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How to set up a breeding house?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by nsbrobert, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. nsbrobert

    nsbrobert New Egg

    Dec 25, 2008
    I have spent countless hours looking for information on housing breeders and can't seem to find anything that will even come close to answering my questions so I am going to give this site a try.

    I am setting up a small hatchery and want to know the best way to house/cage my breeders. I am only planning on having about 10 different breeds for now and an inexpensive way to get started and my feet wet. Here are my questions.

    1. What is the best yet inexpensive way to house my breeders? I would like to put 6 - 8 hens in a cage with a rooster and a wire floor for easy cleaning.

    2. If I use a cage system, how big should ach be?

    3. Lighting requirements and window requirements?

    4. Where can I see pictures or small hatcheries?
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2008
  2. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    [​IMG] Welcome to BYC!!

    There are LOTS of people with YEARS of experience on this forum. Unfortunately, I am NOT one of them. I will be getting my first chicks after the New Year.[​IMG]

    However, I don't think that the majority of the folks on this support caging chickens! Many of the members free-range their chickens. Those who can't (because of predators) provide spacious coops and large runs. There are lots of suggestions here for making coop cleaning easy without using wire.[​IMG]

    However, there are many breeders on this site. So they may be able to tell you how to breed chickens in a humane manner!![​IMG] Many of them sell eggs for hatching and new chicks.

  3. nsbrobert

    nsbrobert New Egg

    Dec 25, 2008
    I appreciate your reply, and I am new to this as of this past year too. But I do know that having large coops and runs for each set of breeders is not cost effective for any hatchery. As I do want to do things as humane as possible, I also want to try and start a small new business in a cost effective way and building large coops and runs is not cost effective for me as much as it is not cost effective for any hatchery, large or small. This is why I assume I can't find pictures of inside hatcheries anywhere. I assume they keep all their breeders in some sort of caged or pen system.
  4. what was i thinking

    what was i thinking Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    cny ny
    there was a thread with great pics of breeding pens. i will try to find it for you.
  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    There is a search function up at the top... type in your parameters and I'll bet you find something useful.

    I was at a growers place a couple of weeks ago... she had quite the setup.. wish I had taken a camera for pics.

    Also Bammony, does quite a bit of hatching and chick selling... you might PM her and ask her how she does it.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2008
  6. what was i thinking

    what was i thinking Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    cny ny
  7. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    I just started a very small hatchery myself this year. We have only a few breeds, but some, like the silkies, have different colors that we're keeping separated.

    We just built a 12x20' coop that is split up into ten 4x4' indoor pens with pop-doors to outside runs. They're small, but hold a trio of standard breeds well, or 4-6 bantams nicely. 6-8 hens plus a rooster will require a lot more space than that... mine give about 5sf per bird (indoor roost space) for 3 birds.

    The pens that hold the silkies are split vertically as well, and the upper pens house quail in the winter, and broodies in the summer. [​IMG] If you click the link below my avatar for "my page", there are pictures of the coop being built, and the finished result.

    My lighting requirements are a little different than most, but I try to give them at least 10 hours of light in the winter. Windows are a good idea, as well as ventilation.

    I do not cage my birds, as I feel that they are happier when they are out and about exercising. However, I am in the process of building trap-nests so that I can tell which eggs come from which hens. At least on those that I can't tell apart, like the Millies.

    Where are you located? That will make a difference in the advice people give regarding lighting, heat, etc.
    What breeds are you planning on breeding?
    Again, [​IMG] ! I'm sure you will find ways to spend HOURS poring over all the information to be found here. The search engine is your friend! Good luck! [​IMG]
  8. nsbrobert

    nsbrobert New Egg

    Dec 25, 2008
    I am going to start out with Rhode Island Reds, White Leghorns, Barred Rocks and tyring my luck with sex links between the Rhode Island and Barred Rocks.

    I live in South Central Tennessee just above the Alabama state line.

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