With spring fast approaching the feed and farm stores are getting down covered chicks in. We are down to 4 hens and a rooster and my husband likes the Orpingtons so we’re working on collecting some more hens for eggs and maybe raising some chicks later. I made a purchase of 16 straight-run (unsexed) chicks last week and needed a place to hold them until this late cold snap passed by and they’re moved to an outdoor building in an old empty watering trough until ready to free range with the rest of the flock. This meant they needed to stay in the house and away from the dogs, cat and toddler dangers.
I don’t know if I’m resourceful, creative or just cheap…
…but walking through my local Dollar General I got this idea for a pretty cost efficient, temporary home for the little peepers. It’s amazing what you can do with zip ties, a box cutter and a plastic tub. Probably paid a grand total of $14.00 for the enclosure itself. I hope you find this idea helpful.
- Large plastic tub — I prefer clear bottom so I can see the chicks; I also like the clamp on lid style.
- Sharp Box Cutter
- Zip Ties (at least 8, but can use more for more security)
- Small Phillips head screw driver
- (2) Disposable Grill Toppers — I prefer the diamond shaped openings to the holes, allows for more airflow.
- Find a flat surface, it’s not recommended to do this while the top is connected to the bottom. Draw out your intended cut out area, I placed the Grill Toppers down and traced through the holes, making sure I was allowing for over-hang.
Cut out our holes with the box cutter for the top openings that our grill toppers will cover.
*Remember to allow some over-hang because we want a smooth top side and the edges of the plastic are a lot sharper than you think they are.
- After you’ve made your cut outs, take your box cutter and twist holes at each corner, allowing at least an inch from the edge of the cut out to the hole for strength. Allow the box cutter to just penetrate the plastic and use your screw driver to make the holes cleaner. Be gentle because the plastic can rip if too forceful.
- Finally let’s secure the grill toppers, from the bottom of the lid, to the cut outs with zip ties. I’m a perfectionist so I don’t ‘zip’ the ties until I’ve placed them all through to make sure we have good coverage. Then just nip off the extras with your box cutter (or scissors).
Now you’re ready to place your lid back on the top of the container and admire your handy-work!
Place a thick layer of shavings in the bottom, along with your feeder, waterer and heat lamp (placed over one of the top openings) and you’re ready for some chicks!