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Awhile back I started a thread on building a new chicken yard. Now that the yard is pretty much complete (for now), the time has come to build the new chicken house.

The size I decided on was 16 feet by 16 feet.

The laying boxes take up 6 feet on one wall, and the roost takes up around 12 feet on another wall.

An 8 foot wide leanto will be built off one wall. Which is where the solar panels will be installed.

Inside the house is a steel storage cabinet 36 inches wide and 18 inches deep.

Feed will be stored in steel trash cans at the right hand corner when you walk in.

I want to set up some kind of rainwater catch system and a pvc pipe system with nipples to water the chickens.


Three months ago my wifes Buff Orpington rooster had something like a stroke. For a little over 2 months he has not been able to feed or drink by himself. Over the past month he has been getting better. He is finally able to walk short distances, eat and drink on his own.

While the rooster was recovering he was kept in the bathtub and on the kitchen floor. My wife put towels down to catch his poop.

Since the rooster can walk short distances on his own, eat and drink, we put him into an undivided rabbit box and then moved the box into the chicken house.

I did not plan on having an 8 foot long box inside the chicken house. My original plans were to have a couple of 4 foot boxes wrapping around a corner, which were to be used by broody hens.

I still have to finish painting the house, build the leanto and install windows. As it stands right now at least the hens have a dry roof over their head and a place to get away from hawks and out of the sun.

The roof

Instead of building regular rafters like what you may find on a house, I took 2 x8's, went from full width in the center, down to 3 1/2 inches on the side. This gives a slope of 3.75 inches on 8 feet.

If the roof starts sagging I will put a 2 x 6 edge ways inside the house on the bottom of the 2 x 8s.

Here in southeast Texas we do not get much snow. I am not worried about a lot of load bearing on the roof.

Rain runs off well, but there is a little beading back on the bottom edge of the tin.

If I did it again I would probably go with 2 x 10s instead of 2 x8s.

Wall studs

The wall studs are spaced at 24 inch centers.

The walls were built flat and then stood up. A air powered framing gun was used to build the walls.

Exterior siding

The exterior siding came from Lowes and is EverTrue knotty pine. The board is supposed to be made from a composite material and is recommended for dog houses and chicken houses.

The exterior is being painted a barn red color.
 

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Kev, how many chickens do you have and have you looked at the square footage requirements per bird? I seem to remember you had a pretty large number, will 16X16 be large enough?

Edit: I like the idea of a rain catchment system to water the birds, I'm going to steal that idea for my next one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Kev, how many chickens do you have and have you looked at the square footage requirements per bird? I seem to remember you had a pretty large number, will 16X16 be large enough?
Chickens need at least 3 square feet inside the chicken house. But that is if they stay in there for extended periods.

On the perch they need at least 1 square foot per bird for roosting.

16 X 16 = 256 square feet.

The perch right now is about 12 feet long by 4 feet wide, for 48 square feet.

Right now I have 14 hens in the yard, but have another 21 chicks that are 6 weeks old. When they get big enough they will go into the new yard.

For the fun of it, lets say the new chicken house will have 40 in the next couple of months.

Between February and March of 2014 my wife and I bought somewhere around 18 chicks. Between fox and coyotes, hawks, and my dog, all but 2 were killed.

My wife and I moved to the farm with 13 hens. We currently have 14 hens and 1 rooster who had something like a stroke.

To replace the ones we lost we ordered a batch of 20 chicks and 1 rooster.

Thread about the new chicks - http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=359233
 

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have you thought about what food to give them ?. I have in mind to make a chicken farm and produce food myself. The idea is to plant seeds (corn, oats, ...) and organic produce pellets myself. You think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
have you thought about what food to give them ?. I have in mind to make a chicken farm and produce food myself. The idea is to plant seeds (corn, oats, ...) and organic produce pellets myself. You think?
I planted 4 fig trees inside the chicken yard.

Thinking about planting several blueberry bushes next spring.

Besides that they have lots of room to forage. I also give them laying pellets and hen scratch.

The grass in the yard is 2 feet deep in some places. The chickens feast on grass hoppers in the early morning and late evening.
 

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Very nice.

I did not see much ventilation in the roof structure. I don't know what your region does for ventilation, but in TX I would think it would be substantial. Are you adding any gable vents or fans with the solar system? Sorry if you covered that and I missed it.

You are building quite the homestead. Where is the horse stable going?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Very nice.

I did not see much ventilation in the roof structure. I don't know what your region does for ventilation, but in TX I would think it would be substantial. Are you adding any gable vents or fans with the solar system? Sorry if you covered that and I missed it.

You are building quite the homestead. Where is the horse stable going?
I will be adding more windows. We get a southern breeze just about all year long, except after a cold front pushes through. There are probably going to be 4 windows on the south side. There are already 2 windows on the south side.

There is also 3/4 in gap where the roofing metal meets the trusses.


I thought you had a much greater number, your house is plenty big enough.
In an article on my blog I talked about how many chickens one may need to survive a long term collapse - http://www.survivalboards.com/2012-12-12/how-many-chickens-would-you-need-for-shtf-teotwawki/

The numbers I came up with varied between summer and winter, but lets throw a number of 50 - 60 out there.

The rabbit box where the rooster is at is taking up where I was going to put another roost. I should have enough room for around 30 chickens on the rooster. I need to add some more rooster to expand my flock to its ideal range.
 

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Dig a trench about 1 foot down around the coop and staple you some heavy duty wire to the coop (down into the trench) and fill it back up. This will prevent predators from digging under it. You could also pour dry cement in the trench and then water the ground around it (it will absorb the surrounding water). Once hardened, top fill with the dirt. I would definitely get rid of the gap at the bottom. Even if you prevent predators from coming in, you'll create an updraft that could kill all your chickens in the winter.

As big as that coop is, have you considered building you a dog house that is incorporated into it? Dogs are the best way to keep critters away from the coop at night.

BTW, that's a nice size coop. at that size, you could have 60 easy... more with an organized layout.
 
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