Saturday, 28 May 2011

Constructing your Henhouses - Tools to make it faster

We know how important good plans are when you are building Henhouses, but no one ever really talks about tools.

We have built a ton of moveable poultry coops and tractors for breeding pens for our 20 plus rare chicken breeds. Also we framed 2 large laying poultry coops inside a barn. One of the things that made all this construction possible was the purchase of an air compressor driven nail gun. These can be rented by the day at local hardware stores, if you just have a small henhouse project to do. And I would highly recommend them.

We use the nail gun for framing and building the bones of the henhouse. A power drill with square tip screw driver attachment is best for screwing on the henhouses plywood sheeting. We have tried the staples and brad nailer with the air compressor but plywood panels can pop off especially when the henhouses are moved. By screwing on the plywood sheeting you give the henhouse structure more rigidity and it holds up way better when you move it to fresh grass!

For the unpleasant job of attaching the welded wire for the poultry coops run, the air gun stapler is excellent. Way faster than a manual stapler (I'd estimate at least 10 times faster) and you don't have the blistered aching hand at the end of the ordeal! As extra reinforcement so raccoons can't pull the 3/4 inch staples out and the wire off to access the chickens, we screw a large 1"+ washer at 2 feet intervals.

One of the things that makes building great henhouses easier, is having a clear idea of what you want to do, the materials you need and how to go about it! We have found these plans for henhouses excellent, clear and well thought out. And encourage you to take a look.

Tags: henhouses, henhouse, poultry coops, chickens coops, chicken coops

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Making your Henhouses Easy to Clean

Cleaning your chickens coops is a necessary but usually unpleasant job. By building great easy to use henhouses and choosing the right materials, you will make cleaning less of a chore.

Three most important things to make things easier are
-the right surface materials inside the poultry coops
-easy access to the inside of the henhouses
-good easy to move bedding

Surface Materials

By using waterproof and sealable walls and/or floors in your poultry coops you will make it easier for the surfaces to repel manure, water and even coccidia and bacteria that can cause diseases in your chickens.

We use inexpensive linoleum for our brooders and henhouses floor. Other poultry coops walls may be painted with exterior water-proof paints. We have used basement waterproofing paint too with great success. It makes pressure washing easier and prevents coccidiosis being harbored in the henhouses walls. If you can caulk all joins between poultry coops walls and floor, that will keep the dirt out too.

Easy access

By having the chickens coops ceiling tall enough you can stand up properly, your back will be better for it.

Have nice wide doorways for your henhouses so you can get a wheel barrow close. If you can build the henhouses raised up, make sure it is higher than a wheelbarrow then it will fall into the barrow with very little effort. We find a light snow shovel perfect for cleaning the chickens coops.

Make access to the poultry coops easy by having removable roosts, nest boxes, feeders and waterers. Make the chickens coops space nice and open for cleaning. You can use carabiners, hooks and chains to hold feeders, waterers and roosts, or even hinge the roosts so they fold up.

Good easy to use bedding

For your chickens coops, pine shavings the best as the chickens can turn them over and that helps keep the shavings dry and odour free. The shavings don't mat or feel as heavy as the longer-fibred straw. Straw absorbs a lot of water and the long fibres pack and weave together and make for a heavy shovel or fork full to lift out of the poultry coops.

Check out these great henhouses plans for other ideas to make cleaning way easier!

Tags: henhouses, henhouse, poultry coops, chickens coops, chicken coops