Cage: free

Three weeks old must be chicken adolescence. Our birds are mangy-looking, with clumps of chick fuzz on their as-yet-unfeathered necks and heads, and their first awkward attempts at flight have them falling all over each other. I know chickens can’t have acne and prom anxiety, but I can readily imagine it.

Size-wise, they’re too big for the brooder but too small for the coop, and so we had to rig up tweener housing for them. Since they’re only going to be in it for six weeks we didn’t want to call in the Toll Brothers, and we went scavenging to see whether we couldn’t house them without incurring yet another expense that their eggs would eventually be called on to offset.

The dumpster behind our local equipment rental place supplied the crate that became the frame. The construction pile at the dump yielded plywood for the floor, and the metal pile had a couple of screens for the top. There was some old chicken wire behind our garage that fit the crate, if not perfectly, well enough. We also found some vertical blind slats at the dump, and we attached them around the bottom of the cage to keep the birds from scratching all their bedding out through the wire. The roost bar is a stick.

It’s not pretty, but it’s serviceable housing that will last them until they come into their majority and move to the coop. Meantime, though, they are not borrowing the car keys.

2 people are having a conversation about “Cage: free

  1. It is so much fun to read about your escapades. Every day you are up to something new and fun. It is really quite entertaining for us city folks to read about what you are up to and how you solve your delimmas. Who knew there are chicken tweens!

  2. keeping chickens are on our list of things to try some day. Let me know if they storm off, slam the coop gate and call you old-fashioned just because you won’t let the fox stay the night…

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