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.


  1. 4 old hinges from doors we no longer use
  2. 4 pieces of plywood (I would recommend at least 24" tall and minimum of 24" long, ours are 24" tall and 36" long)
  3. 2 pieces of 2x4 at least 20" long
  4. wood screws (I was able to use various screws that I had collected from disassembling old projects)
  5. 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).
  6. 2x2 wood slightly longer than the outer perimeter of the box you build (for the lid)
  7. 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:

  1. line up the edge of the hinge to the edge of your wood
  2. Place one screw in the exact center of the whole is key (It is easier with a pilot hole)
  3. 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)
  4. Pace the second screw in the other side of the hinge (again lining up the edge and centering inside the hole)
  5. Then go back to the other side of the hinge and line up the bottom edge and center the screw
  6. 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

  1. Stand up your panels on their sides again and place the 2 edges (without hinges) together
  2. 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.

  1. Align clasp with edge
  2. I used my driver and screw head to put a divot in the center (this helped get the screw started)
  3. Use the clasp to hold your screw while you are getting it started versus your fingers
  4. Use the clasp to hold the other end of the clasp in place while you install it
  5. 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.

Scraps Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Scraps Speed Challenge