In full development, family breeding of gallinacea seems to concern nearly 10% of French families.
Whether the old shelter for your chickens is no longer suitable or whether you are trying a hobby breeding, a new henhouse is essential. There are many models on the market, but technically the construction a chicken coop by oneself is achievable, inexpensively, without specialized tools. However, we must plan this site methodically, and identify all the requirements.
Legislation related to the construction of henhouses
Unless specific local regulations (urban areas, housing estates, etc.), birds from family farms are considered as companion or pleasure animals. As such, they cannot be the subject of no trade and are limited in number of individuals, beyond which you will be considered as professional (decree of June 13, 1994). In all cases, their detention requires compliance with standards on nuisance to the neighborhood.
The mobile chicken coops, low capacities, do not require no authorization.
The henhouses are subject to general rules of town planning relating to garden sheds. Or, schematically:
- Except in a protected area or near a listed historic site, constructions of less than 5 m² and less than 12 meters in height do not require no authorization.
- Between 5 and 20 m², it is mandatory to file a Statement work at the town hall.
For all the official information on the subject, do not hesitate to consult the Local Urban Planning Plan (ENJOYED) freely available in your town hall.
Do not underestimate the disadvantages of a too cramped chicken coop
The size of the henhouses fluctuates according to the breed of the occupants, their living conditions and the destination of the breeding.
Layers reared in freedom, on a vast ground, need a simple small dormitory, equipped with collective nesting nests, at the rate of one nest for 3 to 4 hens. The conventional average surface area for large breeds is approximately ½ m² per individual, with nests measuring 30 x 35 cm.
The breeding hens, should benefit, during the broods, from particular nests more protected from the surrounding agitation and more spacious. So stay at ½ m² per animal, but widen the hatcheries to 35 x 40 cm.
Dwarf races are easily satisfied with a space reduced by 30%, ie 3 to 4 hens per m², with 20 x 25 cm laying nests.
The standard interior size of a chicken coop for 3 to 4 hens is 1.50m (W) x 1.00m (deep) x 1.00m (h).
Contained poultry must have, in addition to the shelter, an aviary whose maximum density does not exceed 1 individual per m².
It is prudent to plan broad, when building the hen house by yourself, because a room too small promotes and maintains a situation of stress intense conducive to internal fighting and cannibalism. It also creates the ideal conditions for the proliferation of parasites and many diseases.
Protection of the chicken coop
Whatever the breed of bird, the henhouse is a simple shelter reserved for nightly rest, for periods of brooding and a refuge in bad weather.
Its design must protect from nocturnal intrusion of predators (foxes, martens, weasels, polecats, etc.). To do this, it is equipped with quality closures … which have no effect if they remain open! Lock up your chickens for the night.
The enclosure, for its part, protects daytime predatory birds lovers of eggs (magpies, crows, etc.), raptors that kidnap chicks and many other wild species, whose contact is a vector of serious viral diseases. It can be in the form of an aviary, with a grassy ground, surrounded by fencing solid fine mesh, fixed on outside the posts to discourage climbers and buried in the ground of about thirty centimeters, against the scrapers. The ceiling, mesh or stretched with a net, leaves a free height of at least 1.80 m.
Protection against rodents is more difficult. Attracted by the grain, they creep in everywhere, not disdaining young poultry. The parade consists of avoiding the slightest gap or the disjointed boards and systematically screen the vents.
Location and orientation of the henhouse
Hens are sensitive to drafts, humidity, excessive heat, and wind. Ideally, the henhouse is therefore installed in a place semi-shaded.
Laying the floor on stilts about 50 cm from the ground remains the most effective solution to fight against humidity. Theopening main is protected prevailing winds and the perches oriented to the east, because instinctively, the hens sleep facing the rising sun.
Essential chicken coop accessories
In order for hens to live and reproduce in good conditions, their living space must include, at a minimum, one manger and one drinker adapted to the number of residents per zone (shelter and enclosure). The hens do not lie down, they sleep perched, plan perches in number and length sufficient to provide a linear space of 25 cm per hen, in the shelter and at different heights in the enclosure.
The programming automatic closing / opening of the door, and dispensing of food and water, are of great comfort for the breeder.
It makes sense to provide a water point near.
What material for the chicken coop
The henhouse can be built in all kinds of materials (wood, plastic, metal, bricks, concrete…). However, the intrinsic qualities of wood make it ideal for this type of work:
- It is easy to implement in self-construction and to repair,
- It is durable and recyclable,
- It regulates thehygrometric balance avoiding condensation,
- It offers animals a healthy living environment, naturally ecological,
- It ensures a good thermal comfort summer, like winter,
- He fits well in the landscaped environment of green spaces.
Construction of the chicken coop
The construction plan must be simple and use inexpensive, durable and easily sourced materials.
The stilts are in autoclave wood (class 4) of 70 x 70 mm section, placed on concrete dice or on metal supports to be planted.
The wooden floor 27 mm thick can be covered with a zinc tray which facilitates maintenance. Polystyrene or glass wool insulation, attached to the outer soffit, effectively protects against the cold.
The structure consists of ½ chevrons 63 x 38 in pine or spruce. It is covered with a batten cladding of 18 to 25 mm thick constituting the walls.
A mobile hatch above the nesting boxes facilitates harvest eggs andinterview nests.
A inclined ladder with bars, secured better access to the shelter than a full surface walkway.
Provide a slope of at least 15%. Metallic coverings are prohibited, because they accentuate the heat in summer, the cold, in winter. Tiles and slates are quality materials, but heavy, they require a complex structure with a large cross-section which puts a strain on the price. Here again, wood is a good compromise. Installed with overlapping sidings, it is waterproof and insulating. Laying flat, it must be covered with waterproof coating at the water.
All wood surfaces are impregnated with fungicide / bactericide of ecological quality.