This is constructed of one 16 foot cattle panel cut in half, bent into an arc and attached to 2x3’s to create a 6'x8' enclosure. I stretched poultry wire over the whole thing to keep predators out and attached a tarp to the back portion to give them shelter from the rain. There’s also a narrow strip of tarp running over the crown of the structure to keep the feed dry when it rains. I suspended the food and water on a sliding mechanism so I don’t have to crawl in there to take care of that chore and it stays off the ground to facilitate one-step moving. It’s just a track from bypass closet doors with a couple of hooks attached. Seems to be working fine so far.
This is a good beta test to see what I may want to do differently when I house the next batch of Cornish Cross. I kept that in mind while I wielded the pneumatic staple gun… I may have to disassemble this thing if I feel a need to improve on the design, so I was more sparing with staples than I usually am. I also still need to attach wheels and a handle to make it drivable (manually, of course) instead of brute force dragging around with a piece of rope. But I wanted to get these guys out on some grass right away so I'll do that another time.
I had to carry those 21 fat Cornish outside in a Rubbermaid tub 4 at a time. Man, they’re heavy already! I felt sorry for them in that stuffy barn, it was pretty hot in there even with several fans going. And they kept tipping their giant waterer over and making such a mess – I think they were perching on the lip and they’re so heavy that it just emptied out all over the brooder. I could clean up their bedding but their feathers were still always dirty. Maybe now they’ll try to clean themselves up. I’m just happy they’re getting much needed fresh air and putting them on grass will cool them off considerably. I also hung a weather-proof box fan from the back of the tractor to keep the air moving constantly. They seem a lot more active and far less lethargic from the heat. That’s good.