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Will be very handy for you. Nice for after chicks have all grown up, you'll have some place to isolate a chicken if you need to. That's what I use my old tractor coop for or for when I get a newbie to introduce.
 

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Is there somewhere or the room to attach a heat light inside for chicks if you brood with it ? I personally would not brood chicks in it. How would you feed and water them inside the box, because babies need food and water 24/7 so you wouldnt be to leave it in the grass over nigth. Also remember a cold chick is a dead chick so the box would have to be closed and some kind of heat placed inside. I don't see it being used for a broody hen either sorry. It would be super easy for a predator to flip it over at night to get to the mom and eggs/babies. And you cant just say move the nest out during the day and back into a coop at night or you will most likely kill the eggs.And good luck moving mom and babies every day, momma chickens get pretty protective and dont normally like people messing with their babies. Now I can see it used as a chick tractor, for when you are first intoducing them to a flock or wanting to give them grass time without them running everywhere, then you can easily contain them. Then move them back into the brooder for the night.

Also there is no way 24 chicks will fit in the enclosed portion. It looks about waht 2x2 so thats 4 sq ft. You cant count the sq ft of the run since they cant sleep in the run. Count the sq ft of the box since thats their safe place and they will all need to fit in there. Sure 24 chicks will fit until they are about 2 - 3 weeks old if that. If you add momma into that equation it will be less since she takes up more space.

Sorry to sound like such a downer, just trying to be realistic. It is cute and a good idea for as a chick tractor. But sorry not realistic as a brooder / broody hen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies. Apyl, no need to be sorry, honest criticism is a rare and wonderful thing, so I thank you for that as well.

We used a similar setup that was borrowed from a friend to brood our first group of 26 chicks. We do use a 250w heat lamp mounted inside the enclosed section to keep them warm, and also cover the entire thing with a tarp in cold or wet weather. It only works, size wise, for the first 3 weeks (something that I should have mentioned in the blog post and will add), then we need to move them to our 10x10 mobile hoop coop with a floating brooder hanging inside. Of course that was in July, which I admit is not nearly as risky as doing this with the 21 babies we have in it right now. Still, so far so good. We have been very lucky with predators so far (knock on wood) though I did tackle a husky once, as he was biting down on tail feathers, and there have been a few attempts by the hawks. I know it isn't a scientific test or anything but we are a week into our second clutch this way and have not lost a bird so far. We do have 1 chick that hatched late and has a deformed toe, he has a hard time getting around and is 1/2 the size of his siblings, so I suspect he is not long for this world. We will see, I am a little amazed he made it through the first week. We keep a small set of food and water inside the warm part and a larger set out in the run.

I believe it is important to get the birds out in the grass as soon as possible so that their immune system is developing for what they are going to experience in life; and so they can learn to forage. Also, I think that the tiny dust and ammonia that get trapped inside a box or indoor brooder are detrimental for the chick and for us. That is why we go to all the trouble of building this and having to go outside and tarp it off and such. They are tougher little bird than we often give them credit for, and I think we coddle them in ways that make them weaker in the long run. Like over watering a young tree so it develops a shallow root system and then topples in the first big wind.
We have not yet tried this setup with a broody hen, but I did not plan on moving it for that use. Instead we would add bedding and clean as needed. I figure that I would park it inside our netting and open the door by day, after babies are hatched, so the hen can take them out foraging.

Anyhow, I hope this helps you understand where I am coming from. Thanks again for taking the time to reply and helping me to think this through better. I really need to update my post as right now it could lead people to think that this will work to raise 24 birds to maturity and I have to agree it is way too small for that.
 
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