Monday, February 13, 2017

Make a "Nursery" in Your Regular Coop

baby chick area within coop

            Hey folks! Unless you've been watching our homesteading videos on YouTube (yes, shameless plug), you probably haven't heard about our little problem with our chickens. One day when I went to let the girls out in the morning, one of our Barred Rocks and Bertha, one of our Buffs, were “trapped” in with the chicks. (See below for our old chick area.) After I got their dumbasses out I found that two of the Buff chicks had been hurt pretty bad. Like, bad enough I'm surprised they lived. One had a nasty wound on it's butt and the other had an open wound where one of its wings met it's body. You could see things you shouldn't be able to see. It was not pretty.

The old area

            So, I found some old window screens in one of the garages and put them over the chicks' area in hopes of deterring the big girls from getting in there and picking on the little ones. Well, a few days later one got in again and all of their fencing and stuff was knocked over and half of the chicks had gotten out and were hiding in another roll of fencing. * sigh * And, someone had finished off the chick that was hurt really bad. We're pretty sure it was Bertha since she's kind of like queen biotch and it was only the Buff chicks that had gotten picked on (except one; weird, right?), but regardless, we needed to do something to prevent this from happening any more! So here's what we did...

I'm not crazy about the top part, but sshhh. Don't say anything to John. We can make it better/easier to use eventually. It's keeping the big girls out so far and that's what really matters! On the right I just wanted to show where we cut out the fence so we can still hang the heat lamp.

            Given, John did most of the work, I just helped, but easy peasy, right? It only took about half an hour to set up. There are lots of other (nicer) versions of building something like this out there, but we used what we had. Speaking of which, don't forget! It's always better to use hardware cloth with chickens as opposed to chicken wire (what's around the outside bottom) because chicks can get their heads stuck in it. We've never had a problem with this, but it's a “thing”, evidently, so be aware!

            Have you ever had any issues with your older chickens picking on chicks? What did you do to “fix” it?


  1. Nice article, but photos are so small, you can't really see what you did. A step by step explanation would have been great. Especially for those of us just starting out with poultry.
    Carol L

  2. We do this as well with broodies and their chicks! We call it the maternity ward! Thanks so much for sharing on the Homesteader Hop!

  3. Great internet site! It looks very expert!
    Keep up the excellent work!
    Best regards, Mas Bewok