Introduction: Collapsible Chicken Nursery
We occasionally get baby chicks and ducks to add to our flock and we wanted to build a box that we could re-use and easily store without taking up too much space. This box is a safe place to let them grow before introducing them to the rest of your flock. It can also be used when you have broody hens and need a place to keep them separate.
- 4 old hinges from doors we no longer use
- 4 pieces of plywood (I would recommend at least 24" tall and minimum of 24" long, ours are 24" tall and 36" long)
- 2 pieces of 2x4 at least 20" long
- wood screws (I was able to use various screws that I had collected from disassembling old projects)
- 8 blocks of wood (this is optional, the screws I had were too long and so the blocks of wood prevented them from sticking out the other side of the plywood).
- 2x2 wood slightly longer than the outer perimeter of the box you build (for the lid)
- chicken wire that spans the length and width of the lid
Step 1: Place Your Hinges
Connect 2 plywood panels together with hinges. Getting hinges to line up can be difficult. I use the following method:
- line up the edge of the hinge to the edge of your wood
- Place one screw in the exact center of the whole is key (It is easier with a pilot hole)
- Stand up each of the panels on edge on a flat surface at about a 90 degree angle, like an open book standing on it's side. I do this to ensure the hinges open evenly, since they are half way open. (It's easier with someone's help)
- Pace the second screw in the other side of the hinge (again lining up the edge and centering inside the hole)
- Then go back to the other side of the hinge and line up the bottom edge and center the screw
- Once you have 4 screws in and everything is properly aligned you can just put the rest in
Do steps again for the other 2 panels
Step 2: Fasten 2x4 for Clasps
- Stand up your panels on their sides again and place the 2 edges (without hinges) together
- Screw 2x4 as seen in picture, leaving about a 2" a gap at the top. This will give you something to attach the clasps to, since the plywood is not very thick
Step 3: Attach Clasps
Installing the clasps is similar to hinges, it's all about alignment and centering the holes.
- Align clasp with edge
- I used my driver and screw head to put a divot in the center (this helped get the screw started)
- Use the clasp to hold your screw while you are getting it started versus your fingers
- Use the clasp to hold the other end of the clasp in place while you install it
- Label the finished side so you know which side goes to which, then repeat for the other side
Step 4: Build a Cover
Build a cover for your box. We just built a simple frame that fit around the box with chicken wire attached with a staple gun to keep cats and other potential predators out. Later we added corner pieces at a 45* angle so the weight of the lid wasn't resting entirely on the chicken wire.
Step 5: And You're Done!
The two sections come apart and fold flat for easy storage when not in use.
Step 6: Here Is a Teenage Chicken for Your Viewing Pleasure ;)
Ready to go out to the barn with her hatch-mates until they're big enough to join the rest of the flock.
Participated in the
Scraps Speed Challenge