4.15.2009

Raised Beds? New Chick Digs!

The two raised-bed forms - 12-inches high by 8-feet long by 4-feet wide - have sat in the yard, empty, since I made them last year. I still hope to use them for garden beds when the Fall growing season arrives, but for now? They've been re-purposed into a palatial home on the front porch for the fast-growing chicks.

We stacked the two forms on top of each other, and secured with a couple of short 2x4's pieces of scrap lumber. The bottom and a few inches of the sides are lined with a tarp. The far corner has been outfitted with the top of their original kennel, and its ceiling-affixed heat lamp is getting an assist from a second heat lamp (the evenings still get a bit chilly here). The whole thing is covered at night with two wool moving blankets ($6 each at Harbor Freight, fantastic deal!), and keeps the chicks warm and protected from the evening wind. I usually keep the wool blanket covering the kennel side during the day, but pulled it back for a better pic of the setup.

The covered end has their food, water, and a variety of branches to perch upon. The open end has more branches, and a shallow box of dry dirt for dust baths. Several inches of hay line the inside, and the top of the box is covered with fencing to keep the chicks in, and everyone else out.

We're hoping the new digs buy us a few extra weeks before having to start building a new coop. Got some great ideas from last week's Austin Funky Chicken Coop Tour, and am looking forward to building something new!

4 comments:

  1. I love what you did here! so smart. We're doing raised beds for the 1st time this year - 4'x8'x9" and what you did just may be another good use for them.

    I hope to get chicks and/or ducks but afraid of the wildlife around here. So many have lost a lot to fisher cats, foxes etc. With what you did I wonder if that would be a lot more secure/safe for them being the walls are solid wood...

    Thanks for sharing the photos - always serve to inspire me!

    Happy spring!

    Lo

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  2. Looks cool! Any chance of a fire from the heat lamps + straw/blankets?

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  3. Significant OtherApril 16, 2009 at 1:51 PM

    Good question warren. I think the heat lamps are less of a problem since they are, at minimum, 20 inches away from anything flammable and there is a temp monitor (ok - it's a remote food temperature probe which I want back for barbecue/oven duty after a thorough cleaning).

    However, the power strip sitting directly on the hay bale has me slightly concerned and will be fixed as soon as I get home tonight.

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  4. @Lo - glad you liked the post, and indeed, Happy Spring!

    @warren - I see that S.O. has already answered your question. I've also put a two-sided small metal covering (a small computer cover) over the electric box on top of the kennel to keep the blanket up and away.

    @Significant Other (i.e. Spouse) - I already fixed the power outlet issue, so no worries :-).

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