would this work as a pen

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by patandchickens, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    I had fully expected to put our 10 Cornish X chicks ("the meatballs", now 2.5 wks old) out into a tractor fairly soon now (at first for just the warm afternoons).

    However, the tractor would have to be surrounded by electronet to be predatorproof... and my *$&#*$#@ fence charger seems to have unexpectedly bit the big one [​IMG] I really do not want to have to rush into buying a potentially-inappropriate replacement just for ten meat chicks. I have not thought at all about replacement chargers til now, though, and I just do not know what my options are or how much they will cost or whether I want to switch to a plug-in charger and all sorts of stuff like that. (This is the charger that runs the electric part of my horse fencing, too). I need time to see what's readily available around here (it makes no sense to pay stiff import duties/taxes ordering stuff from the states - been there done that got disgusted) and weigh the options. And then it may well end up being a special order item.

    So it looks like, unless the electronics guy where my DH works can resurrect the old one, I may be chargerless -- and thus tractorless -- for at least a few weeks [​IMG]

    SOOOO, does the following sound like an acceptible plan B:

    the 10 chicks are currently in a 4x6 indoor dog run that has a 4x12+ chainlink-on-concrete run attached. So I guess I could put some sort of bedding over the concrete and let them out into the run. It has a good roof, and while a raccoon *could* climb up over and in (a few places only) I would not leave them out at dusk and am willing to chance the rarity of daytime raccoons here. I'd put netting around the bottom 2' so the silly meatballs don't get their necks stuck in the chainlink or anything like that. Shut them up in the indoor part at night.

    How much does this sound like a bad idea? It is sure not what I was hoping to do, but would it work ok?

    And if you think so, what would you use as bedding? I fear shavings would blow *badly*, and also migrate into the adjacent runs and create a mess, plus being all soggy if rain blows in (on top of concrete like that). OTOH I am *not* buying and moving $70 worth of sand or gravel just for ten chickens, sorry. Would the chippered-up tiny bits of our former poplar trees be ok, if I picked the outermost part of the pile that's least moldy? Or what about a bag or two of commercial mulch, over top of a deeper bed of mowed weeds and grass? I want something that will be easy to remove afterwards and not make a permanent horrible mess.

    Thanks for all suggestions here,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2008
  2. blue90292

    blue90292 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    Quote:i would definitely find a way to keep the racoons out. i had a chain link dog run that i kept my birds in and one night, something climbed over it and took 3 of my birds. i went to home depot and bought the metal roofing and secured it onto the dog pen. also, i would put hardware cloth around at least 2 feet high all around the pen so they can't stick their heads out of the chain link. i learned the hard way by waking up one morning to find beheaded chickens. either way you're going to be spending money. i'd get a new charger.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear, the raccoons cannot possibly get them when they are shut in the indoor part at night (it's in a very well built building, with a solid latched dog-door) -- the chainlink is only an issue during *daytime*.

    Anyone else have opinions?

    Pat
     
  4. antlers

    antlers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Around here i can buy a fair charger for maybe $40 . Is all that work worth the $40 to you? Guess I would just get a new charger. You dont need a fancy one that charges 10 miles of fence. A lower end model will be fine on a Chicken run. Just make sure it is grounded correctly.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
  5. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    How you are anticipating housing your birds is similar to what I did and am about to do again. I planned on doing the tractor, but never got around to it. Your poplar chips should work fine. they will clean up like shavings.

    As long as they are locked up tight at night, I think it should be okay.

    Its not very likely that coons will bother them during the day.

    I was expecting an overwhelming stench from the birds, but it wasn't that bad, and I had 24 last time, 24 this time. Your 10 shouldn't be bad at all.

    ETA--we got our charger at TSC for not alot of money. there is also System Fencing where we got most of our horse fencing.

    edited again b/c I am trying to cook and type at the same time [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:If you reread my post you will see that the charger is mainly for the HORSE fence. Therefore, no offense, but I am not going to go with a low-end piece-of-whatever (which is all I could buy for $40)... I want something that will charge the horse fence well, reliably, and last a good long time. And I honestly do not know whether I want to go with battery or plug-in, this time round. Still thinking about it.

    The only "all that work" involved in my plan B is that I have to dump some bedding in the run, and ziptie some netting along the bottom of the chainlink. I can deal with that [​IMG]

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Ok, thanks, that really helps! [​IMG]

    I can't see buying anything from System, sorry... I think they are a MAJOR ripoff for most items (although I have gotten 1/2" electric tape from them in the past b/c I could not find plain white anywhere else on short notice).

    Thanks very much,

    Pat, whose husband claims to have fixed the switch on the charger but I am slightly skeptical...
     
  8. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Would the chippered-up tiny bits of our former poplar trees be ok, if I picked the outermost part of the pile that's least moldy? Or what about a bag or two of commercial mulch, over top of a deeper bed of mowed weeds and grass? I want something that will be easy to remove afterwards and not make a permanent horrible mess.

    Pat, I think the poplar covered with the deeper bed of mowed weeds and grass would be the least expensive way to go.

    I have never raised meat birds, but I would think this would be fine for the shortrun. You said they are 2.5 weeks old - but they aren't your layer flock, so won't be there forever. [​IMG]
     
  9. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Quote:OT, but, interesting that you think that about system fencing. My dh shopped around for horse fencing, and system was the cheapest. We went vinyl roll on top, with three electric rope strands. Their price was best. Like I said, interesting.....

    Hopefully your charger continues to work, but your dog run will also work.

    And they are delish!!!!
     

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