Wire shelving for chick ladder?

Farmer D

In the Brooder
Sep 11, 2018
5
17
39
Warren, NJ
First time posting here, thought I've been reading and learning for over a year now.

My first day-olds (6 Australorp, 2 White Austra, and 2 Cuckoo Bluebar) will be arriving week after next. They will eventually be day-ranged with 4 year-old red sexlinks.

Current plans for brooder/pen setup is to have them on peat moss in a 4 foot round pen with hover heater and food and water, outside, but inside a more-or-less Suscovitch style chicken tractor, which is inside Premier 1 netting. The electric netting has worked perfectly for the past year keeping out predators, so it is line one of defense. The tractor is mostly for shelter and to provide them with contained protected outdoor space as soon as I can. Their brooder will be sitting up on a table, 27.5" tall.

Week 1, they will be confined to the brooder. Week 2, they will be supervised (taken out and put back) in the shelter. After that I was hoping they could come and go as they pleased during the day, via a wire shelving ramp (I've got lots around).

Has anyone used wire shelving as a ramp for young chicks? Is it a good idea or a bad one?

Thanks so much!

Diane
Windsong Farm
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
24,595
36,191
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Colorado Rockies
Could you post a photo of how you plan to utilize the shelving? I can't quite picture it.

I use a wood plank with an old hand towel stapled onto it for traction for the tiny feet.

What is your plan to integrate the chicks with the adults? There is a method whereby you can integrate the chicks beginning very early if you aren't already considering it.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,111
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WA, Pac NW
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They may have a hard time on the wire (if it's anything like the wire shelving I use around the chickens) as their toes and feet will tend to go through it.

The only "ramp" I've ever used was simply a tree branch at a slight angle, and the birds climbed on it one foot in front of the other.
 

Farmer D

In the Brooder
Sep 11, 2018
5
17
39
Warren, NJ
Thanks both for the ideas! No photos yet, as I'm still setting things up. The idea with the shelving was to just lay it between the tabletop and the ground, on a gentle angle, so the chicks walk up and down it. The big girls have a coop door that lowers to become a ramp, but it has cleats. I wanted to avoid having to manufacture a ramp with cleats that wouldn't be used much, so I like the idea of both the towel stapled to a board and a tree branch. Maybe I'll try both!

I do plan on integrating them after 4 weeks, using a smaller enclosure within the Bigs ranging area. There are 12 of them (miscounted above; 4 White Austra, not 2) and 4 of the hens, so I am hoping that things will go not too unsmoothly. They'll have plenty of retreat space when I do let them into the pasture pen (which is huge for the number of birds living in it). I've read the articles/postings here on early mergers, and have taken them to heart. Any further advice welcome!

The one thing I have learned with my starter flock is that patience is key. They may have bird brains but they can be gently re-educated with persistence!
 

SvennsHenns

In the Brooder
Sep 3, 2019
5
2
38
Virginia
Could you post a photo of how you plan to utilize the shelving? I can't quite picture it.

I use a wood plank with an old hand towel stapled onto it for traction for the tiny feet.

What is your plan to integrate the chicks with the adults? There is a method whereby you can integrate the chicks beginning very early if you aren't already considering it.
Hi! I have chicks that will need to join the big girls eventually too and was wondering if you could share info about the early integration? Thanks so much!
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,111
33,608
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop

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