We had family visit one day last week, and they were eagerly waiting to see the newly hatched chicks. We had just put them on our back patio, in an old recycled pond liner. We used it with our first chicks last year and it contained them well enough, however as they got larger, the screen which helped keep them in, as well as the shavings from their scratching, got in the way. We needed another solution.
Leave it to my Padre'. Before long we were headed to the hardware store, and spent around $40. See his creation;
Padre' loves to tinker. Give him something to work on, and it's like he's won the lottery! He and the Moose worked on cutting the PVC pipes to size, and randomly gluing the corners and T connectors together. Randomly because not every intersection was glued. This way, when not in use we can disassemble the screening and easily store it. The screen was zip tied to the pipes/posts. They also created a center pipe on top, and this allows us to hang the heat lamps.
The height of the unit is right around 35", and is a bit high for me to reach over. If we were to do this again, we'd make it a bit shorter. We also have an additional cover screen that fits over the top, so if this was relocated outside, predators would have a hard time getting access to the chicks. We left the pond liner in place, as it helped create a wind barrier, so the chicks wouldn't catch a chill. Like all things it's a work in progress.
We never got a chance to test this further. If you take a look at the photo, what's missing? The chicks, we sold out of them last night. A former Midwesterner from South Dakota (we're from Wisconsin) bought the lot of them. He raises them and sells eggs. It was nice to meet another local contact, and we have plans to stop by his 5 acre farm and see his operation. You just never know what you'll learn.
We may try a couple of other options with this screen room on the next batch of chicks, due to hatch April 14th.