Temporary run & putting my chickens to work!

SimplyForties

Songster
10 Years
May 4, 2009
890
8
141
Carroll County, Va
I made this portable run that fits down in a new raised bed. I've been putting my 3 week old chicks in here every day and only bringing them in at night pending the completion of their coop. I've got two other beds like this that are new this year. I'm thinking about not planting this one until Fall and letting the chicks help me with the fertilizing and tilling until then. They really love it. It's 2" x 2" framing covered with chicken wire and topped with a tarp to provide them with some relief from the ferocious West Texas sun. The bed is 4' x 8' and the run is 2' tall. It has a built-in perch plus I've added a big branch, which they are having fun with.

They love it and have already dug out some dust bathing spots. I discovered tonight that rounding them back up is a lot easier if I wait until after dark!

Might provide a good, quick, low-cost, interim housing solution for someone else so I thought I'd post it.



It's going to have 2 doors on it but I haven't built them yet. The 2 x 4's you see in the picture are for propping the run up for adding and removing the chicks. That's an adventure in and of itself!
 

Auntbeast

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
88
2
29
Rabun County, GA
Great work!

I laughed when I read your post. I had gotten a rooster and was not sure if he could fly over the fence that is 6' tall. I let him loose in the run in early evening. My husband thought I was nuts. He said "You'll never find him in the dark." About an hour later I go outside, look around, see him dead asleep on the apple tree next to the pen. I pick him up, and put him back inside.

They certainly ARE easier to catch at night.
 

SimplyForties

Songster
10 Years
May 4, 2009
890
8
141
Carroll County, Va
I had a big adventure with them today. Stuck them outside in the enclosure for another hot day and went off to work in the next town, 30 miles away. Got home to discover a tremendous storm had plowed through, blowing roofs off businesses and downing trees.

I was sure I'd come home to 9 dead chicks and was really down. When I got home and went outside I discovered all my chicks happy, peeping, dry and busily scratching in the wet ground. There's a high perch in there and a big branch that also sticks up pretty high and I think they must have gotten up there and were completely protected by the tarp!

I brought them all in, fearing they were chilled. They've been loudly complaining ever since!
 
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Debzie

Hatching
10 Years
May 29, 2009
5
0
7
McKinney
I just bought 3 baby chicks and I was wondering how old the chicks have to be before you can keep them outside in a chicken tractor. Mine are only 6 days old. Great Chicken tractor BTW.
 

SimplyForties

Songster
10 Years
May 4, 2009
890
8
141
Carroll County, Va
I think it mostly depends on the air temperature where you live. It's in the 90's here. I started taking mine out for short "field trips" after about a week and a half. I made a little round pen of chicken wire, covered it for shade and stayed out there with them the whole time. They'd have fun, peep around, scratch, check things out, but after about 20 minutes they'd be all grouped up and peeping loudly so I'd bring them back in. If you keep an eye on them you'll be able to tell how it's going.
 

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