I shared earlier this week that we are trying to integrate our baby chicks into our existing flock. We want to do this as safely as possible – with minimal pecking or bullying. It’s been suggested by many that we put the baby chickens in the big coop – but keep them separated by a divider, so they can all get used to each other.
Well today, I set out to do just that. I wanted to build something that would house the baby chicks temporarily inside the big coop.
We had this old Ikea shelf in the garage, not being used. I was planning on selling it at a garage sale later this month. It’s a basic shelf, sort of like this Ikea Gorm shelf, but cheaper, in fact, I think they were $12.99 not too long ago for a big weekend sale! But I decided that it could be the answer we need for keeping our baby chicks safe in the big coop . .I had a vision. . . .
I immediately sawed it in half. right under the second shelf. It’s soft wood, I used a handsaw. I then took the two halves and stacked them on top of each other. I moved the third shelf up to the end – so now I had shelves on all the ends. And I had an extra shelf that I removed. I then screwed the top half to bottom half.
We also had an old Ikea shoe rack in the garage. I took those two wooden shelves from the shoe rack and used them as a roof. Then I took a 2 x 4 and screwed one end of it down. So it pivots. You can turn it a 90 degree angle to move the “grates” on the top. The shoe rack looks a little like this shoe rack from Ikea, but we paid $7.99 for ours about 8 years ago, it’s just two simple pine shelves that makes a “grate” roof!
I added a roost for my girls. Added an old piece of plywood to the back side and chicken wire to the front. The chicken wire allows all the chickens to see each other. We want to get them acquainted. I left the floor open, so they could get some of the grit from the main coop.
It works like a charm! The girls love it. It’s portable. You can open it up to get the chickens by sliding the top bar 90 degrees and removing the grates. OR, it’s light enough to just pick up and move.
Here’s a view of the back. I have no idea why there is a big hole in the scrap plywood we had, but it was the PERFECT size for the back, so I think it was meant to be. My son thinks the hole is for him to watch the baby chicks – which I suppose it can be.
This coop would not work out on it’s own – too many spaces and holes for predators to get in. But inside the safety of our big coop, I think it will be perfect. The big chickens can’t get in, but there is plenty of airflow and space for the girls.
We put the baby chicks into the big coop and they will sleep there tonight! I hope they do okay. You can see we have a big chicken in the nesting box – that’s Girly and she’s gone broody. That means she doesn’t want to move out of the nesting box. 🙂 We hope it doesn’t last long.
After a few days I hope to give you an update on how this is working out for us! I’m really hoping it works. I’m awfully proud of my little creation, which I made without any help from my sweet husband. I should build more things, it’s fun!
We also spent the day cleaning out the big coop. I’ll be sharing about that more later this week, too!
So what do you think? Do you think this will work? Do you have a similar bookshelf laying around?
I’d love it if you’d follow my chicken coop board over on Pinterest! I hope to add a bunch more photos and resources to it this year.
Do you have a chicken coop? If so, send me a photo! If I feature your coop you’ll get a $10 Amazon.com gift card! Here are all the details for sending in your coop.