Recently, poultry breeding is gaining more and more popularity. Chickens allow not only year-round to have homemade eggs, but also meat. Chicken feather can be used as a filler for feather pillows and blankets. However, in order not to encounter serious problems, you should carefully think over this idea at the initial stage, paying special attention to the construction of the chicken coop.
How to choose a suitable option?
A well-built chicken coop for laying hens is not a barn, but a separate small, warm structure, with the most correct and close to natural conditions for keeping and breeding birds. In the right "house" is not only convenient for chickens. The owner can easily clean up, feed and care for animals.
An ideal option would be a chicken coop, consisting of 2 parts. The first is represented by a closed, comfortable room, and the second by a special enclosure enclosed by a special grid for bird walking. You can also purchase or make your own portable models of chicken coops, however, they are not suitable for keeping a large number of layers.
When designing an individual chicken coop, it is necessary to take into account the following subtleties:
- thermal insulation is necessary, especially when keeping birds all year round;
- the safety of the building should be at its best, this will prevent the loss of chickens and eggs due to the attack of predators;
- ventilation is needed to ventilate the chicken coop and a constant flow of fresh air, however, the draft should be absent, otherwise many animal diseases cannot be avoided;
- To increase the production of eggs by chickens, it is necessary to organize artificial lighting at some time of the day.
Nevertheless, there are no strict rules in the construction of a chicken pen and everyone can independently design an object suitable for sizes of 500, 1000, 10 or 200 birds.
Device and drawings
It’s not very difficult to arrange a chicken coop on your own, and even a beginner can do it. First of all, you should decide on a plan for future construction and draw up a schematic drawing with dimensions. You can take ready-made drawings, however, it is better to prepare them yourself based on individual requirements and sizes.
When determining the size, it should be taken into account what maximum number of birds is planned to be kept, and this calculation should be based on. It is optimal to place 4 chickens per square meter.
When the design of the future chicken house is determined, you need to prepare the materials:
- gravel, water, sand, formwork, concrete and metal mesh;
- gas block, brick or blockhouse;
- floor boards;
- slate or roofing material;
- insulation (for example, isover);
- plywood for interior design;
- windows (can be made independently, can be ordered individually in specialized firms);
- netting for corral;
- wires and lamps;
- dimmer or 2 switches;
All necessary materials can be purchased at any hardware store. The internal arrangement of the chicken coop depends on individual needs, but must have perches, feeders, nests and equipped places for feeding.
How to build?
You should adhere to the work plan, which is as follows:
- seat selection;
- foundation device;
- flooring flooring;
- window insertion and ventilation device;
- work on the internal improvement of the chicken coop.
Having prepared the drawings and all the necessary materials and tools, you can start building your own chicken coop. Particular attention should be paid to the choice of place for the construction of the building. It should be located on a hill, away from excess moisture and drafts.
The foundation begins to be arranged with soil preparation. To do this, the top layer of the earth is removed (20-30 cm) and covered with gravel and sand. Formwork is prepared, a metal mesh is laid on it and concrete is poured. This type of foundation is the most fundamental, although other support options can be used. The floor is covered with boards, if desired, you can pour a small (up to 10 centimeters) layer of expanded clay under the floor. This will allow you to warm the room and make the temperature in it for laying hens more comfortable.
Walls can be erected from various materials. If the walls are erected from a log house, then there is no need for their additional insulation, they are already maintained at a fairly comfortable temperature. Brick or aerated concrete walls are better insulated both outside and inside.
The roof of most chicken coop projects is gable. This allows moisture not to linger on it. The roof can also be insulated by placing isover or mineral wool under the slate or tile. The number of windows in the building is calculated from a ratio of 1 to 12, in relation to the floor area. It is advisable to supplement the windows with mosquito nets, which will prevent the penetration of insects into the chicken coop.
The ventilation holes are equipped in the wall and allow for the proper circulation of fresh air. After completing all external work, you can proceed to the interior decoration of the chicken coop.
How to arrange inside?
Inside the chicken coop equipment is one of the most critical stages of construction. First of all, you should decide on a list of what must be in the right chicken coop, and this:
- sleeping places;
- cups for feeding;
- capacity for water procedures;
- place for walking.
Separately, you should deal with lighting. The main thing in the arrangement of wires and lamps is to place them as high as possible to avoid injuring the birds. The fixing elements must be securely fastened and not have sharp accessible parts, so that the chicken does not hurt themselves about them. When lighting, you should know one feature of home laying hens - they are very poorly oriented in the dark and if you sharply remove the light from them, not all of them will be able to get a night and fall asleep in an uncomfortable position on the floor. First, the main light is extinguished, and then, after the chickens are seated in their places, they turn off completely. Therefore, it is necessary to provide for the main bright light and an additional one with a dim lamp, or install a dimmer that allows you to smoothly adjust the intensity of the lighting.
The berth is perched in the chicken coop. This is a universal object that birds use not only for relaxation, but also for sleep. According to some reports, domestic chickens spend about half their life on a perch, so it should be convenient and safe.
Perches are made of wooden blocks, smooth branches of large trees.
The berth should meet the following requirements.
- Strength. Too thin a crossbar can break under the weight of birds, while causing injury to them.
- Security. Before installation, the handle is necessarily processed with a planer and, if necessary, brought to smoothness with sandpaper. All sharp corners must be cleaned, otherwise the birds can damage the paws and "render".
- Sufficient landing area. In the warm season and off-season, one chicken should have at least 20 centimeters. In the cold season, this figure is reduced in order to closer arrangement of the layers so that they do not freeze.
Installation of plastic structures is not justified, since plastic does not have environmental friendliness and durability of a tree and can injure birds if it breaks with sharp edges.
A convenient and spacious place should be chosen for the nesting device. The egg laying of hens will depend on the correctness and ease of installation of this item in the chicken coop. It is necessary to arrange their secluded corners into which daylight does not penetrate. The socket can be made from a wooden or plastic box of a suitable size. For an adult chicken, it is better to take a nest of 40x60 centimeters.
Inside the nests, a thick layer of straw is laid and changes regularly. It is not recommended to place these structures under perches - hens will spoil and endlessly pollute the straw inside.
The feeding area can be equipped in 2 ways.
- Food can be poured into chickens in a specific place, directly on the litter. Thus, the natural need of the birds swarming in search of food is satisfied. The only condition is to place the feeding place as far as possible from the active habitats of the chickens.
- Arrangement of special feeders. They can be made independently from improvised containers, or purchased in a specialized store. But this method has several disadvantages. Hens do not belong to very neat creatures and like to delve into food, so you will have to clean such a “kitchen” very often. Also, the birds are quarrelsome and often can not share food, which ultimately can end in a fight and an inverted feeder.
Water tanks in the chicken coop should be required. It is better to give preference to modern car drinkers, which serve as needed new portions of water.
All birds love water procedures and chickens are no exception. However, poultry do not use water, dust or sand for these purposes. In order for the layers to comfortably perform hygienic procedures, it is necessary to install a large tank with sand. During the “bathing”, chickens get rid of parasites that could be caught, for example, by lice, which, when the process is neglected, can be very difficult to remove. Therefore, do not neglect the installation of a bath in the chicken coop.
In order for the chickens to lay eggs and be healthy, they need fresh air and sun, and therefore a specially equipped corral for walking. Do not send domestic chickens to "free swimming" in the yard, as they can cause a lot of confusion and cripple themselves in a short time. And if there is a garden, then it’s better not to let birds in it, because they will bite, eat and dig everything around. But keeping birds indoors without a walk is fraught with serious health problems.
To equip the correct corral, you should do this:
- from the side of the door - the entrance to the chicken house - the area for walking is fenced with a grid;
- columns are dug around the perimeter and a metal mesh is attached to them;
- mount securely, avoiding the formation of sharp edges that can damage the bird;
- be sure to bury the net in the ground for 40 centimeters. This measure will protect chickens from predators that can dig a passage into the pen;
- fencing height - 200 centimeters. Domestic chickens are beautiful flyers for short distances and without any problems will jump over a fence height of 150 and even 170 cm.
To independently build a house for laying hens, you will not need a lot of costs and the availability of special knowledge and skills in the field of construction. However, you should take into account the characteristics of these birds, then you will be able to create favorable conditions for them to live and reproduce.
About what should be in the chicken coop for laying hens, see the next video.