The internal structure of the chicken coop directly affects the health and productivity of the poultry, so the interior of the bird apartments, roost in the chicken coop and laying hens nests should first be convenient for the inhabitants, and only then be beautifully decorated or practical in cleaning.
Why is it so important to choose the right perch
Despite the many different tales about the nearness and primitiveness of the chicken, in fact, the bird is distinguished by a very thin instinct, observation, fearfulness and intelligence. Anything that scares or worries, sooner or later, will affect productivity and health. Therefore, the internal situation and the nest trying to build their own hands in compliance with at least three conditions:
- The room should not be extraneous odors, a large amount of light or other irritants. If the chicken coop stops cleaning up the litter, the chickens instantly start to hurt;
- Inside the chicken coop it is necessary to make a normal flow of fresh air, while there must be warm, sunny areas, and separate cold shaded areas;
- The location of the perch and nest for indoor chickens is chosen in such a way that all those who enter the chicken coop move only along the resting places or nest boxes.
Any movement “to the front” or at the shortest distance to the place of rest is perceived by the bird as an attack, and is ready to run away or change its position as soon as possible. Therefore, the nests in the chicken coop, if possible, try to make them closed, and remove them from the entrance door and direct sunlight to the maximum distance.
An exception may be grown up young animals, which, due to their curious nature, may ignore the fear of invading their territory. Such birds do not need poles for roost, they can sleep anywhere and as they please.
How to make roost and nests really comfortable
After the construction of the chicken coop, the first thing to do is to divide the interior of the room into several sectors:
- Feeding and feeding area;
- Half of the room is reserved for the perch and overnight accommodation;
- At least a fourth part is given under the nest for laying hens;
- A separate, isolated block is assigned for a sick and quarantine bird.
The size of each branch of the chicken coop is determined depending on the total population and the number of hens. In a well-constructed chicken coop, the bird practically does not get sick. One nest is usually divided by two or three birds. The arrangement of perches is more complicated, since in the chicken society, as in any pack, there is a division into groups, most often by age.
Arrangement perch for chickens
A perch consists of several horizontal planks or poles attached to walls, stands, or simply knocked into a single frame structure with the help of ordinary nails. Relatively recently, lattice or mesh perches were used, fixed on wooden boxes for collecting litter, photo.
It is difficult to judge how comfortable the gratings are for rest, but the fact that the grid is not the most convenient design for chicken legs is obvious.
The best option for arranging a place to spend the night and rest for the chicken will be the usual poles of 4-6 cm in diameter, not necessarily even and smooth, most importantly - durable, and with soft wood. In the village chicken coops, with rare exceptions, for the arrangement of the perch use the usual croaker of pine, walnut or fruit trees. No one uses commercial timber from commercial wood, even after rounding the surface, the gripper for chicken legs remains uncomfortable.
Perch poles must be long enough, at least 1.5-2 m, and strong, withstand a weight of at least 10 chickens, with a total weight of up to 35 kg. In addition, a properly fixed pole should not “play” or turn. The roost is collected from three to four tiers, the lower one is closest to the aisle and is set at a height of 35-40 cm above the floor. The second and third rows raise by 30-35 cm.
For laying hens, you can install a pair of additional rails with your own hands, making it easier for youngsters and elderly birds to jump and move along the perch. For heavy and lazy broilers, a ladder should be made, and the poles themselves should be lowered by 15-20 cm. The structure of the perch in the hen house should be done so that the resting hens do not block the approach to the nests and feeding places.
How to make roosting in a hen house, their height and size, is usually chosen on the basis of the number of birds so that no crowding occurs during feeding. The height of the ceilings in the hen house depends on the height of the perch, usually trying to make sure that from the ceiling to the upper pole there is at least 70 cm.
The bird because of the thick feather cover always have problems with heat exchange and self-regulation. Saves only a small draft, blowing through the premises of the chicken coop. Therefore, on the wall opposite to the entrance to the chicken coop it is necessary to make with your own hands a barred vent window measuring 15x20 cm.
The outlet must be positioned so that the straight line connecting the entrance to the chicken coop and the vent hole passes under the perch. In this case, the flow of incoming air will allow the birds to experience a hot summer at the height of the perch, without digging holes in the ground. In addition, the optimal location of perches in relation to the entrance well dries the room with air flow and removes odors.
The door at the entrance to the coop needs to be double. In addition to their own hands, they also hang a frame half the size of the door leaf with their own hands. The door can be made with your own hands from a regular rail and tightened with a metal grid.
To simplify cleaning the premises of the chicken coop, under the perch, you can install a plastic or tin pan for cleaning litter. It is best to make the intake of corrugated galvanized sheet with a wave height of 15 mm. The sides of the pallet on three sides can be bent and reinforced with your own hands using a wooden batten so that the sheet does not arch during cleaning and carrying. After cleaning the cleaned surface is poured with a thin layer of sand and clay.
At the entrance to the chicken coop, next to the roost, put a feeder and drinkers. For 5 chickens, one feeder and two drinkers are enough; for a larger number of birds, it is necessary to make two feeding places that are 100-150 cm apart from each other. In addition to the grain trough, you can make an additional pallet for plant mass, tops, mowed grass, and separately make a moneymill next to the perch - a large trough with grated ash and sand.
Mandatory attribute of a good chicken coop is a window. Sunlight is necessary for the bird, like air, so it would be right to place the window opening directly opposite the perch, so that at midday the sun reaches the room of the chicken coop.
Laying nest device
Before you make the nests, you need to choose the best place to install them. Usually, a series of several nests are transferred to the opposite side of the perch. Thus, birds entering the chicken coop can equally freely come out to the nests or go to roost.
In addition, you will need to make several variants of the nest for chickens and determine which one is more popular with birds. Strange as it may sound, beautiful chickens, built according to the recommendations of poultry farmers or purchased ready nests, can be ignored. Therefore, when laying a chicken coop, you need to make several variants of the nest for chickens, and the bird will decide which one is better, and then you just need to copy the one you like. If this is not done, then there will be very few eggs in the established nests for chickens, and most of the eggs of the hens will be laid in the most inappropriate places.
Sometimes poultry farmers say that the cause of this phenomenon are parasites, strong odors or some unknown factors, including proximity to the roost. Of course, all the nests for chickens should be made as accessible as possible, the litter should be periodically cleaned and updated with thoroughly dried grass and straw.
The designs of the nest for chickens can be very different. The easiest way to make a nest is in the form of an open box with side boards, 20 cm high and 5-7 cm front side, without a roof. The main condition - the nest should be removed from the perch, located at a small height and not in contact with other nests. This will make the process of laying eggs as safe as possible.
Sometimes they try to make nests in the form of a large box, with a roof and a central entrance, similar to a birdhouse. Even for winter, this is not the best option for the nest. It is better to make a warm nest in the form of one long box divided by partitions. The relatively close location will allow the hens to warm up faster, and the presence of partitions will save the laid eggs from damage. The nest box can be made portable so that it can be moved and installed closer to the heater if necessary.
In addition, the nest must be made so that the sunlight penetrating into the chicken coop does not fall on the hens, otherwise the bird, "sealed" in the box, can get a heat stroke. The hen is very curious by nature, so it is important to make the space around the hens as free as possible so that the bird can see the entrance to the hen house and the perch poles. Having the opportunity to observe the behavior of relatives, the chicken quickly calms down.
Many nuances and details of the arrangement of the chicken coop, perch, nests become clear only after ten years of breeding poultry. The experience gained makes it possible to make the chicken's life calmer and more satisfying, which always turns out to be a hundredfold in the form of eggs and meat. Problems most often arise when from 5-10 chickens go to keeping a tribe of 50-100 heads. And even for such quantities you can make a normal chicken coop and roost, if you correctly understand the behavior and reaction of the bird.