DIY chicken coop for 10 chickens

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Connoisseurs of domestic eggs and poultry can produce their favorite product themselves without special skills and equipment. A miniature poultry farm will not become a burden to the family budget, while it requires a little attention and can be built in a few days using the most popular materials.

DIY chicken coop for 10 chickens

What is a chicken coop

A place for keeping poultry should be designed taking into account the basic needs of animals and the course of their life rhythm. If we are talking about chickens, it is necessary to provide for:

  • walking space;
  • feeding places;
  • sleep;
  • egg laying.

The practice of poultry farming shows that the minimum population of a poultry farm for effective breeding is 8-10 females and 1-2 roosters. With such a number of birds, one can count on the provision of a family of 3-4 people with domestic eggs, and the productivity of one brood will be enough for about 1.5-2 years.

DIY chicken coop for 10 chickens

But back to the layout of the miniature chicken coop. Veterinary standards regulate the planting of poultry egg-laying in an amount of no more than 3 heads per 1 m2. For meat breeds, it is allowed to keep from 5 to 7 birds in the same area, a tighter fit is explained by the limited space for movement, which ultimately has a beneficial effect on the taste of meat. Layers require more space, because the normal development of the bird’s reproductive system requires physical activity, although walking can be organized even in a very limited area.

DIY chicken coop for 10 chickens

So, if we are talking about egg-bearing breeds, 10 chickens will need a room with dimensions from 1.5×2 to 2×2 m.In this case, it is better to make the chicken coop two-tier: the lower platform is intended for walking and fattening, on the upper one there are perches for sleeping and nests for laying eggs … For breeding poultry of meat breeds, chicken coops are best suited, in which the bird is placed inside sections of 3-4 individuals per tier, and the cages are located vertically one above the other. It may seem that it is much more rational to put broilers in a single-tier cage with horizontal planning, however, when placed on the street, such a chicken coop will inevitably cause difficulties with heating and insulation, and it will take up too much free space inside..

Indoor or free-standing?

The question of indoor or outdoor placement of a small poultry farm is worth a separate consideration. Strictly speaking, all chicken coops, in fact, are internal, because open structures are suitable only for summer keeping birds. For meat breeds this is not a problem: in one summer you can raise 1–2 broods, providing yourself with frozen meat and chicken stew for a year in advance. However, the life cycle of laying hens is much longer, therefore, with the arrival of cold weather, they will inevitably have to be relocated to a heated room, well, or in advance, take care of the insulation and heating of a small chicken coop standing on the street.

One of the most rational solutions can be called an extension of the chicken coop to one of the walls of a residential building. In this case, you should definitely take care of sound insulation, because it only seems that the poultry does not make much noise. In fact, rustling and scraping sounds at night will create discomfort for residents, moreover, we must not forget that it is common for a bird to sing even at night. Nevertheless, this location option has the right to life, if only for the reason that you can partially or completely get rid of the cost of heating.

DIY chicken coop for 10 chickens

If a decision is made to build a free-standing poultry house, its design must be stable and based at least on massive brickwork, although the ideal option is reinforced concrete MZLF. The main building material is wood, namely, timber and edged boards of the second or higher grade. For sheathing of blank walls, sheet materials, such as OSB or moisture resistant plywood, can be used. You will also need a plaster mesh with a cell of 40 mm or an ordinary “chain-link” and any available type of roofing with waterproofing.

Conditions for keeping broilers and layers

The main requirements for organizing a poultry house are considered to be the area, volume of the room, the rate of air exchange, lighting and temperature. Also, a prerequisite is to ensure maximum asepticity of the room, that is, the arrangement of the poultry house should provide for the simple removal of waste products and cleaning of the main surfaces.

DIY chicken coop for 10 chickens

The norms for keeping meat and egg-laying poultry differ. The main difference lies in the temperature regime: if for broilers it is imperative to maintain the temperature at + 25-30 ° С, depending on the breed and age, then layers feel quite comfortable at + 20-22 ° С and retain productivity up to + 12 … 15 ° С in winter. It is also worth knowing that egg-bearing breeds are able to easily tolerate even severe frost during walking, while for broilers, even a short-term stay at temperatures below + 15 ° C is fraught with stress and illness. For both types of poultry, it is recommended to maintain the relative humidity at a level that is comfortable for humans, that is, 45-60%.

DIY chicken coop for 10 chickens

For both broilers and layers, the optimum day length is at least 14 hours. More is possible, however, it is necessary to provide for about 6-7 hours of the dark period, or equip a sleeping place without additional lighting. Broilers can do without sunlight quite easily, they just need to organize a warm zone with infrared illumination, where the temperature is 2-3 ° C higher than the nominal. But for laying hens, the ability to walk in the sunlight is critically necessary, without this, the egg shell becomes fragile due to insufficient absorption of calcium.

DIY chicken coop for 10 chickens

Opinions differ regarding air exchange rates. Experts believe that ventilation should provide at least 7-8 m3 of fresh air per bird per day, while the experience of small farms shows that the life cycle of a bird proceeds relatively normally, even if a poultry house for 10-20 birds is supplied at least 2 m3 of fresh air every hour. In any case, even a small chicken coop should have an organized ventilation system, the intensity of which is regulated as you observe the behavior of the bird..

Construction details

We will describe the process of building a free-standing hen house for egg-bearing breeds, the design of which can be easily transferred when organizing a house inside any suitable room. One should start from the base: the site on which the miniature poultry farm will be located should be cleared of vegetation, the top layer of soil removed to a depth of 20-30 cm. The floor in the chicken coop is arranged in parallel with the foundation. The best option is considered to be an embankment of sand and gravel mixture or the device of an adobe bed.

It is not recommended to base the house on a concrete slab, in which case it will be much more difficult to regulate temperature and humidity. Under all other conditions, the floor must necessarily have a dense layer that will not allow rodents and parasitic insects from the soil to penetrate inside; for this purpose, banner fabric or roll waterproofing can be used.

DIY chicken coop for 10 chickens

Around the perimeter of the prepared site, you need to dig a trench for the foundation. As such, rubble masonry in a full brick or concrete tape can be used, there is not much difference in that, because the whole structure will ultimately turn out to be extremely light. It is advisable to provide for a bedding of 10-15 cm from mixed fraction crushed stone and sand, this will provide the foundation with additional resistance to frost heaving and flooding. As a result, a massive parapet should form around the perimeter, towering 10-12 cm above the adjacent ground.

DIY chicken coop for 10 chickens

For the chicken coop, the frame structure will be optimal. One part, as a rule, facing north and west, should have a blind corner where roosts and nests will be equipped. The opposite corner is knocked down in the form of a frame made of timber to secure the mesh fence of the walking area.

Construction should begin with a blind corner part. To form it, three frames should be knocked down from a 100×40 mm board. One frame has the shape of a rectangle with a width slightly less than the size of the back of the foundation and a height of 2.5 m. The other two have the shape of a rectangular trapezoid with a width of 1.2 m, while one of the side walls should have a height of 2.2 m. 60 cm install additional racks of the same section.

DIY chicken coop for 10 chickens

After the frames of the walls are knocked down, they are rallied into a single structure, joining to form open corners. Frames can be fastened together with metal corners or corner kerchiefs from the board. On the open side, the walls are pulled together by two crossbars at the bottom and at the top, before that it is imperative to align the frame geometry and check the diagonals.

The frame is sheathed on both sides: first completely from the inside, then from the outside after laying the insulation and installing the windproof membrane. From the outer walls, the back one needs to be sewn up first, exposing the ends of the slabs to the plane of the frame of neighboring walls according to the rule. Further, a 40×40 mm bar is screwed along the protruding edges of the plates, the corner cavities are clogged with mineral wool. At the final stage, the side walls are sheathed with slabs from the outside..

The frames of the open part of the house usually do not require additional bridges, they are simply covered from the inside with a netting with a mesh of no more than 40 mm. The door is best positioned at the front of the house to create two additional posts to support the underside of the roof. The door is easily knocked down from the same 40×40 mm timber, for rigidity it is enough to add one diagonal lintel. When the base of the walls is ready, a board of 100×50 mm should be laid on top of the poultry house on the edge, making cuts at the points of support on the walls.

DIY chicken coop for 10 chickens

Roof beams are installed in 70 cm increments and fixed to the walls with metal corners, after which the bottom of the floor is hemmed with a sheet of fiberboard, mineral wool is laid between the boards, a windscreen and a transverse roof lathing are mounted, then the roof is covered with slate, profiled sheet or any other available material. To create a continuous thermal circuit, all joints between the plates and possible cavities are filled with polyurethane foam.

Internal arrangement

Inside the frame part, a 40 mm beam is stuffed along the surface of the walls in two horizontal lines with an indent of 150 mm. The bottom bar must be at least 120 cm above the floor. The bars serve as a support for two decks that form an overlap under the berth, while at the bottom a niche is formed to accommodate drinkers, feeders and other additional equipment. All wooden surfaces should be painted with alkyd enamel in two layers, preferably using light colors for easier cleaning. At 10 cm from the ceiling, it is imperative to make an exhaust hole and install the simplest damper in it.

DIY chicken coop for 10 chickens

Inside the sleeping area, it is imperative to place several frames made of thin timber, acting as perches for sleeping. After that, the front part of the niche is sewn up to form a hole with dimensions of 50×50 mm. This wall can be made folding for more convenient cleaning, for example, by fixing a sheet of plywood on the door hinges to the upper crossbar of the frame, and from the inside to glue the EPS boards in two layers. On top of the insulation, it is imperative to glue a protective shell, for example, from MDF, otherwise the birds will peck the foam.

From the inside, the entire floor must be covered with a mixture of sand and fine gravel. This substrate is changed 1–2 times a year and can be used to fertilize and mulch the soil. Birds climb to the sleeping place along the ladder – an ordinary inclined board with planks nailed across with a step of about 25 cm.In the walking area, it is convenient to place an ash bath, blocks of limestone and shell rock, additional drinkers near the walls. The main place for eating is in a closed niche, there is also a warm zone, where radiant heating turns on in the off-season.

DIY chicken coop for 10 chickens

For layers, you need to equip one nest for every 5-7 birds. For this, an ordinary plywood box with dimensions of at least 50×30 cm is suitable. The bottom of the box is double and inclined, a drop of 2-3 cm is needed for the eggs to roll down freely. In the bottom corner of the box from the side of the groove, a wide inclined glazing bead must be nailed, while the bottom should be cut so that the clearance is at least 45 mm. In summer, nests can be placed in the lower niche, fencing them off from the feeding area with an opaque screen. In winter, nests are installed inside the berth..

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