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When we first decided to move forward with our small hatchery, we originally thought we'd just get a shed and modify it into a coop. After a summer of construction, we wish we had done it that way. BUT, doing it ourselves allowed me to build it to MY specifications. With a LOT of hubby's help.
Layout plans for the breeders coop. It is 12x20', split up into 8 pens and one 4x8' brooder room. Each pen has a minimum 4x8' run, enclosed in 1" chicken wire and covered with recycled gill-net to keep the larger birds out of the runs. i.e. no silkies being carried off by the eagles!
Then we started laying it out... The skids and floor boards.
The frame... 2x4 studs, 16" on center (or really close!) (same for the flooring).
The 4 windows came from a remodel on one of the airbases in Anchorage. They're double paned, soundproof, and came with a price-tag of $25 each. They're roughly 24x36". Both doors came from a remodel in the neighboring town of Soldotna, and were listed on Freecycle. They're both exterior metal doors.
They look small, but with outdoor runs, 3-4 birds house pretty comfy in there.
We purchased vinyl flooring from a local remnant flooring dealer (12x20') for ~ $180, or ~ $0.75 per sf. I have never regretted it. It is easy to clean, and when we got an unexpected ice storm before the roof went up, the ice just chipped up and slid right off. Spilled water doesn't soak into the sub-floor, and cleanup is really easy.
Then the siding started going up. It's called "flitch", or "flitching", and is the second cut from logs being turned into lumber. It still has a little bit of the bark on the edges, and makes for a beautiful siding. Less expensive than plywood, too.
Added a roof - we do get enough snow that we went with the galvanized aluminum roofing. It slopes towards the front and the back, so that it doesn't slide of onto the runs. However, we've discovered that the trees block a lot of the snow, so the snow load isn't bad at all.
There is a vent above the door that you can't really see in this picture.
The runs, now, in the snow... (the blue tarp is covering a mobile quail cage, used in the summer when we have overflow). The first run is the Brahma enclosure - we put the largest birds in the pen next to the brooder room, so they actually have an 8x12' run. We only have a trio in there now.
Inside, each pen has its own gate, pop door, and nest box.
I had built little removable dropping bins in a few of the pens, but I took them out. It's actually easier to just go through with a scoop and a dustpan and scoop out poopies each morning.
PVC Pipe feeders in each pen...
And a gravity feed watering system. It started out as PVC pipe with cup waterers, but me being the klutz I am, I broke it so hubby changed it out to copper piping for me. We ran heat tape along the length of the piping, and shortened the distance between the cup and the pipe to keep it from freezing, and then wrapped with fiberglass insulation and covered with duct-tape. The cups still sometimes freeze, but it is no big deal to tap it lightly to get the ice out and get the water flowing again. There is a 5 gallon bucket at the far end of the coop that feeds the system.
The three middle pens on the left side of the hall house the silkies. The upper half of their pens is not used since they don't perch high, so 4' off the floor I built a second floor in each of the pens for the quail.
The three upper level pens house the coturnix and bobwhites, and baby chukars. They use soda-pop bottle waterers and galvanized feeders that hang on the wire (for rabbits, usually). The only disadvantage to having the quail up high is that they like to throw the shavings everywhere, so I'm constantly sweeping up shavings from the hallway. I plan to add plexiglass walls inside to keep the shavings inside the pen. I also keep a plastic spoon taped to a long pole to reach the eggs, since they seem to like to lay them in the back corners, just out of reach.
The brooder room holds Button quail and is a storage room for the time being, but I hope to phase them out so that I can actually brood chicken chicks in there. It is fully sealed with moisture resistant drywall, and a double insulated ceiling, and painted with trim. One 250w heat lamp keeps it more than warm enough in there, though it will be modified when I can get battery brooders in there.
This is what it looks like now (in December). We stained the siding with protective clear stain.
For more discussion on the build-out, here's the link to the thread...
Enjoy, and happy planning!!
- 'Bird and the Fluffy Butts Hut.
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