Mini-chicken coop: projects, construction and arrangement
Many gardeners, in addition to the garden, plant in themselves and various animals - goats, ducks, turkeys. Chickens are considered one of the most popular types of domesticated birds. The following describes how to equip a small chicken coop in the garden.
There are many different projects to build a chicken coop. Here only small constructions will be considered, for 5-7 hens. Poultry houses can be both stationary and portable.
Mini-chicken coops have a number of undoubted advantages:
- differ in the small sizes;
- may be mobile;
- projects with insulated walls do not require additional heating;
- the door serves to ventilate the interior;
- inside it is necessary to equip only roosts, 1-2 nests for layers, drinking bowls and several feeders.
If you are going to build a stationary chicken coop, choose a place with medium illumination from the sun, protected from wind gusts. The ideal option would be near a high shrub, the shadow of which would protect the bird's house from overheating, and the rarefied branches of the bushes - to pass a diffused light. To prevent dampness, select an elevated site for water flow.
A portable chicken coop does not require such conditions. By the way, to facilitate its movement along your section attach to the bottom of the wheel, and to the side walls - handles.
To get started, choose the type of your chicken coop - stationary or mobile. Then determine the size of the future house (note that veterinary standards determine the living space for 1 chicken at 0.33 sq. M. For 5 chickens you will need a chicken coop with an area of about 2 sq. M. You can design a chicken house with a square base (1.5x1, 5 m), it is possible with a rectangular (1x2 m). Calculate the height based on your own height + 20 cm - so it will be more convenient for you to clean and disinfect the interior of the house.
Usually, a chicken coop is built in two sections - a house with nests and perches, and an aviary for walking and feeding birds.The size of the nests should be at least 40x40 cm. The perches should be located at a height of not more than 1.2 m (for flightless rocks) and equipped with a suitable ladder. Under the house, install the litter tray. The size of the enclosure is about 3-5 square meters. m, the more the better. Because of how many chickens move, their egg production depends.
There are one-and two-story projects. Naturally, the two-story structure is more compact - the house rises above the aviary and does not take up extra space that can be used for walking birds. The form of the enclosure depends on your imagination, some farmers make it in the form of a hut.
Materials and tools
To build a wooden small chicken coop himself, You need the following:
- for the base of the structure and perches - 4x4 cm bars of various lengths;
- sheet plywood or chipboard for the nests and walls of the house;
- metal mesh for enclosure enclosure;
- roofing material (slate, roofing material, etc.);
- set of tools;
- door hinges, screws, nails, corners;
- for a window - glass or polycarbonate.
How to build a small house with your own hands? It is necessary to make a sketch of the future structure, then on its basis - a detailed drawing.Determine the size and type of construction by the availability of free space in your backyard.
Building a bird house directly on the ground is not recommended. From the ground will go damp and cold, the chickens will be uncomfortable. Raise it on the posts or build on the foundation.
Foundation construction is required only for a stationary project. Choose its type depending on the time you have, and your financial capabilities. The easiest way to build a column foundation. For it you will need to pour concrete trench around the perimeter of the selected site. Installation of support columns is possible on a well-rammed soil.
For strip and solid foundation, you need to make a formwork, and then concrete it. Increases both time and fill area. And these are additional expenses and wasted forces. Although, no doubt, a structure with a monolithic foundation and more thoroughly others, and better protect the peace of the bird from the ubiquitous rodents.
Next floor is laid. You can make it from planks, concrete, even clay. For a wooden chicken coop the most acceptable option is a plank floor.You can stretch a metal grid with medium-sized cells as a floor (so that the chickens do not fall down, and the droppings freely slip), and to build a floor of boards under it. If you install a pan to collect chicken waste between them, this will make cleaning a fairly easy task.
If you are building a year-round chicken coop, be sure to warm the floor. For the columnar foundation, it is better to lay a double floor, in the intervals between the layers of the boards having laid insulation, it is better to have environmentally friendly cotton wool. When using mineral wool, a waterproofing material must be laid under it, as it absorbs water well and reluctantly gives it away.
If you decide to build a portable model of a mini-chicken coop, make the floor of an open-air cage from a large grid - it will allow the birds to peck at the grass growing at the installation site of the chicken coop.
The construction of the chicken coop begins with the construction of the main frame of the structure. Fasten the lower straps between each other so that they form a stable rectangle, you can additionally strengthen them with corners for reliability. Then build the foundation of the future walls - a kind of frame,on top of which is installed the upper trim (base of the roof).
The walls can be made of plywood, mesh-chain-link, and you can combine these materials. For a stationary chicken coop, at least 3 walls should protect the chickens inside from the vagaries of nature - strong wind, frost, scorching sun. A mobile summer shelter for chickens usually has an open-air cage made of coarse mesh, while the inner house is sheathed with sheets of chipboard or plywood.
At a permanent chicken coop do not forget to warm the walls with foam, glass wool and other thermal insulation materials. Many gardeners do not recommend foam because of its density and inability to pass moisture. In the house, sheathed with foam, humidity will always be high. The outer side of the walls can then be treated with fungicides to protect against fungi.
The walls can also be assembled from logs or boards, especially if the apartment building is built in the form of a log house.
An example of the original design of the house is the building in the form of a gazebo.
For better lighting and ventilation, make a window in one of the walls. The size and location can be any, but it is desirable that the area of the window was about 1/10 of the entire area of the walls. For a stationary house the window frame should be at least double.
Next, settling down inside the chicken house. Its position is determined - on the ground or on the “second floor”, in the second case a ladder is needed to facilitate the raising of chickens into the house. Right next to the back wall of the house there are 2 nests, covered with dry grass and feathers for softness. Part of the wall can be made folding for collecting eggs. By the way, keep in mind that chickens have their own preferences and it often happens that they refuse to rush into the prepared nests, but they set up their own. In this case, you will have to somehow adapt, for example, transfer nests.
The door for the entry of chickens is usually mounted on the facade of the house, a little further to the perches it is advisable to make a ladder (especially if you have a breed that is not adapted for flight), reliable perches are attached.
On the side, make a door for yourself - nobody canceled the cleaning! And a window for lighting and ventilation (if all the walls are solid).
Now you can almost cover the ready-made chicken coop. To do this, support beams or a solid ceiling made of planks are mounted across the top frame. They are laid insulation, and on top - the material of the roof. Roof do mono or dvuhskatnoy - so that precipitation does not accumulate on the roof.
Compound feed can be stored in the attic that is being formed (watch out for humidity - it may fade or become moldy). You can also build an additional ventilation system - hold the pipe on the roof, make a plug outside and use it if necessary. Fill the gap between the walls and roof with mounting foam - to prevent drafts.
Next, enclose the aviary. To do this, we construct the frames of the side walls and stretch the grid on them. It is possible to combine the material of the walls. For example, we make part of the walls mesh, and some - solid. Also with a roof for an aviary. You can cover it with a roof completely, or you can leave the mesh windows in the ceiling for better lighting and for the hens to receive your dose of ultraviolet radiation.
The interior of the chicken house has its own characteristics that must be considered.
- Arrange perches at a height of 1.1 -1.2 m, one slightly lower than the other. Their total length should be about 3-5 m, then 5 chickens will settle down on them with due comfort. Make the distance between the perches a minimum of 0.35 m, and the one closest to the back wall should move no less than 0.25 m from it.Perches for chickens are usually made of rounded bars with a diameter of 5-6 cm to prevent injuries to their paws. The design of the perches must be reliable and have a good carrying capacity - otherwise the poles will begin to bend under the weight of the birds and may break.
- The feeder is usually installed along the side wall of the house. The top of the feeder covers the rake - this is done to ensure that chickens, these little brainless creatures, do not scatter feed with their feet.
- Drinking trough most often set nipple, although a flute option is also possible. In the open-air cage also mount a feeding trough and a drinking trough. Do not forget about the sandbox for your hens. In a wide bowl pour a mixture of ash and sand, the chickens love to "bathe" in it. Thus, they are trying to protect themselves from insect parasites - ticks, bedbugs and others. It is not advisable to put a bath in the sleeping house in a bath with sand - there is not enough space.
- To maintain perfect light conditions an electric lamp is installed in a protective case. All wires must be brought out and hidden in special boxes.
- Nests can be made in the form of boxesbuilt into the wall, with a removable lid for dredging.The size of the nests is largely dependent on whether you have a large breed or a small one. Place for laying eggs should not be cramped for birds.
If you are building a permanent chicken house, take care of the extra ventilation system of the chicken house. After all, in cold weather in winter, airing through the door or window is unavailable. It is best to equip the supply and exhaust system in the place where the chickens are staying overnight. To do this, 2 pipes are built into the roof, the diameter of which is equal to 0.2 m. One will serve to bring fresh air, the second one will remove polluted.
For the installation of this system, you will need to do a light job.
- Make two holes in the roof under the pipe. Place the dirty air extraction pipe over the hen's lodging place. The length of the pipe is about 65-70 cm, of which 0.5 m is above the roof.
- Pipe for fresh air is mounted away from the perch. The lower edge of the pipe is located at a level of 0.2 m from the floor. Over the roof stands 30-centimeter edge.
- Above the upper holes of the pipes make the peaks. Gap tightly with roofing material or fill with foam.
- Equip pipes with dampers so that they can be covered if necessary.
You can also lay the floor with sawdust or straw.This litter protects the legs of chickens from the cold, does not allow the litter of birds to spoil the wooden floor and stimulates the instincts of the hens to rake hay in search of grain. The thickness of this litter is about 20 cm.
It is desirable to provide for the possibility of connecting additional heating in the winter frost during the construction of a stationary house.
Here are some examples of successful and original designs of a chicken coop in the country.
If you love your garden, but do not want to deprive chickens of the opportunity to feast on weed and insects, take a walk for them in the form of a mesh tunnel. It can be carried as the birds pluck the grass. Roll the net into an arc; at the bottom, join the edges with a fishing line, synthetic fiber rope, and wire. Such bundles are suitable for bonding between parts of the tunnel.
A strict construction resembling a chiffonier. It has one drawback - additional lighting is needed, as chickens do not see well in the twilight.
The simplest design, more suitable for those who are interested in watching the bird life, and not to extract from this practical use in the form of eggs.
The house with mesh walls is raised above the ground on one support, to which a circular ladder is attached.
If you have children, build beautiful and maximally open chicken coops - it will be interesting for children to look at how poultry behave and feed them.
Try to make the chicken house as comfortable as possible, provide high-quality food, water - and believe me, they will thank you with fresh eggs.
A detailed story about the creation of the winter coop - in the video below.