Protecting Young Chickens Outside

by Ivory Soap

Housing baby chicks can be stressful and expensive.  So, TL and I use abandoned dog cages.  While the weather is cold, said cages are kept in the garage under a lamp (read: lamp with very energy inefficient bulb of any kind.)

When the weather is warm, I recommend Ivory’s Baby Chicken Tractor!

1.  Turn dog cage upside down.  (Important!)

2.  Remove tray.

3.  Fill with straw and flat bottom buckets for feed and water.

4.  Place tray on top for shade and protection.  A brick is helpful to keep it in place.

5.  Drag around yard at will, being careful to not trap chicken toes.  (Hint: lift one end)

Why upside down you say? The bottom of a kennel has BIG holes.  The top has little holes.  Inversion is important for two reasons:  a) Baby chicks can escape through bottom edges if it’s right side up.  b) Big person arms fit in easily through the bottom (now top) to allow for easy food/water maintenance and retrieval/return of individual chicks without having to open the cage door.  Blasted escape artists!


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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Kimberly July 14, 2010 at 10:00 am

That’s a great idea. Bet it would work great for rabbits.

Jacqueline Acevedo July 14, 2010 at 10:42 am

Are your chickens really THAT yellow?!?!?!?
They look Easter colored!!!!!hehe

CB July 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Yep, we had many a “chicken roundup” growing up. They could get themselves out, but couldn’t find their way back in.

Phyllis July 14, 2010 at 10:02 pm

The yellow chick looking at the camera has a “whatchoo talkin ’bout” look, complete with hand on hip. Love it!

JavaLady July 14, 2010 at 10:19 pm

This is exactly what I do when I need to clean out my full-size coop and run. I put the hens in the upside down doggie crates and they have a blast snacking on stuff in the grass. Great minds think alike !!

portia July 15, 2010 at 5:36 am

Ivory, I just love your posts. It is such vicarious fun to learn your clever tricks for urban homesteading. It’s hard to overstate how much your efforts are appreciated and enjoyed. Thank you so much.

Diane July 15, 2010 at 10:02 am

Your chicks are so cute! This is what we do with our chicks when they’re young too. Now that they’re bigger they get to free range in our fenced yard for an hour or two each day.

trinity August 24, 2010 at 7:06 pm

How many chicks do you think you can fit in a dog kennel like that?

Ivory Soap September 8, 2010 at 6:34 am

Until they were big enough for the outside, TL kept eight in there.

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