Suspended Outdoor Brooder--No more Coon Attacks!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by julieamazed, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. julieamazed

    julieamazed New Egg

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    Jun 12, 2011
    At 2 weeks old, 2 of my chicks were taken by what I believe to have been a raccoon. My makeshift brooder is actually a dog kennel covered in chicken wire. It had been set up in our carport on top of a couple of sawhorses with a light. I then put my makeshift brooder in the workshop/shed to keep predators out. It seemed to work but I was nervous about the temperatures soaring to well over 100 degrees during our sweltering Florida days and the cage took up a lot of the room in the shed. After a month, my husband announced he would like to use his workshop and so we came up with an experimental temporary solution. I am currently constructing a chicken tractor to use as a more permanent structure until I can introduce them into my coop with the adult hens. We suspended the brooder about 5 feet above ground between two trees and coverered it with a tarp to protect from nighttime drafts (we have it rolled up on the sides during the day). We mounted metal directly below the ropes to keep anything from climbing the trees. We staked the bottom corners to the ground with fishing line and small metal pegs from a tent to keep winds from shaking the brooder. Our evening temps are pretty steadily 75-80F so I do not think they need a heat lamp any longer. What do yall think? Are we overlooking anything obviously hazardous?
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  2. HiddenHill Heretic

    HiddenHill Heretic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2010
    Santa Cruz, Caliphas
    Welcome to BYC!!!!!! On another note... Looks like coon tetherball to me... Good Luck..
     
  3. Amyh

    Amyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 11, 2010
    North Carolina
    Wow! I don't want to rain on your parade... but it just seems very complicated to me. I hope it works out for you.
     
  4. wingsofglory

    wingsofglory Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2011
    Palmer Alaska
    They're birds. They'll love swinging in the trees, the height, the view - perfect for them.

    Whatever works. Thats what people do with food while camping to keep it from bears.
     
  5. julieamazed

    julieamazed New Egg

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    Jun 12, 2011
    Whatever works. Thats what people do with food while camping to keep it from bears.

    That's how we thought it up. The other thought was a platform with high stilts but we diecided to invest $10 in some caribiner clips before buying lumber and making a permanent structure.​
     
  6. wingsofglory

    wingsofglory Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2011
    Palmer Alaska
    I think its a great plan. And its simple, not complicated at all. Looks like a little lane underneath so you can drive a truck under it and stand on the vehicle to change the food and water. Quick and dirty. My style.

    Might add some cowbells to the ropes - to alert you if coons get past the metal sleeves on the tree trunks.

    If a coon gets past the metal sleeves and goes dangling, hand over hand to the cage, I want pics of it doing it!
     
  7. wingsofglory

    wingsofglory Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2011
    Palmer Alaska
    Oh - I see - the carbiner clips are so you can lower it to the ground to change food/water/tarp. Good thinking. Thats even simpler.
     
  8. julieamazed

    julieamazed New Egg

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    Jun 12, 2011
    I know it may seem a little extreme. But actually, I can stand on a wood block and change out all the food and water, etc. (no lowering needed).

    Might add some cowbells to the ropes - to alert you if coons get past the metal sleeves on the tree trunks.

    My husband, who happens to be a mechanic, suggested that I grease down the lines for any tightrope walking coons. I don't think I'm going to go that far!

    I will report back on the welfare of the gals.​
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011

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