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  1. AK Michelle

    AK Michelle Bad Girl of the North

    Mar 17, 2009
    Palmer, Alaska
    I've had chickens for a few years, most of that time my birds have lived in an 8 X 8 storage shed with no window [​IMG]

    Today, construction is starting on our new chicken house. You wouldn't believe how many builders laughed at me (or just didn't submit a bid) because I want a 20 X 40 chicken house. Oh well, their loss. My builder comes highly recommended and knows about animal husbandry not just home building so I think he will be a good match for my project.

    Anyway, I have 5 acres, 3 of which is pasture, so it just stands to reason that I should get a barn, with running water and electricity [​IMG] Hey, I work for a living so I should get to enjoy my hobbies too.

    Let's start at the begining.

    I usually have between 30 and 50 chickens and now I have 9 turkeys too. I keep a flock of egg layers (some of which are the kids pets) and I am raising Icelandics (see https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=299038 for more information). Our winter temps get down to -35F and summers are generally in the 60's but do get to 80 or so once in a very great while. We get some big winds, 50 - 70/mph or so, we've hit 100 mph but generally the gusts are closer to 70. And the wind comes right off the glacier so it's C-O-L-D!!!! Of course this also means all our wind comes from one direction which makes it easier to build for.

    Now, I think I have picked the best location. Having walked the property as the snow was melting and looking at where the water puddled, this spot seemed to stay high and dry. Plus, it has a bank of trees blocking the bulk of the wind and open space facing "the sunny side" [​IMG] I'm tucking it into that mowed area on the right, just before the field of fireweed.


    The builder is building the exterior walls, we are building the interior walls. The barn will be insulated although we are not keeping it very warm, just above freezing probably, so the birds will not be shocked going in and out of a warm building in cold weather. The interior walls will be simple frames and chicken wire. The picture below shows my initial plan. I ws thinking of putting removable doors that can be stored most of the year and put in place during breeding season. the layer coop will have roll out nest boxes too and I need to research what turkeys need for nesting. I'm thinking about keeping a trio over winter so I can have eggs in the spring. I had a heck of a time getting hatching turkey eggs this year and the shipped ones really didn't do well at all [​IMG]

    Here's the rough draft of the floor plan, your feedback is appreciated.

    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  2. GA_in_GA

    GA_in_GA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2011
    Southwest Georgia
    What a gorgeous location!

    If your chickens and turkeys seem unhappy, I'll be happy to move! [​IMG]
  3. BayouPoules

    BayouPoules Chillin' With My Peeps

    Lucky chickens!
  4. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    Quote:[​IMG] me too.
  5. neVar

    neVar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2011
    Dundurn, Sask
    Can't wait to see updates- Do you heat lamp your chickens in the winter? not many others that i see online keeping in the temps like you (and i) deal with in winter!
  6. AK Michelle

    AK Michelle Bad Girl of the North

    Mar 17, 2009
    Palmer, Alaska
    You are always welcome to visit. I won't even make you sleep in the coop [​IMG]
  7. GA_in_GA

    GA_in_GA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2011
    Southwest Georgia
    Quote:Thanks! But I wouldn't mind YOUR coop! [​IMG]
  8. AK Michelle

    AK Michelle Bad Girl of the North

    Mar 17, 2009
    Palmer, Alaska
    Quote:I did have heat lamps, I found that keeping at least 20 birds in the 8 X 8 they did ok. When it was above 0*F I only needed a regular incandescent bulb, but when it went below zero I added a red heat light. When I had less than 20 birds in that same coop, they seemed to suffer more frost bite and just seemed generally less happy. The more birds the more body heat, the happier they seemed to be. I also made sure they had nice deep litter, if it started to get clumpy I added more. Once it was solid it lost it's insulation value so I just kept adding shaving as needed. It was a lot to shovel out in Spring but it saved my birds so I didn't mind.
  9. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

    Jun 3, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
    I love your plan. I would like to have a chicken barn like that - although I keep asking myself WHY on earth I'd want that many chickens. So for now I'll stick with my small coup and 7 birds. I've been to Alaska twice, and I love it. If all my family weren't in GA and TN, I'd move to Alaska in a heartbeat.
  10. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    You have a very beautiful Like piece of heaven right there, and your chickens will be really lucky.

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