Having decided to make a chicken coop for 20 chickens with your own hands, you can arm yourself with any materials - from logs and timber to aerated concrete, which is very popular today. In this case, the main role is played by a well-thought-out scheme and the use of only high-quality materials so that the house keeps the heat well in the winter and provides coolness in the summer.
What to consider?
When building a chicken coop, it is first necessary to determine its location, the number and location of windows, as well as a number of design features that affect the productivity of chickens. Do-it-yourself chicken coop for 20 chickens is most often a small building with a well-thought-out layout. Yes, even the habitat of your chickens should be thought out if you want them to rush well.
So, to build a chicken coop, you need to consider the following:
- Location. First, he must stand on a hill. Secondly, it is best to have a chicken coop in the east or west, and the windows should face south. This will save on the maintenance of the house, and sunlight contributes to better egg production of birds.
- Landing area for chicken. The ideal option is two chicken per square meter. This will provide good conditions for their maintenance and increase the productivity of chickens. It is important that the size of the chicken coop for 20 chickens was thought out with a margin.
From what and how to build?
You can build a chicken coop from any materials on your own. In accordance with the selected material, it is worth choosing the type of foundation. We will consider the construction of a chicken coop from timber, so we will make the base columnar. Firstly, the columnar foundation is more economical than rubble or tape. Secondly, such a base is more preferable since there will be no free space under it where rats or ferrets can settle. A permanent ventilation under the floor will protect the wood from decay. The size of the chicken coop for 20 chickens is easy to calculate according to a simple formula: one square meter is designed for 4-5 hens. Accordingly, for 20 chickens will need about 4-5 square meters. m. of space plus stock. The area should always be taken into account more, because you may want to increase the number of livestock of hens or purchase additional turkeys or ducks.
Foundation: what to choose?
To lay out the foundation for a chicken coop for layers, we need metal rods and a rope. The rods need to be hammered around the entire perimeter of the future structure, then wrapped in a rope. The main thing is accuracy so that there are no distortions. Now we dig a place for the foundation: it should be up to 70 cm deep and two bricks wide. A distance of one meter is left between the pipes. The bottom of each hole is covered with a layer of sand and another layer of medium-grained gravel. The foundation is laid out of bricks, and it is important to properly treat the joints with cement mortar. The space between the pillars and the ground is carefully filled with gravel in order to protect the base from moisture and equip a kind of drainage system.
If there is a monolithic base, first you need to raise the top layer of the earth by about 35 cm. A sand and gravel cushion is laid over the entire area of the base - its height reaches 10 cm. Formwork is performed - its height is about 25 cm. We mount a reinforcing wire-frame made of rods, pour it with durable concrete. For three weeks we wait for the base to dry, then we mount a plank floor on it. The right chicken coop must have a foundation. If he still will not be there, and the chicken coop will be standing on small columns, then a fence of iron sheets should be made around the entire perimeter.
Equip walls and floor
Any chicken coop should have strong walls. The process of their construction involves the installation of a frame based on a wooden beam, which is then sheathed with boards - a heater in the form of mineral wool, sawdust or straw is laid between them. Sheathing walls can be lining, plywood or chipboard.
Do-it-yourself chicken coop for 20 hens is built using standard technology. The first crown should be isolated from the base - for this we use a double layer of roofing material. The ends of the beam should be connected. Then, logs from the timber are placed on the base at a distance of 50 cm from each other, and the gaps between the logs are filled with scraps of timber. Then the rest of the crowns are laid on the principle of a thorn groove.
To make a warm chicken coop, it is important to use a heater: for these purposes, a jute cloth is most often used. After the walls are erected to the desired height (the minimum height is 1.8 m), ceiling beams are attached, rafters are mounted, the roof is laid.
For a chicken coop, the optimal roof is a gable roof, since you can still use the attic for storing equipment. The ceiling is covered with boards and insulated - it is better to use rolled material or expanded clay, which is easy to install. Before insulation and roofing ventilation is thought over. The drawings of the chicken coop will help in this, where the main design features of the roof are indicated.
The ventilation system consists of two wooden boxes, which are placed at different ends of the chicken coop. One end of the ventilation pipe is mounted below the ceiling by about 50 cm, the second duct is placed flush with the ceiling. To regulate ventilation and room temperature, the pipes are equipped with tin flaps. The microclimate in the house, the level of humidity, and the absence of an unpleasant odor depend on good air exchange. In addition to the ventilation windows, you can mount two pipes that go out through the roof.
How to arrange the floor?
Building a chicken coop requires the closest attention to every detail. Floors in this building should be warm, not freeze and not blown. It is best to equip double floors using an ordinary inch board. Ideally, they should consist of several parts:
- The subfloor, to create which you can use a dry unedged board.
- A layer of vapor barrier.
- Bars with a section of 100x100 mm.
In the space between the bars you need to lay the insulation, and then the floors are closed with a trim board. If necessary, through-products can be made in the boards.
The floor in the chicken coop can also be adobe with a straw section, plank or cement. It is important to lay a good litter on top of the main material - it will ensure the cleanliness of the house. Sawdust, chopped straw or sand may be used as such litter.
A coop for 20 chickens, created with your own hands, should have well-considered perches - they are best made of wood or poles with a diameter of up to 6 cm. They are mounted as far as possible from the entrance to the house, should have a height of not more than 1.2 m, if the rocks are small , and not higher than 0.6 m, if the chickens are large. Approximately 20 cm of perch is assumed for each chicken so that the birds can sit comfortably. As for the nests, it is better to place them in the farthest corners of the structure. For 5 goals, there is one nest - in this capacity, you can use small wooden boxes. A large number of nests plays an important role if you are building a chicken coop for laying hens.
When arranging feeding places, they need to be as simple as possible to maintain. The length of the feeders depends on the number of birds - approximately 10-15 cm per individual. At a height of up to 15 cm from the floor two more feeding troughs are attached in the form of boxes - they should always contain a shell, gravel or chalk, which the birds need to form eggs.
The construction of the chicken coop involves the arrangement of a corral - as a rule, it is fenced with a mesh-netting that is mounted on concrete poles. A convenient gate is made in the fence, allowing you to approach the birds.
Create a chicken coop for the summer
Very often there is no need to build a solid structure, but only a small structure is required, where hens can be in the summer. In such cases, you can create a small and light summer coop. As a rule, it is needed primarily for walking birds in warm weather. It can be presented in the form of a fence that allows birds to move around and at the same time protects, for example, a vegetable garden or garden from them. To save space and make the construction of the chicken house easier, you can attach it to the wall of another outbuilding on the site.
An important role is played by a place for walking chickens - it is most often located next to the chicken coop. To limit it, a chicken coop net is used, which is useful for fencing not only walls, but also roofs.
Is warming necessary?
Many are worried about the need to insulate chicken coops. In the climatic conditions of Russia, this question is not an idle one, since birds must be protected from hypothermia. Before entering the building there must be a vestibule - it will protect the main space from direct exposure to cold air. Special insulation is also used for finishing floors, roofs and walls, especially if the building will be used year-round. All this is provided for by correctly drawn up drawings of the chicken coop. By the way, the inside of the roof is easily upholstered with felt, which will retain heat indoors.
- Any chicken coop should be dry. This is the main requirement, because due to low temperatures and high humidity, the condition of birds may deteriorate. First of all, they may have diseases of the upper respiratory tract.
- Size plays an important role. For the summer, you can build large buildings, but in winter the chickens will be cold, so the smaller the chicken coop, the better. At the same time, there should be enough livestock for hens.
- There should be enough windows. Especially if your chicken coop is winter! Before sunrise and before sunset, lighting is provided artificially. It is advisable to mount two windows facing the south side.
Ventilation and good lighting are perhaps the two most important qualities of any chicken coop. How to equip the chicken coop inside so that the birds are convenient and comfortable? Experts advise to pay great attention to the correct location of perches, always monitor the state of water and food. If chickens are constantly on the street, then feeders and drinking bowls in the building itself are not needed. If the hens are constantly locked in the chicken coop, then all feeders and drinkers should always be with food and water. They need to be located at a low height so that birds can not step in and turn over.
Baths for chickens
Some owners think of peculiar dust baths for domestic chickens. They allow birds to maintain their plumage in good condition, while destroying all sorts of pests. Dust baths are containers filled with sand, garden soil, wood ash, in which hens bathe.
Thus, making a chicken coop with your own hands is quite simple. The main thing is to stock up with the necessary materials, think over the drawings, and then proceed with the project. Remember that any chicken coop must meet a number of requirements:
- The more space, the better.
- All drinkers and feeders should be in the public domain.
- All perches are located at different heights.
- The nests for laying hens should be located in the right places.
- There should always be enough light in the structure - natural and artificial.
Experts also advise giving birds food also in the straw laid in the chicken coop - this will provide chickens with an occupation, since an immobile lifestyle leads to a weakening of their immunity and loss of appetite. And straw makes chickens constantly look for food, so they are in good shape.