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Homemade Chicken House Kit

Mar
23

Supplies: Landscape timbers to use for framing the hen house.





Welded fence wire and chicken wire. (Ignore the tomato stakes.)





The PLANS! (Scratched on the back of an envelope.)





(View 1–aerial. View 2–frontal.)

Dimensions of the chicken yard are to be about 18 feet by 10 feet. The hen house structure will be another 18 feet by 10 feet. The chicken yard fence will be made with welded fence wire and chicken wire along the bottom. The hen house structure will be made with barn wood up to three feet high and the top three feet will be made with chicken wire. Roof will be made of corrugated tin. Door to hen house made of wood and screen. Flooring made with wooden pallets and straw. (Pallets to be removable for cleaning and to let air circulate under the floor.) Wooden nesting boxes and straw, with doors to the outside for egg collection. A roost for handy access to nesting boxes. A ramp down to the yard. Satellite TV and internet to keep the hens entertained. A gate for access, and another gate to let the chickens out into the road. :heart:

52 is building the chicken house. I’m a helper. I might bring him something to drink if he gets thirsty, or remind him that he’s cute if he needs some encouragement.

Not that we know what we’re doing. Advice?

This chicken house is, of course, for my as-of-yet non-existent chickens. But starting to prepare for the chickens makes them seem a lot more real. I’ve never had chickens before. And truth? I’m a little bit scared. I want chickens. But I don’t really know anything about how to take care of them. I’ve got a lot to learn.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on March 23, 2008  

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  1. 3-23
    6:35
    am

    Know your tools when 52 askes for them!!! Hope everything with the chicken house goes smoothly. After its all done give 52 a cold beer and a hot meal.

    Wishing you and your family a Happy Easter today!!!!

    Patricia

  2. 3-23
    6:38
    am

    :clap: good for you..52 is a good man…does he have a brother? Good luck! How long do you think it will take? You need a little chicken in all the smiley faces.

  3. 3-23
    7:09
    am

    I wondered where 52 had been lately…and I can’t wait to see pictures of the complete job! And, if Lucy and Ethel could raise chickens, then you will have no problems. Happy Easter! :chicken:

  4. 3-23
    7:15
    am

    Next year you can colour eggs for Easter from your very own chickens! :thumbsup:

    Good luck and most of all, have fun with it!

    Happy Easter and Spring to all.

    -Kim

  5. 3-23
    8:10
    am

    I just wanted to be sure and let you know you might want to block the Food Network on the satellite. I would hate for you never to have eggs from your chickens. :rotfl:

  6. 3-23
    8:24
    am

    Your plans sound great! My only suggestion would be to make sure nothing can get in through the floor – if the pallet boards are close enough together that shouldn’t be a problem. I once had just a dirt floor in my chicken house and lost 20 pullets to a couple of skunks :(( But now I have a solid floor and have lost none. Happy Easter!

  7. 3-23
    10:21
    am

    It’s going to be so nice having fresh eggs. Are you going to have your own chickens to eat, too?

  8. 3-23
    10:43
    am

    We’re in the same boat. I’d suggest http://www.backyardchickens.com if you haven’t already found it. Everything you ever wanted to know about chickens and the forum members are VERY helpful.

    Satellite and internet, huh? I’m going to go tell DH we need that, he’s already saying the chickens are going to live better than we do. It will be fun to see if that pushes him over the edge. :wall:

  9. 3-23
    11:38
    am

    I agree with Marcia – make sure everything is tight, especially at night. If you have skunks or possums, they will find their way in.Do you have a light in the chicken house? Chickens are a lot of fun. I had Buff Orpingtons for eggs and Mille Fleurs just for pretty. If you get Araucanas, you will have naturally colored eggs! Happy Easter to you and your family on your beautiful WV farm.

  10. 3-23
    12:25
    pm

    I don’thave satellite – can I move into your chicken coop when it’s done :rotfl:

    My mom always tells the story of when my grandmother thought she’d get an early start on her chickens and ordered them too soon and it got cold so she had them all in her house and one day when they got back from church the little darlings had figured out how to flap their wings and get out of their boxes – need I say more :rotfl:

  11. 3-23
    4:28
    pm

    I’ve never built a chicken house but remember going to collect the eggs at the hen house behind our backyard (in the middle of town) when I was a little girl. It was fun adventure as a child. Of course your name intrigued me to your blog. I’ll be dropping by more often. Cheryl

  12. 3-23
    5:47
    pm

    You go, girl!! I was once a gypsy, city girl…now full-fledged farmgirl. Chickens are so cool! Lots of farmgirl entertainment for all. As far as advice on chickens and many other things… you should check into a book called “Encyclopedia of Country Living” by Carla Emery. It truly is all that the reviews say it is. I look forward to hearing about your chicken adventure. Mine was built a year ago this month and 35 hens and one rooster are still thriving! You can do it.

  13. 3-23
    6:05
    pm

    Satellite and internet? Sigh. Your chickens are so lucky.

    This is so fun to watch! Now it’s not just a farmhouse…it’s a FARM. And fresh eggs…yum.

  14. 3-23
    6:16
    pm

    Chickens aren’t hard to take care of. Be careful when reaching into the nests for eggs, snakes like them too.

  15. 3-23
    7:24
    pm

    Good luck with your chickens.
    Whose chore will it be to clean the hen house?

  16. 3-23
    7:30
    pm

    If you can, put a sturdy trapdoor in the floor under the roost for easy cleanout–you can just push your cart under the trapdoor and push the droppings and litter into it.

    I echo the comment about skunks, possums and in this county, weasels, minks and fox. All can and will get into your henhouse so be sure everything is as tight as you can get it. A black snake living in the coop is not a bad idea–they keep the vermin population down. Might eat an egg a month, but worth the price.

    I just moved my chicks from the house to the coop this weekend. They were inside for 6 weeks, first under a heat lamp and gradually tapered off to get used to normal temps. Keep their water and food as clean as you can to prevenet disease. You can get a water warmer worth its weight in winter. Lights on laying hens keep them laying–they need 14 hours of light a day to lay. I like to have a mixture of hens. This year it’s leghorns because even though the eggs are white they lay year-round, RI Reds because they’re calm and dependable, Araucanas for colored eggs, Buff Orpingtons and Wyandottes because of their pretty color. I wanted Domineckers (pretty!) and Golden Comets (brown eggs year-round)but the feed store didn’t have them.

    Don’t change their feed brand if you can help it; they don’t like that.

    Boy, 30+ years of raising chickens has taught me things I didn’t know I knew! See photos of my babies on my blog. They’re cute!

  17. 3-23
    8:26
    pm

    I agree with what others said about the floor. We had just one hole in our flooring to our hen house, and a mink got in and killed one. Thankfully we heard it right away, so we were able to save the rest but I’ve been told they’ll kill all your hens if they get in there.

  18. 3-23
    9:56
    pm

    I know it is called chicken wire, but you are better off using hardware cloth instead. You might be surprised how small of a hole a weasel needs to get in. Raccoons (at least in my neck of the woods)can make quick work of chicken wire with no problem. Don’t ask me how I know or I will cry. I love my chickens!

  19. 3-24
    8:03
    am

    so true about the vermon getting in…I remember one night when I was 13 I went down later than usual to collect the eggs and I was in a hurry so not to miss my tv show and when I reached in to the nest my hand met a hissing oppossum! but Like Granny Sue mentioned above, we too kept a black snake in our hen house…a little hard to get use to a first but then if you name him Herman and talk to him everyday its a little easier going! and he is so worth it. We also had troubles with Owls at night so make sure you get them turned in before dusk. My mom sat in the back of the lean to area wiht her 22 on night and got her an owl…I never looked at my mom the same again!!! ha I am dying to have chickens again, they are the best, most fun, the babies…oh my gosh when you have a setting hen ..you will spend hours just watching them…and I experienced all of this during my pesky teens so if I enjoyed it…anyone can!!!

  20. 3-24
    10:03
    am

    May I suggested buying some ducks as well as chickens? I made some peanut butter cookies once with duck eggs and the extra big yokes made them the best cookies I had ever eaten! :snoopy:
    I thought I had died and gone to cookie heaven.

  21. 3-24
    10:26
    am

    I remember reading years ago, a column that Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote as a farm journalist for the Missouri Ruralist. She kept her hens laying all winter by heating up their food. It was probably some sort of gruel. :chicken:

  22. 3-24
    1:23
    pm

    :shimmy: Chickens almost ready to be in the road! :flying: I have some interesting memories of my grandfather’s semi-urban chicken house. It had a concrete floor and you could sweep the droppings out to the dirt yard. PS. Chickens lay eggs in other places, even if you give them laying boxes. A small tree in the chicken yard might be a nice touch to give them some shade in the summer. Electricity for a LIGHT (needed) and a SMALL HEATER (for next winter) would be good things. Oh and remember to warn the kids about roosters and how they like to spur you… a handy stick is a good thing.

  23. 3-24
    3:45
    pm

    You forgot something…..get a comfortable rocker out there so you can watch your chickies, and perhaps a side table for your morning coffee or evening drink.

  24. 3-24
    10:31
    pm

    Lucky you, you’ve got 52 heading this up! I miss my laying hens, I really do miss them. Good luck with this!
    BW

  25. 3-25
    9:12
    pm

    My favorite chicken type as a kid where the Australorp. But if you ever want to have your chickens hatch some eggs in the future but are having a hard time getting one to go broody. Try adding a Silkie Bantam or two to your flock. They will hatch and raise any thing. I have seen them raise ducks at my parents house before. Also they are very cute and fluffy. :) Good luck with your chickens
    ~A

  26. 3-31
    11:37
    pm

    What fun you are going to have! I just love my girls. Sounds like you have a good coop plan. I tried to document my own little project ~ you are welcome to check it out at http://theworldofjenotopia.com/cmsjoomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=63&Itemid=27 . I have a bit less space to work with, but I have been happy with the hen playhouse so far. I have a mix of brown layers and blue layers, and I get the prettiest eggs!

    As some folks commented, having the coop in a place you can watch is the best way to enjoy your hens ~ and keep them safe. I am looking forward to reading about your chicken adventures!

  27. 4-19
    6:13
    am

    :elephant: I am so happy! Just reading your stories, makes me long for chickens. :chicken: I have been flogged and spurred by a Golden Campine rooster, and it was like a jackhammer on the back of my thigh.It shocked me more than hurt. I want to order 25 chickens from McMurrays, and have them all marked in the catalog magazine that i have chosen. I wish i knew how big the HenHouse should be. I have looked on the internet and cannot find an answer. I have 2 buildings in my yard, and the chickens could run loose every day. Do chickens go out when its really cold? Thanks if you can help me.

  28. 5-19
    12:59
    pm

    Chickens are such an enjoyment! When I first was given mine I was not sure I was too pleased but from that day forward, over three years ago, I enjoy every minute of raising chickens.

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