hen house design hints

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Zak the Rabbit

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hen house design hints
« on: August 23, 2006, 18:56 »
Hi,

are there any woodworkers out there who can give me some building hints?

I will be building using reclaimed wood, probably pallets. The house will need to be big enough for 3/4 hens.

What dimensions are required? per bird is fine, such as floor area, height, perching space etc


Thanks

Martin
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the rabbit of caerbannogg

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GrannieAnnie

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hen house design hints
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2006, 22:56 »
Hi Zak, according to DEFRA, free ranging chickens should have a house in which there are no more than 7 adult laying chickens per square metre.

My little chicken house is about 4ft by 5ft and I have had 6 in there, more than comfortably.  You see, when chickens roost, they all cuddle up together on their perch.  They don't need a lot of space to sleep, but give them as much room as you can, in case you want to keep them in in bad weather.  Mind you, even in bad weather ours were always going out.  We gave them the choice.

Also make it portable if you can so you can move it about.  They are quite good at ground clearing and its not good to keep them in the same place for ages.  Their perch just stretches from one corner to the other, and DEFRA say the height of the house should be sufficient for them to be able to stand upright and to be able to move their heads  freely.  Ours is about 6ft at the front and 5.5ft at the back.  It has a pent roof and is tall enough for us to get in the front door.  It has 3 external nest boxes to give them more moving around space.

Hope this helps    Ann

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spud

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hen house design hints
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2006, 23:47 »
Next time I'm building, I'm gonna give making something like this a go!

http://www.henspa.focuspage.com/Henspa%20Features.htm

Best regards,  :)
Best Regards,

spud

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Zak the Rabbit

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hen house design hints
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2006, 08:10 »
7 per sq. meter? sounds a bit crowded to me! Im only looking at a few, so i should be able to give them some decent space. Portability will be by brute force and ignorance, but im used to moving animal houses and sheds etc.

I assumed they would like to snuggle when roosting, but should i segragate the nest space? or do they like to gossip while laying?


Thanks for the link spud, thats given me some construction ideas. I think i need to go to see one of these houses somewhere, with my tape measure and notebook, to pinch some ideas. Quite important to me is to ensure easy cleaning, as my little boy will be given part of that job. (hes got to learn these things)


Martin

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Rural Living

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hen house design hints
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2006, 18:20 »
Hi,

I found a very useful book for poultry house construction, its a DIY guide, giving sizes and construction methods. I have used it loads of times for both the ducks and chickens.

The Golden Cockerel Series

Poultry House Construction
Author Michael Roberts
ISBN  0 947870210

I got my copy second hand on Amazon, worth checking out through the Amazon link on this website.

Hope this might be of some help

John

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Zak the Rabbit

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hen house design hints
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2006, 18:32 »
thanks, i will take a look at that.

I have a general book on order, and i found some plans on the t'internet for a nice house, i need to chack the area i have for it to go in to see what sizes i can manage


Martin

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GrannieAnnie

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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2006, 20:40 »
Hi Martin, well that is from my DEFRA booklet on Codes of Recommendations for the welfare of livestock 'Domestic Fowls'

but remember that is the MINIMUM space allowed. and is more for people who have more than 3 chickens!!!  Our little chicken house has 3 individual nest boxes

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becky

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hen house design hints
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2006, 13:15 »
Hi there, We have 6 chickens in a 2ft by 5ft shed that we modified, they have loads of room in there, and there is enough room to put their food and water in there too! Their run is 4m by 20m, divided in the middle, so they can have a side at a time to let the other side rest.  When we first got chooks, they had a small ark, then we went to a slightly larger run, then to a bigger house with bigger run, then to another run that could be moved more easily, and now they are in the mega run. So, go for something as big as you can, otherwise, if you're like me, you'll keep making bigger and better runs/houses!!! Have fun, they are great pets.
Peas out!

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Rural Living

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hen house design hints
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2006, 13:26 »
Hi Martin

Just one other tip, that may seem obvious, when you design and build the house, make sure there is good access for yourself to clean the house out. I have seen some, that are great for access for the hens, but access for cleaning is a nightmare. Also worth making sure you can remove the perches so that you can clean properly if you get an infestation of red mite, they hide in any corner or crevis they can.

Enjoy the hens

John

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Zak the Rabbit

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hen house design hints
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2006, 13:45 »
Im considering putting in a removable floor, it will pull out from the side through a long boltable door. Plus a normal door of course to allow me in. I can build fittings for the perch that will make it so i can lift it off.

It will all be noted as i go along on my blog zaktherabbit.blogspot.com

Great advise coming in from you all, cheers


Martin

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muntjac

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hen house design hints
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2006, 11:18 »
sorry this is so late for me posting  but i have just noticed this post . what ever you do regarding building sheds poulty houses please make them so you have space under them so you can see under . raised sheds make for easier pest control,rats love a dark place to dig under and nest etc and they will chew through a floor plank to get into the hens eggs . raise them off the floor a foot or so and this wil keep them away . . regs karl
still alive /............

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hermon

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hen house design hints
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2006, 13:37 »
i have 9 hens that sleep in an ark 6ftx4ft they have a large run in the day but they all fit well at night 3 in the nest box and 6 on the roost bar they huddle up so close there is still space! funny how they squabble in the day but at night they all huddle up!

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elowsma

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Re: hen house design hints
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2009, 17:08 »
Do you have any designs on how Henspa does their nest boxes where the eggs roll out? 

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Vember

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Re: hen house design hints
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2009, 18:54 »
Hi elowsma

Welcome to the Hen House :)

There are some pics that might give you an idea here : Maybe something you could adapt, so the egg rolls right away ?
http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=16490.msg205318#msg205318

Sarah :)

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smiler43

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Re: hen house design hints
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2009, 21:23 »
My hubby made my shed, I'd collected a lot of info and pictures and we designed it to our own needs.  They have 1 perch inside which they huddle together on at night.  When they are in we could probably get another 2 birds in there, but he had made the shed with 2 perches but as they huddled we took 1 out.  They have an internal nest box which they all use, queue if need be! LOL  We are in the process of making a larger run for them, they are addictive you know!



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