I ordered this mini hutch online. It was $70 so fairly reasonable. And screwed together in just a few minutes. You get what you pay for in that the whole thing is pretty light weight. I wouldn't trust it outside up against night time critters who are looking to dine on chicken. But if you can put it inside a protected run, a barn or garage, it will get the job done.
If it was just for the chicks, I'm not sure I would have bought it. But I'm almost positive that Coco is going to need some serious timeout time as we work to introduce the babies to her and Ginger. So it will come in handy should I need to separate her for a time.
What's nice, is that the babies now have a place to sleep. I just set in a 2x4 in the nest box area so they can continue roosting. And I think I'll cover the whole thing with a tarp for a while longer to help keep them protected from drafts.
|The solid area on the end is one big nest box or sleeping area.|
The temperatures dropped into the low 30's and high 20's last week, so I brought the babies back into the garage each night to sleep in the dog crate. But that was a real labor of love. Not to mention it seemed to incite Coco and Ginger each morning when I'd bring them back out. It was like they were saying, "Not them again. They're coming back again?!?" And the big girls just went ballistic when I gave the babies meal worms.
I'm hoping that if the big girls wake up and the babies are there that they will start to get more used to each other. But maybe that's just wishful thinking.
I had planned to do a test run with Ginger today to see how she'd react towards the babies if they were in her run. But when I knelt down with one of the babies, Ginger charged for her and she meant business. I was really surprised. So no getting to know one another this weekend.
I did notice that Ginger's comb is much redder than it was just the other day and I think she's FINALLY coming back into lay. She hasn't laid since September when she started molting and our days are starting to get longer. So she may just be a moody hen with some hormone issues going on.
I do hope I can start working on integration soon. Otherwise, I'm going to have to figure out something else. Maybe I can unscrew the end triangle of this pen and open it up into the dog crate to give them some more real estate. These babies seem to grow a little more every day. It's really quite amazing.