designing building a breeding barn

minister man

12 Years
Sep 9, 2010
New Brunswick
I am designing and building a breeding shed. I will contain one variety of one breed ( white silkies). The purpose of the birds will be show birds. I am thinking that the floor will be a floor pen for extra/ spare birds incase something happens to the first choice breeders, and extra setters. Around the walls, above the floor pen will be cages that are 32" x 48" x 24" high, to accomadate the breeding pairs, so that I can single mate them. My question is, if you were mating one variety of one breed, how many single mating pens would you build so that you would have enough birds breeding to maintain/ improve your line of Birds. I am starting with 3 pairs if that matters.

Well, I have no experience yet, but I have been working on a similar idea so I hope it works out like we're thinking. My shed is small (5'x7' and 7'tall). My plan is to build cages along both 5' walls (2'x5' and 2 ½ feet tall). That will make 4 cages for my LF breeding pens and 2' below for storage. Hens will be housed together in a large coop. Roosters in a much smaller coop. And pairs pulled out for breeding in the cages. When not used for breeding these can also be my brooder cages.

I have no idea if it will work. I hope so! My alternate plan is to house everyone together and use the small coop as a breeding pen, using one select rooster and a few hens and using trap nests to verify who laid what. I don't love that plan. Would love an experienced breeder to come along and tell me the 'right' way to do it.

(I want to breed Ameraucanas and Black Copper Marans)
I went to a show this past weekend and asked some questions of some local breeders about building a breeding barn for breeding silkies. I talked with 3 breeders. Here is what I learned.

To get early chicks, I need an insulated building with some heat to keep it above freezing.

Each Breed or variety, the min number of birds to keep would be 10 - 15, at least 3 of those need to be males.

It was suggested to build a building that is 10x12, so that I could put pens that are 2x4 on each side of the hallways, with two levels, one pen on the floor and one above it. feeders and waterers mounted to the doors.

Each hen gets thier own pen, and every 2 pens share a male,(changing the male from one hen to the other every other day).

When the breeding season is over, the bottom cages can be opened up to make the whole floor available, and used as a floor pen. until next breeding season and the upper cages can be used for raising and conditioning birds.

what do you think? does that sound like what you do? anything that I need to do to fine tune the plan before I build?


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