Every farmer who keeps chickens on his plot knows perfectly well that this poultry needs to be provided with the most comfortable conditions. Only if this condition is met, you can get good eggs and quality meat. For hens, it is necessary to build a reliable chicken coop, in which they will be comfortable and safe. Today we will learn how to equip such a construction, designed for the maintenance of 20 chickens.
A high-quality and reliable barn for chickens is quite possible to build with your own hands. However, it is very important to consider that such a building must meet a number of requirements. Only if they are observed, the structure will turn out to be really strong and comfortable for poultry living.
Let's consider in detail what are the requirements for a chicken shed.
- Optimal temperature conditions. Laying hens must live at ideal temperatures. In addition, drafts should not "walk" inside such an erection, since they are harmful to the health of the bird. However, this does not mean that in summer it should not be cool in a small shed - temperatures above 25 degrees for this living creature are not suitable. In such an environment, chickens simply stop laying.
- Humidity level. It is very important to remember that high levels of humidity are harmful to chickens. In such conditions, they can get sick. Hence, one important requirement follows - the hen house must have windows or ventilated pipes mounted under the roof.
- Lighting. Equally important in the chicken coop is proper lighting. Its level will have a direct impact on the egg production of the bird. Thus, the warm yellow light creates a very good atmosphere and also makes the hens calmer. In addition, the bulbs in the hen house should be kept in shades for safety reasons. The windows in the chicken coop should be closed with special bars or wooden partitions.
- Peace. As stated earlier, a calm environment is essential for hens. So, excessively bright lighting, complete darkness, too loud sounds or incomprehensible noises can seriously scare the living creatures. This sometimes leads to a state of chronic anxiety in chickens. To make the birds feel completely safe, it is advisable to place the building in a remote place on the site. A noisy road should not pass nearby, as well as other animals should not move. Many experts advise turning to a hedge - it will not only create a cozy shade, but also protect chickens from insect attacks or strong winds.
- Protection from other animals. So that other animals (primarily predators or rodents) do not get into the chicken coop, you should protect the foundation base and the walls of the structure with wire or metal with sharp parts. Remember that almost all rodents are carriers of very dangerous infections, so you should additionally take care of the presence of mousetraps and other traps.
- Environmental friendliness of materials. Chicken coops should be built from safe and environmentally friendly materials. They should not adversely affect either the living creatures themselves or the environment. That is why, in most cases, these structures are made from safe wood, which does not contain chemical components.
The hen house, designed for the maintenance of 20 laying hens, can have a different design. That is why, before starting construction work, a project plan for future construction should be prepared. Let's take a look at some interesting options.
In many areas, there are high poultry houses, consisting of two main parts - the innermost room, made in the form of a neat house with a gable roof, and a yard for walking birds, fenced with lattice material. Small but wide wooden steps can lead to the door leading to the inside of the chicken coop. Such a structure will not take up much space, but laying hens will be able to live and walk in it, without going beyond safe limits.
The chicken coop can also be a rectangular structure with a small pitched and flat roof. According to the plan, such an erection may consist of a room where the hens will live, as well as a walking area closed by gratings. This structure is very similar to the one described above, but has some differences - in this chicken coop, the ladder for birds is located inside a mesh structure, and the walking area is equipped with a large mesh door. On the side of the building, there may be one large box with two compartments for layers. To make it easier to clean the perch, such an erection can be equipped with a pull-out tray installed at the bottom of the "house".
For a small number of chickens, it is quite possible to make a simple structure with two slopes. If the chicken coop has such a structure, then the precipitation will slide down its roof without getting inside. If you plan to use this structure as an all-season one, then it will need additional insulation. In this case, it is permissible to insulate the roof with mineral wool. Further, this base should be sheathed with inexpensive chipboard sheets.
There are a lot of options for the hen house for 10-20 chickens. In any case, you first need to draw up detailed drawings indicating all the dimensions of the structure. Only with an accurate plan will it be possible to build a sturdy laying shed that will last long enough.
How to build with your own hands?
Many farmers build their own chicken coops. The implementation of these works cannot be called difficult. The main thing is to follow all points of the instructions. You should not neglect any of the stages of work.
First, you should highlight the list of tools that will be useful to the master when building a chicken coop:
- nails and screws;
In addition to the tools, it will be necessary to purchase the required volume of building materials. Their number can be calculated when drawing up a scheme / project for a chicken coop.
In any case, the following components will be needed:
- wooden bars;
- old window frames;
- you can find an old wooden door in the country;
- suitable insulation material;
- crushed stone;
- ventilation pipes.
Many of the listed items can be searched for in your summer cottage. Most often these are old frames and doors that remain from previous buildings on the existing land. These elements are perfect for making a laying barn. Having drawn up all the necessary diagrams and drawings, it will be possible to proceed to the preparation of the foundation base of the chicken coop. Please note that for the construction of a chicken coop, you should choose places located on a certain hill. Thus, you will be able to protect the future poultry house from penetrating destructive dampness into its interior.
The foundation is not an obligatory part of the chicken coop. But if you do decide to make it, then it is recommended to choose from the following options, which are ideal for poultry houses.
- Columnar base. Such a foundation will be an excellent solution when designing a frame chicken coop. Columnar bases are usually made from block materials or concrete mix. Supports (pillars) must be fixed around the perimeter of the planned building.
- Pile. In most cases, a pile foundation is equipped when it comes to areas with heaving or swampy soil. In this case, the piles themselves must be installed in recesses made in the ground, along the perimeter of the future building. If you chose a pile-grillage base, then it can be used when building a more impressive poultry house from blocks.
- Tape. This version of the foundation is rightfully recognized as one of the most popular and common. It can be used no matter what size chicken coop you plan to build on the site. This base is prepared using a concrete mixture (it is recommended to use a product of the M500 brand), reinforcement and edged board.
Of course, if the house is not all-season and will only be used in summer, it is not necessary to build it on a foundation. It will be enough to build a simple wooden box on the earthen floor.
Consider the process of preparing a foundation using the example of a columnar option:
- dig grooves in the corners of the future construction with a depth of about 50 cm and a shovel width;
- fix wooden blocks with a width of about 3-5 cm in the dug holes;
- further, both the bars and the pits themselves will need to be covered with rubble;
- after that, a cement mortar is prepared and poured to ground level, strengthening the bars;
- in a day it will be possible to move on to making the walls, because by that time the cement has already “grabbed”.
After that, you can start building the wall structures of the house.
This is where you might find it useful.
- First you need to make the first crown of bars.
- The number of perpendicularly spaced bars will directly depend on the size of the finishing materials - if the finishing sheets are narrow, additional beams will be needed. All parts must be secured with self-tapping screws.
- After that, sheathing from chipboard, fiberboard or plywood should be installed on the outside and inside of the chicken coop.
- Insulating material, such as mineral wool, should be placed between the individual layers of wall structures. Of course, if the chicken coop is planned to be built only for summer use, then it will be possible to carry out all the processes without installing insulation.
The next structure that you need to equip will be the roof of a poultry shed. It is permissible to trim it with different roofing materials. Most often, people choose slate, ondulin and roofing material for this. There are many ways to build a chicken coop roof - each master himself chooses the best option. As for the structure of the roof, then most often they construct a single or gable model.
Of course, the single-slope design is the easiest to make, and it is cheaper. However, the modern gable version looks more aesthetically pleasing and is warm. Similar components are prepared as follows:
- first, rafters are laid on top of the wall bases;
- then a frame structure is nailed to them;
- insulating material is installed on the prepared frame (if necessary);
- the last layer of the resulting "pie" will be the roofing material.
It is very important to properly equip the floor in the chicken coop. It is mainly made from concrete, planks or earth.
So, one of the most reliable are concrete options. They will prevent predators from entering the house. However, a concrete floor will cost a pretty penny, especially when compared to other solutions. In addition, it will be cool in a chicken coop with such a floor at any time of the year. A simple earthen floor will be the cheapest. If you use a special deep bedding, then such a base will also be warm. However, predators eager to feed on poultry such as ferrets can easily enter a house with an earthen floor.
The warm floor is made of wood. In addition, with such a base, other dangerous animals cannot get into the barn, and a wooden flooring is cheaper than a concrete one. Let's take a closer look at how to equip it in a small poultry house for 20 chickens:
- to carry out such work, boards will be required, the length of which will be equal to one of the sides of the structure;
- it is permissible to choose almost any material itself (it can be very cheap);
- so that the wood floor does not rot, it will be necessary to put such details as logs made from bars on it (under these components the necessary air circulation will occur, which will prevent the boards from damping);
- the wooden floor in the chicken coop will need to be treated with special antiseptic agents (many users prefer a composition called "Senezh");
- further, a bar frame should be placed on the floor;
- you will need to put boards on it, carefully adjusting to each other, so that there are no gaps left (if it is impossible to join these parts, then the edges will need to be finalized with a plane);
- the finished floor in the poultry house can be smeared with linseed oil - with this tool it will serve much longer.
One of the most important components of a chicken coop is the roost. It is also possible to do it yourself. Consider a number of nuances that must be borne in mind in the case of self-production of these elements.
- Each chicken will need about 25 cm of a bar - if there are 20 chickens in the house, then perches will be needed, the total length of which will be 5 m.
- Usually, these parts are mounted in the form of a ladder or placed horizontally. In no case should the perches be fixed one above the other, because the hens sitting on top will surely dirty the birds below.
- Initially, think over which specific part of the chicken coop will be easier and most convenient for you to clean, since it is under the perches that all bird droppings will be collected.
- Make perches from a wooden bar that has a width of 3-5 cm.Using a planer, you can round off all the edges of these parts so that the birds can use them comfortably and safely.
There must be good ventilation in the chicken coop. Such a system can be made in the form of simple exhaust holes or in the form of a full-fledged box mounted under the roof structure.
How to arrange inside?
The internal arrangement of the chicken coop is an important stage in the preparation of this building for the "introduction" of birds. Basically, the following important elements are located inside the houses:
- nests - they are placed in the far corner of the construction;
- roosts (we talked about the nuances of their independent production above) - as a rule, these parts are placed parallel to the nests;
- drinkers and feeders;
- tray filled with sifted ash or sand mixture;
- heating units, when it comes to arranging year-round facilities;
- equipment responsible for room ventilation;
- lighting devices.
It is important to install absolutely all components present inside the chicken coop in such a way that they do not interfere with the passage, and also do not block access to each other. In addition, nothing should prevent you from cleaning your laying hen barn.
It is not recommended to build too large a barn for 20 chickens. If there is a small number of birds, then in such an environment they can easily freeze. There is no need to construct a foundation if the chicken coop is planned to be operated only in the summer. If the building area allows, it is worth placing a compact bath filled with ash in the chicken coop. In it, chickens will clean their feathers, as well as get rid of various parasites.
If your site is absolutely flat, then it is worthwhile to independently equip a small hill on which the poultry house will be located in the future. Such a mound can be made of stone or chipped bricks. Experts advise against building chicken coops with block materials or bricks, as they are very cold, especially when compared to wood. In such conditions, chickens will not be very comfortable, which will certainly affect egg production.
It is advisable to complement such buildings with gable roofs. Such designs are much more effective at keeping a comfortable temperature in the chicken coop. In addition, it will be possible to build a kind of attic in them, in which the owners can place food or the necessary tools. When setting up a comfortable chicken coop for 20 chickens, you need to remember that they will need a suitable place to walk. In this case, it is permissible to select a zone with a width of 2 m and a length of at least 7 m.
It is recommended to lay the floor in the hen house from two plank layers (if a wooden floor is being constructed). In addition, it is better to put a waterproofing material on top of the first layer - ordinary roofing felt will be the most budgetary option. When you complete the self-erection of a "dwelling" for 20 layers, you will need to correctly seal all the cracks in the building. Do not forget that this poultry is very fearful of drafts.
A chicken coop can not only become a great place for chickens to live, but also a bright detail of landscape design. For example, you can build a neat structure from planks painted with dark chocolate paint, and then complement them with a snow-white frame of wooden slats. A gable brown roof, as well as a small window with a white frame, will look spectacular on this building.
In search of non-standard solutions, you can turn to the original designs in the style of the wild west. For example, it is possible to arrange 2 structures close to each other, separating a spacious place for walking chickens behind. Build small balconies and small sheds over the entrance in such chicken coops.
How to make a chicken coop for 20 chickens with your own hands, see the next video.