Quarantine quarters

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pawsplus, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

    666
    16
    151
    Dec 18, 2008
    Middle TN
    I posted about this in Managing your Flock but not no responses. And now I have another question that is really more coop-related, so I"ll try here. [​IMG]

    I will be getting a new hen soon. My Olivia recently passed away [​IMG] and I think 3 is a good number b/c then if something happens to one the other isn't left all alone. I have more than a month to get ready, as I won't get another chicken until after my vacation, but I want to be ready. When I got Svetlana I took a risk and didn't q-tine--I knew the former owner, her chickens had been on her farm for years, no new ones had come in for at least a year, etc. But I probably won't take the risk again even though the new chicken will be coming from a similar environment.

    A few questions:

    Assuming I really do have to q-tine for 30 days (which seems a really long time!), I need to figure out where New Hen will live during that time. I have no appropriate outdoor location in which I can safely q-tine a chicken. So I was thinking I would have to keep her in the house the whole time, in a 4x4 dog exercise pen, covered, with paper on the floor.

    But then I saw this:
    [​IMG]

    http://www.chickensforbackyards.com/Backyard-Hutch-Free-Shipping-10686CB.htm

    $99, shipping included!!! Seems like a great deal, and I can see all kinds of uses for it in future (sick hens, etc.). BUT the description says, "Please note this unit is not predator proof and must be kept in a secure area." I have emailed them for details on WHY it is not, but can anyone see any good reason? If there is not wire across the bottom, I can easily add that. I would also put real latches on the door.

    I would only use this during the DAY to give the poor isolated girl a chance to be outside, so there would be very little risk from raccoons. The only predators that could be a problem would be stray dogs, but I would think that putting wire across the bottom would take care of that. At night she would be in my house in the exercise pen.

    Thoughts??

    Thanks!
     
  2. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

    666
    16
    151
    Dec 18, 2008
    Middle TN
    I could, alternatively, keep New Hen in a crate in the house and night and put the exercise pen AROUND the little tractor, staked in. That would provide a second layer of protection. My place is fenced from the street, so while it's not impossible for a dog to get in (via the woods at the back of the property, or via the water gates in the creek) it's not terribly likely.
     
  3. ChickenSahib

    ChickenSahib Chillin' With My Peeps

    173
    0
    89
    May 21, 2011
    Hayward
    I think you're idea is brilliant. I think they meant that it's not predator proof because of the spacing of the wire, the fact that it has nothing on the bottom, and the door. And those should be problems during the night, not during the day; right?
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    The wood frame and tiny housing area are probably made of very lightweight, thin wood - that would be part of their statement. An average sized dog jumping on it would probably break it, not just turn it over. And I see a wire access door within the wire wall, so that would most likely easily be pushed in. If your yard is fenced, it would most likely do fine (although space-wise I don't really see a difference between it and a large wire dog pen), since you'd be bringing the hen inside each evening. But I'd be wary if your yard is not fenced - mostly due to dogs.
     
  5. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

    666
    16
    151
    Dec 18, 2008
    Middle TN
    Quote:Well, I can't put them in a truly fenced yard--my dogs have a fenced yard but obviously I can't put the hen in there w/ them. [​IMG] I live on a farm--there is farm fence along the road and additional fencing for my horse turnouts. But the entire 34 acres isn't fenced and, as I said, stray dogs CAN come down from the woods or via the water gates. It doesn't happen often but it does occasionally. I've never seen ANY evidence of anything trying to dig into my chainlink w/ hardware cloth apron run or otherwise bother the Chix.

    I can put several clips on the wire access door--that would prevent it from being pushed in. And if it's inside the ex-pen, that means the dog would have to get over the 48" pen FIRST to get to the cage, so . . .

    I agree that there is no advantage space-wise--in fact, the ex pen is more square footage than this. But there is NO way an ex-pen can be made truly secure as it has no cover or floor, so I would never leave a chicken out in an ex pen! As a second line of defense it has value, but not alone. The idea of getting this is to provide some outside fun and stimulation during what is sure to be a pretty horrible time for the poor little chicky.

    Just got this from the company: "This particular model would probably work fine in the day time for your hen. It is not considered predator proof because some bird predators dig under wire or fencing to get to your birds. Typically this happens at night so I don't see a problem if you are just using it at night. Please let me know if you have any other questions."

    So if I put wire on the bottom that should prevent problems associated w/ the bottom not having wire on it.

    Another idea: I can use babygates to keep my dogs off the back deck and put the pen out there. That would be safer b/c my own dogs couldn't bother her (and, really, wouldn't anyway, but I wouldn't want her scared by their close presence), but she'd have no grass, etc. to scratch in and I'd have to hose the deck off regularly.
     
  6. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2011
    If you have an x pen and a plastic, small dog crate (you can get one for $10 on CL) you could rig something up like i have. I had new baby chicks and the coop wasn't here yet. I also had to segregate new from old for various reasons. I took the x pen and put it around the dog crate with an opening panel on either side of the crate. I used zip ties to secure the x pen to the sides of the kennel. I had all of these materials already. My chickens have access to the x pen space and the "coop" dog crate. At night I lock the chicks in the crate which now is not only solid hard plastic but has x pen grates additionally on either side. It's been a good setup for us for the past three weeks. Oh, and I used a sheet of wire over the top secured with zip ties so nobody goes in. The new coop arrives in just a few more days.
     
  7. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    25,559
    65
    411
    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    It sounds, honestly, like you are considering many, many options/changes/updates you could make/do...please stop & think about the intention of that chicken tractor. It was not intended to be predator proof.

    I would opt for a very large dog crate - the largest you can find. Check on Craigslist if you don't have one, but those plastic ones are really nice. The space between the bars on the front is very small, and it's easily portable so you could move it wherever - nice, sunny day...put her in the sun on your deck...dogs won't bother her. Rainy? Tuck her in your garage for the day.

    The other option is if you can watch closely for predators, use the tractor and then wheel it to a safe location at night time (garage?).

    You need to q-tine a minimum of 3 weeks - the reason is that they could have been exposed to a disease just priot to you picking her up, and some diseases take 3 weeks to begin to manifest.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,956
    3,122
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
  9. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

    666
    16
    151
    Dec 18, 2008
    Middle TN
    Well, I ordered it.

    Got another reply from the company re: the wood: "The wood is pretty sturdy and more than likely a large dog could knock it over easier than breaking the wood to get to the bird."

    So if I cover the bottom w/ wire things should be pretty safe. I will stake it into the ground AND put the ex-pen around it (also staked in). I may also put hardware cloth around the whole tractor (not just the bottom) to be extra sure.

    A dog crate wouldn't have a place for the bird to go if something did scare her (and adding one in would leave almost no usable space left in a dog crate). Ex pen isn't at all safe on its own.

    I'll decide later if I'll put it on the deck (w/ my dogs fenced off from deck) or out in the grass (in ex pen). But I think I can make it safe. I'm a safety FREAK and my coop/run are like Fort Knox, LOL, so I will not take any risks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  10. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

    666
    16
    151
    Dec 18, 2008
    Middle TN

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by