Finally got off my butt yesterday and built some crates to transport the chickens to the processor (tomorrow). It was a little harder to get started than I expected because 10 days ago I cut the tip of my thumb really bad on the table saw. Hence I have been a little leery to use any saws at all much less its difficult to do anything without using your thumb. Anyhow, here is what I ended up with.
I had to do this job on the cheap cause I am broke. I had purchased the sheet of 7/16" OSB and four 2x4's a week or two ago when I had a few bucks. I was going to buy a bundle (50) of 1/4x1-1/2x48" lath for the slats but decided to use some leftover scraps of 5mm plywood I had from a previous job. I had 3 odd shaped pieces that I thought would be plenty but wound up short by a bunch and had to tear into a good sized 1/3 sheet of the same material. I was surprised by how many slats were needed for 3 crates.
The basic size is 24x32" so that I could get all 6 top and bottom pieces from a single sheet. For the 2x2 vertical supports I ripped a couple of the 2x4's in half and cut them 11-1/2" long (6 per crate). And the slats are 1-1/2" wide by 24" for the ends and 32" for the sides. There is about 5/8" gap between the bottom and the first slat so that I can hose them out and allow stuff to flow out. I also scabbed a couple of 2x2 on the bottom so that they can be stacked without hitting the hardware. Of course as usual I had to glue and screw everything. The slats are glued and stapled with two 1" staples on each vertical support.
I continued on the cheap with all the "hardware" by using stuff I already had laying around. The only thing I had to buy were the hinges and I opted to use one each instead of a pair and saved $5. The wood latch is just a piece of the slat plywood that pivots on a screw. And the handles are just some small pieces of rope with a knot on each end.
The paint was just to make hosing them out easier and make them last a little longer. OSB doesn't fare too well in the weather. All in all, not to bad of a job on a budget. The plastic crates available on the internet are ridiculously priced around $100 or so. I am taking about 22-24 chickens to the processor tomorrow so I figured that 3 crates would be enough as they should comfortably hold 8 chickens each.
Today I am withholding all food from the chickens to clean them out before processing. It was nice to have a break from moving the hoop house and feeding them. All I had to do was fill the water bucket. They kinda looked at me expectantly and were a little confused why I didn't move them to fresh grass. I hope the roosters enjoyed their last meal. I know I will enjoy my first chicken dinner this weekend.