5. hypnojessi

    hypnojessi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2007
    Troy, MO
    Quote:Depending on how many chicks I get, I plan on moving them out to the permenant coop when they're fully feathered or outgrowing the starter coop. I probably wont get more than ten chicks so this should do them well. I am building a fully sheltered coop 6'x8' and tall enough to walk into. Once they are feathered, I will shut them inside if the weather is cold and they will have a heat lamp. Once the weather gets nicer, I'll start letting them roam a fenced area.

    If you're looking for books on chickens, check amazon.com. Search for chicken care and you'll get loads of how-to books on chicken keeping. And many of them are cheap.

    Also, once I get the chicks, I will post more pics of the set up for the box and keep an update on how they are doing. I had chickens when I was younger and I helped care for them with my family and I even helped butcher some. (though I won't be butchering these) Talk to you later![​IMG]
     
  6. VI KING RANCH

    VI KING RANCH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 23, 2011
    Campbell River
    Thought that i would revive the oldest thread in the coop section!
     

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