Saturday, March 16, 2013

The dog pen

Well the chicken birds are out, not in the tractor, but they are outside anyway.

I was laid out with an unshakable illness last week that kept me inside and unable to work on the tractor. The birds did not get this memo and continued to grow as they have been doing for the last month. I finally was able to get out of the house on Friday, and I took the birds with me.

We took the older Orpingtons out on a day trip to the outside a few days earlier, using the dog pen to keep them all contained for the day.

The pen was there when we bought the house but my dogs really don't use it, so it will be converted to the main chicken coop and run. It's already a 10' x 17' space with an attached dog house which is about 2' x 4'.

I added the heat lamp inside the box and threw a quick sliding door on it to keep them safe at night. Other than the adding an extra strip of 1" stock to the door frame to keep the smaller birds in, it is a ready temporary solution.

We will, in the future; add wire to the top, heighten the coop, and add nesting apartments. Basically, a rebuild of the dog house into a coop.

I had to laugh when I went to close them into the box last night. They were all huddled at the door waiting for me to carry them all back into the house. I had to show them where to sleep last night as I grabbed each one individually and placed them inside the box. They should get it after a few days.


  1. It always takes a while for chickens to learn where to sleep. When I got my last batch of Ex caged birds I had to hunt for them each night in 11 different hiding places to put them back in their pen, it took them a couple of weeks to get used to it but nw they go in no trouble (although they're about to have a new coop so I'm sure this process will have to start again!

  2. We've actually started to allow them to room about 30 minutes or so in the evening. It's funny to watch them all go "home" once the sun drops below the horizon. Everyone except for Lucy Rooster who can't seem to figure out that he can't just make a straight line to the coop, he has to go into the pen first.


Let me know what you think! Comments and suggestions are always welcome!