Keeping poultry requires a specially equipped room. A kind of barn must meet sanitary requirements, the desired temperature, moisture and lighting must be maintained. Chicken coops differ in type, are selected individually. It is not at all difficult to make such a structure, you only need to prepare high-quality materials.
The house must have a roof so that the birds cannot jump out or fly out. A variety of animals can hunt chickens. Moreover, both rats with ferrets and stray cats with dogs are dangerous. The structure of the building should be such that predators cannot get through. Other requirements for the chicken coop are.
- Purity. Uses materials that can be washed and disinfected.
- Location. At least 4 m from the neighboring fence and 12 m from other buildings.
- Ventilation. Chickens need fresh, draft-free air.
- Waterproofing and insulation. Very important characteristics for a poultry house that is used at any time of the year. Chickens are afraid of high levels of humidity on an instinctive level, they cannot stand low temperatures and drafts..
A proper hen house with a ceiling height of about 2 meters will make the birds feel comfortable. This way they can eat well and lay eggs. If the chicken coop is designed for a large number of individuals, then the area can be slightly reduced. Birds will stray into small groups anyway..
If too little space is given to the chickens, then they will begin to peck each other and fight for a place..
Chicken coops are distinguished by season for summer and winter. In the latter, you can keep the bird throughout the year. The simplest summer poultry houses are only needed to protect chickens from bad weather. The structure can be made from mesh and planks. Summer chicken coop will allow keeping birds for about 8-9 months.
It is enough to make small walls that can provide protection from the wind. It is recommended to slightly raise the chicken coop. In this case, it is easier to clean up the droppings, and the rains will not flood from below. Above you need to make a canopy. Such a home chicken coop can be made as an addition to the main one..
A warm winter house is a more serious building. This is a capital structure with windows and insulation from moisture and cold. Be sure to take care of artificial lighting. Such a building is completely autonomous.. You can even add water to conveniently refill drinkers and wash your hands after contact with a bird..
A shed for chickens is stationary and portable. The second option is usually summer. Such a chicken coop is small and mobile, usually about 10 chickens are kept inside. You can equip your portable house with wheels for added convenience. A stationary barn is a capital structure with a solid foundation.
You can make one large structure and keep different types of birds in cages. So a stationary shed for laying hens and for chickens will allow you to simultaneously deal with meat and eggs.
A modern poultry house can even be two stories high. Then it is possible to equip additional cages for quails, indoor ducks, broilers..
The design of the chicken coop directly depends on how many birds are planned to be kept. So, you can make a poultry house for 100 individuals or just 15. The project can include a place for walking, a space for storing food and equipment, and much more. It is imperative to draw up a detailed drawing in accordance with the scale. This will allow you not only to see what you want, but also to calculate the necessary materials..
Before starting construction, it is worthwhile to understand exactly which chickens and in what quantity will need to be kept. It is important to divide the entire building into functional areas. It is also worth considering the remoteness of the chicken coop from residential buildings and the exact location.
Here are other important nuances..
- Planting area and density. When designing, you should lay about 2 sq. m for 8 adult birds or 30 chickens. This applies to chickens for meat. Layers require more space. In this case, you should calculate 1 sq. m for 2 adult birds. The most compact poultry house – 3 sq. m.
- If a large number of birds are expected or different species are kept in one building, then it is worth making a two-story poultry house.
- Define shaded walking area.
- If the bird shed is made of blocks, then their size should be taken into account..
- The entrance and exit for walking can be protected by a door that can be removed.
- For a winter chicken coop, it is recommended to make two windows with shutters. A summer building is enough for one.
What materials are suitable?
The cheapest and easiest option is wood. The natural material is of good quality and low cost. But the wood is short-lived. The boards can be further treated to protect them from moisture, mold and decay. Then the service life will increase significantly.. For construction you will need such materials.
- Beams. The most affordable option for building a poultry house. However, if the material is slightly damp, then it will give significant cracks when it dries..
- Shields. In this case, the frame is made of timber, and from above it is sheathed with sheets of OSB. Plank shields are used as an alternative. Such a chicken coop can be built in a short time, it will last quite a long time..
- Logs. Building from a log house will require skills, experience and a lot of free time. After building the walls, you need to leave the chicken coop alone for a couple of months. During this time, the material will sit down.
- Railway sleepers. Construction proceeds quickly, reliability is guaranteed. The material is impregnated against decay.
- Window frames. They can replace the frame in a summer chicken coop. The base is made from the window frames, and the top can be sheathed with any light material. They also do this when equipping a walking area. In this case, you can sheathe it with a netting.
Construction of poultry houses from blocks is no less popular. They are more reliable than wood, but they freeze quickly in winter, which means that you will have to think about heating. Such materials are commonly used.
- Brick. Hand-laying will take a long time. It is not recommended to build the entire wall at a time, it is necessary to give time to the solution for it to freeze. The brick chicken coop is a capital building and serves for a long time..
- Cinder block. The result is the same as in the previous case. However, such blocks are larger, which means that construction is faster..
- Gas blocks. They have good heat and moisture conductivity. During construction, steel reinforcement around the perimeter is necessarily used. This allows you to make the design as reliable as possible..
- Foam blocks. The material does not emit toxins, which means it is completely safe for birds. Cold winters make their own adjustments to the construction. Walls made of foam blocks should be laid with double masonry to protect against winter frosts.
In this case, it is worth considering the type of chicken coop. A summer building can be built from OSB, plywood or boards. The material is used for sheathing a frame from a bar. The main purpose of such a building is to protect from wind, sun and rain..
When using such materials for a winter chicken coop, insulation should be done. Still such poultry houses can be built from aerated block, timber, sandstone, shell rock, adobe. Insulation is usually made from mineral wool or foam. True, mice can start inside, the netting will help eliminate the risk.
A simple chicken coop can be converted from a trailer or shed. You can use the old building or buy a ready-made one. This is the easiest option. One has only to properly strengthen the building and equip it inside.
The options for using modern materials are as follows.
- Polycarbonate. Durable and lightweight material is not afraid of temperature extremes, does not require special skills to work. If used for a chicken coop, then after the foundation, a metal frame should be made. For the walking area, you can make a polycarbonate canopy. Often, only a part of the chicken coop is sheathed with such material so that more light gets inside..
- Sandwich panels. A modern material that additionally plays the role of a heat-insulating layer. Even a roof can be made of sandwich panels. Conveniently, all elements can be prepared at the factory, and then simply assembled on a frame.
- SIP panels. The material is especially good for a winter chicken coop. It allows you to save on heating, because a building made of SIP panels cools down more slowly. The bonus is that the material has soundproofing properties. Birds will be less scared in bad weather.
The chicken coop will last more than one year, if you correctly approach the issue of its construction. There are options when choosing materials for floors, walls, roofs, windows and doors. It all depends only on financial capabilities. You can even buy a ready-made chicken coop and install it in the right place..
The initial stage of construction is one of the most critical. How long the chicken coop will stand depends on the quality of the foundation. You need to start with the markup. Steel rods are installed in the corners of the future foundation, ropes are tied between them. To check the correct installation, the sides and diagonal of the resulting rectangle are measured.
All angles must be 90 ° and the sides must be the same. If the markings are correct, then you should drive in the stakes, which will be the central parts of the pillars. A certain distance between them should be observed. It is recommended to place the stakes 1 meter apart.
A hole should be dug around the perimeter. The depth is at least 50 cm so that the foundation is stable. A layer of sand spreads at the bottom, compacted.
It is worth using species with large grains of sand. In this case, the sand must be wet..
The next step will be the preparation of concrete mortar. The recipe is quite simple, the following proportions should be observed: 3 parts of crushed stone; 2 shares of sand; 1 each of cement and water. The mixture must be poured into the pit to ground level, leveled. It will take several days to dry. It usually takes 3 days, but it all depends on weather conditions and sizes.
With cement and bricks, you need to make supporting pillars with a height of about 20-30 cm. The width is selected based on the size of the chicken coop. It is important that all posts are straight. It is recommended to use a spirit level, building level.
The last step will be to protect the foundation from moisture. A layer of waterproofing can be done using ordinary roofing material. It is on this material that the rough floor will be laid out. In the corners, cuts should be made for high-quality fixation. This completes the work on the foundation, you can proceed to the next step..
The most common options are concrete, wood and earthen. The choice should be approached as responsibly as possible, because the temperature inside and the health of the chickens depend on the floor. The easiest and most budgetary option is an earthen floor. It is recommended to make adobe with boards that are tamped into the composition. Only clay and earth can be used, no wood.
This floor requires a litter. In the cold season, the earth is not able to keep warm. Over time, burrows of various rodents may appear in such a floor.. From a hygienic point of view, it is better to make from clay, it mixes less with waste.
It is important to understand that it is impossible to disinfect such a floor..
The concrete floor is cold, and it is imperative to do a bedding. Rodents and other animals will not be able to get in this way. After installing the foundation, it is necessary to cover the floor with small fragments of gravel or bricks. The material is leveled and poured with a solution of sand and cement in a ratio of 4: 1.
Wood flooring is the most common and practical option.. The boards are installed directly on the foundation. A tree with a thickness of about 20-25 cm is used.The material maintains a temperature regime, does not freeze in winter.
In this case, it is also recommended to use wood. However, there are other options as well. The main thing is that the material fulfills its functions and meets the basic requirements. After making the foundation, it is worth putting the load-bearing beams, there are only 4 of them. They are attached to the beams in the foundation using small beams..
Can be sheathed outside and inside with one material. Chipboard and fiberboard, boards and plywood are often used. At the same time, it is important to think in advance about the places where windows, doors, lighting and ventilation will be located..
If the chicken coop is all-season, then it is important to put insulation between the layers. Convenient and easy to use simple mineral wool.
The roof can be made single-pitched or gable. If the chicken coop is small, then the first option will do. A single-pitched roof should have an angle of inclination up to 30 °, and a gable roof – up to 40 °. The first option is as simple as possible, requires a small amount of material.
Gable roof allows for additional ceiling space. There you can store bird food or other accessories. In this case, it is important to make ebb tides for the water. The angle of the roof slope should be measured, otherwise precipitation will simply push the roof.
Maintaining the temperature is very important, because at -7 ° C all birds can die from hypothermia. It makes sense to install energy-saving heaters with a thermostat. This is the easiest way to maintain 12-24 ° C with minimal costs. It is also worth taking care of ventilation.. It is of two types.
- Forced. An additional fan is used. Important for winter construction. Adjusting the movement of air masses will avoid drafts.
- Natural. A chimney or just an open window. Suitable only for small chicken coops.
The next step will be lighting. The optimal daylight hours for birds are about 12-15 hours, but the exact time depends on the type of chickens.. In winter, you will need lamps with warm, diffused light. Chickens cannot see in the dark, so you can turn off the light only when everyone gets to the roosts. Chicks need 24/7 lighting to eat better and gain weight.
You can also make a “smart” chicken coop. In this state, the adjustment of the main characteristics is automated. Also, an autonomous chicken coop can be equipped with a water supply, and not just an electrician.
It is worth making a drawing in which nests, perches, feeders and drinkers will be indicated.
The main recommendations are.
- Perches. The length of the pole is equal to the width of the chicken coop, the thickness is 4×4 cm. You should count on about 20-30 cm per individual. There must be a space of at least 25 cm between the poles. Do not put them one above the other. The top chickens will stain the bottom chickens with droppings. The bird without effort can rise to a height of about 80 cm; you cannot put the pole higher. The lower one can be placed at a distance of 20 cm from the floor.
- Nests. Meat chickens need 1 nest per 5 females. The rest – 1 place for 2-3 birds. The size of the nest is about 40x40x23 cm. About 15-20 cm of hay is placed on the bottom. The nests are located in the far corner of the house. You can place them where the chickens were already scurrying on the floor. Containers made of wood are used as a nest.
- Litter. You can use hay or sawdust. The modern option is a litter with aerobic bacteria. The latter needs to be changed every 2-3 years. The bacteria make compost from the litter, which can be used to fertilize the soil..
- Feeders. For 1 individual, a depth of about 10-15 cm is needed, for a chicken it is 2 times less. If the feeder is circular, then you can calculate 2-3 cm per bird. It’s important that everyone has access to food at the same time.
- Drinking bowls. Nipple models are optimal for chickens. In this case, drip eliminators will also be needed so that water does not flow onto the floor. The volume of the bottle depends on the number of chickens, usually 20 liters are used.
How to handle chicken coops?
Chickens suffer from parasites, so disinfection in the house is necessary. Processing should be carried out at least once a year. The ideal option is disinfection every 2 months. This is especially important if the house is poorly ventilated. You should wipe your feet before entering the chicken coop or have separate shoes. This is important to avoid contaminating the birds. It is also recommended to cover the walls inside with lime, it prevents the development of microbes. Here are some more important tips.
- It is worth taking birds out before disinfection. In summer, chickens can walk, in winter they will have to be transplanted to another room.
- Prepare protective clothing, better overalls. You should also protect your face, hands, respiratory system. Pre-clean the house with a broom, scoop and brush.
- Everything should be washed with warm water and apple cider vinegar or a non-toxic detergent.. Lime from the walls should be washed off and then a new one should be applied. Change the litter completely.
- For disinfection, you can use “Glutex” and “Virotsid”. Other certified products sold in pet stores are also suitable. The use of chemicals like bleach or formalin is not recommended. The latter is completely prohibited for home use due to its high toxicity..
Examples of buildings
Making a chicken coop is not so difficult if you take a responsible approach to the issue of planning. Summer and winter options will keep birds in comfort. Here are some beautiful examples of poultry houses.
- A simple summer chicken coop that can be moved around as needed. Openable roof for easy bird care.
- Summer option, which requires a minimum of materials. Triangular coops are suitable for keeping small numbers of birds.
- A large, stationary poultry house in which many individuals can be kept. The building itself is divided into two functional areas, and the walking area is quite spacious..
- The poultry house with a pitched roof is designed for about 15-20 individuals. The wooden structure is quite simple to construct.
- A chicken coop with a gable roof and a comfortable walking area. Designed for a small number of birds, easy to care for and clean.
- The remarkable design has a door where the chickens lay their eggs. The coop is designed for a small number of individuals, has a panel for easy cleaning.
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