Need chicken house plans and brooder : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Im looking for plans for a chicken house that will house about 35 to 50 hens.Id like one with the chicken house on top and the pen underneath?also id like to buy a cheap brooder,the chickens will be here april 9th thanks for the help,Chuck lowe

-- Chuck Lowe (, January 18, 2001


Well I've never built one the way you are describing but it does bring a few ideas to mind. My first thought is that pole construction would obviously be best. The main problem I can see with this type of setup is that the chickens would be roosting in the upper half and consequently making a lot of droppings there so you wouldn't really want a solid floor. I suppose you could use a very sturdy closely spaced wire mesh for the floor with supports under it fairly often to keep it from sagging. That way the poop could fall through to the ground. With this type of setup it would be nearly mandatory that you make it where the nest boxes can be accessed from outside...along with the feeders and waterers. The outside material would of course depend on the weather where you are. Something I highly recommend is to make the roof flat and sloping. Ours is this way and we have gutters at the bottom and catch nearly all the water our chickens need with a barrel under the downspout. Depending on how bad the predators are in your area you will need to put something around the bottom to keep them out. I have taken 2x4 welded wire and cut in in half lengthwise to make a skirt that lays on the ground and it fastened to the bottom of your fencing. If you have good sized predators(such as neighbors dogs) I suggest using something more substantial than chicken wire for your enclosure. I have also taken wooden pallets and laid them all the way around the bottom of the pen (on the outside) so nothing could dig under(If they want to dig the width of the pallet I figure they deserve a chicken dinner)....I also tie the pallets together so that a strong dog can't possibly lift it. I hope this helps. God bless.

-- Amanda in Mo (, January 18, 2001.

Our "chicken duplex" is only 6x6, so is only big enough for a dozen hens - I have 4 in it right now. They do have a pen to get out in in good weather also, and Hubby is going to build me some pens to go over my raised garden beds also so that they have additional room to scratch. Building a duplex big enough for 35 to 50 hens sounds like a pretty big order to me. I'd go with a pole type building as suggested above. We didn't really have a plan, just gathered up some left-over/scrounged stuff, bought some chicken wire and went to work.

One thing I will say is - don't use 1/2 inch hardware cloth (rabbit wire) for the floor - the poop won't fall through. I'm going to rip mine out or cover it over this spring. If I rip it out, I'll probably rip 1x2s in half and set them a couple inches apart for a slatted floor. Most likely, I'll cover it with some sections of cardboard - at least under the roost - so the poop is easy to get out of there. I wanted a wire floor for ventilation purposes and it worked great this summer, plus food kicked out of the feeder fell to the scratch area below. When the temp dropped this winter, I left the front and back vents open and just layered straw about 8" deep on the floor of the upstairs - worked great; and the chickens enjoy scratching through the straw.

Good luck with your chickens!

-- Polly (, January 18, 2001.

My favorite site for all homesteading type plans:

-- JLS in NW AZ (, January 18, 2001.

Try this site, You can visit, post. Spend 10 minutes if you wish learn much.

-- JR (, January 18, 2001.

Thank You JLS. This is my local University and I didn't even know they had these plans available. I've spent hours looking!

-- Trisha - MN (, January 18, 2001.

For a brooder I like to use those rubbermaid tubs. In the feed stores you see them using the galvanized tubs. I use the clip on lights and make a chicken wire top so they don't jump out. I keep the chicks in the house until they are ready for introduction to the pen. My husband doesn't like them inside but it's only temporary and I get to play with them a lot that way. Makes them easy to get along with when they are older. I have never had 50 chicks at once tho. I imagine you could use one of those plastic kids wading pools. Do you have one of those laying around from the past summmer? My husband made our hen house in three days from left over building materials. We didn't have to buy a thing. I call it the "Poulty Palace" because it has a shingled roof like a regular house. That's what we had at the time. They have a yard out front that is chicken wire on three sides with a door to get in, and the back of the coop is made of house sidding with the nesting boxes built onto the back wall. My girls are happy and content. Good luck - you are braver than I to take on 50 all at once !

-- Cindy P (, January 19, 2001.

Here's a brooder some like to use:

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The Chicken Tractor allows the chooks to graze, but they're still confined:

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Here's a bunch of plans for coops and also some different kinds of tractors:

-- ~Rogo (, January 19, 2001.

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