Our chickens had been down in the horse barn in a crude side building that was very inadequate for their laying. So, to increase producing and to also bring them closer to the house, we designed and built a new separate house for our ladies. Our 8 year old son is in charge of the chickens and earns the money from the eggs, so we wanted him to be able to care for the hens without going clear to the horse barn. There was already a portion of goat fence that we used as one side of the fencing perimeter. We sat many nights designing and redesigning the plans. Since we are on a North face mountain in Southcentral NY, we had to ensure that the ladies would be warm enough and that the snow wouldn't build up on the roof. We have an assortment of breeds and also 6 Pekin Ducks. The building is 8x16, raised up 3' with 6x6 posts; the yard is roughly 100' x 25". As you can see, there are 2 sky lights and 2 on the other side, also. The small door in the center is a clean out hatchway for regular cleaning maintenance.
At the front door, there is a 3' wide supply room for feed barrels and brooder cage. Then a wired partition with door for entry into the hen house. There are 20 nest boxes that line the South wall and a wide ladder roost on the North wall. In the far wall there is a sliding door and ramp to the yard outside. For ventilation, there are 2 large windows in the South and East walls and there are 4 small vents along the floor.
We saved money and labor by recycling a few things. The front door is used from a house that was remodeled and the yard gate is from a dog kennel. The metal nesting boxes were also free from a neighbor that had given up on farming.
We still have many things to finish; mostly painting. The outside will be painted white to match the farmhouse but an artistic friend will be visiting to paint some whimsical flowers to add charm.
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