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Wire dog crates for chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by amightyfortress, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. amightyfortress

    amightyfortress Hatching

    Jan 2, 2009
    Does anyone have any thoughts on using wire dog crates for chickens? (the kind of crate you use if you want to lock up your dog when you're at work). I was thinking the dog crates would make a nice safe sleeping place for chickens at night since if a golden retriever, etc. can't get out of the crate, then a racoon/fox/etc. couldn't get in. Also, during the daytime, the crate could be put on the grass and the chickens would be safe from predators or wandering off, but could still eat grass, etc. (if the crate has a solid bottom, just tip it on it's side so the wire side is on the grass.
  2. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    That could possibly work but a couple of months ago I had a hen in a cage on the ground over night, the cage only had 1 inch square holes in it, and something killed my hen. Didnt hurt the cage one bit didnt even get in the cage, but still got to the hen enough to kill it.
  3. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    I have a 10x10 chain link dog run. I picked it up from freecycle. I have covered up the sided 1 ft with hardware cloth to keep the little chicks in and out 2ft to keep burrowers out. I also added a hardware cloth top and then covered that with a tarp. My chickens have access to it 24/7

    I wouldn't use one of those small crates to keep chickens in all day unless they were banties and it was huge
  4. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    A raccoon will reach through mesh and grab an unwary chicken that is too near the cage walls.

    Hardware cloth will prevent this.

  5. birdlover

    birdlover Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    Frankly, I don't think I'd chance it. I suppose you could cover the crate with 1/2 " hardware cloth but, even then, a predator could literally scare the chicken(s) to death trying to get at them. Also, I don't think more than 2 bantam hens would live happily in a dog crate, no matter how big. They DO make great temporary quarters for housing ill/injured chickens but, then, it should be kept in a garage, storage shed, coop or somewhere where those blasted predators can't bother them.
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm 10 Years

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    [​IMG] I think if a dog crate is large enough would work fine. I would fasten some hardware cloth over the wire part. I have a wire brooder. When they reach a couple weeks old I have a chicken tractor I attach to it. At a month old they and the brooder gets moved into the nursery coop which doesn't have nest boxes. I leave the brooder in there for about a week then I take it out. The nursery coop is next to the main coop. Each coop has a run with a comon fence between the big girls run and the little girls run so they can see and get used to each other before I put them together.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  7. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    I didn't read carefully enough.

    The crate might work as a small moveable run for a couple of birds perhaps, but I don't think it is at all suitable as a coop.

    You don't say what part of the world you are located in, but even in tropical areas, birds need protection from wind and rain and sun, as well as a dry place for their feed and nests.

  8. pierce652

    pierce652 In the Brooder

    May 16, 2008
    Ive have an injured chicken rehabing in one of these crates for the past several months. I havent had a problem...yet. I would zip tie or hog ring tie some hardware cloth around it though to be on the safe side.
  9. Sissy

    Sissy Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    Sevier county, Tn.
    I have been using a dog crate for several months, buts its
    Large enough for Dh to install a small wood coop on cinder blocks. for my 2 special ones who are getting to know each other.
    and it works well they have enough room to get out of the coop and scratch a bit and have been doing well. I did cover it all around half way up and also the top with a heavy tarp. due to weasles being able to sneak in tru the wire.
    and so far so good.

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