Dawn on the Farm's Breeding Pens
While any pen can be used as a "breeding pen", this is just what I call the collection of add-ons we built after the hen house was complete. It's true what they say, you never can have enough room!
There are 3 additions onto the hen house, each 9X7, which was a convenient size to use with 50' rolls of chicken wire and 8' sections of roofing. This way we could build them one or two at a time as money allowed.
1 of the doors we found on the side of the road, and we fashioned the other 2 doors out of leftover fence panels (if you've read all my pages, you know these keep popping up, we had a LOT of them).
They all have dirt/sand floor and they work wonderfully. We have no more than 5 hens in each with one rooster and they are very happy as far as I can tell.
The first addition went up almost immediately, and was originally used to provide more space for our flock or as a yard of sorts. When we started setting up breeding pens, we closed off the run and it became it's own pen. You can see two photos of the inside of two different setups. First we used a hanging feeder & plastic waterer, now we use a 3 gallon bucket and wall feeders from Tractor Supply, and have added another nest box. Please excuse the pitiful condition of the birds, it's early fall and everyone is moulting like crazy!!!
The next addition and the last went up together, since it went so fast really we decided to do them both in one weekend. You can see here that we let them start out on the grass with only enough sand to be able to scoop the poop. Eventually they at it all and in went more sand. The first roost setup was fine for the smaller chickens but the current residents have a difficult time flying up to them, so they have a different system with a lower roost and ramp up to the higher roost.
The 3rd addition has a tiny twist to it, because inside we created a little seperated area just big enough to keep a cockerel confined when need be, or a broody hen as well. We have also just left it open as well when it's not in use. We are planning to take it down this winter as it won't be needed and will free up the floor space for them. This summer we had a cockerel living in it full time, so we pulled up the chicken wire on the outside just enough for him to squeeze under and gave him a big fenced area next to the coop, which worked out great.