Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Chicken hut considerations - Part two

As I said yesterday there are umpteen designs of poultry house, in fact we have two completely different designs here - see photo's below.  I must admit I do like the houses that are raised off the ground for several reasons; security from rats and foxes; warmer as the hut is not sitting on the cold ground; a dry area in case it rains.

This one we purchased a few years ago, complete with the chickens, as somebody Michael was working for had just had enough of them.  It has a detachable run, and the main hut is off the ground, the pophole door is also closable at night.  I love this hut, it has everything you need in a serviceable hut for chickens.

The side lifts out for ease of cleaning

The roosting perch also lifts out for ease of cleaning

The pophole at the front, with replaceable door

Nesting boxes attached to the side of the hut

I find this a really easy hut to live with, apart from the nesting box lid has no catch on it, so you have to prop it open with your elbow when cleaning and collecting eggs.

I have just cleaned both the houses out today and on the one above I find it easy if I put a newspaper layer in the bottom of each of the nesting boxes then the bedding on top, you just then lift out the newspaper with the soiled bedding on top.

The other house we have is a 'made by my husband' one, many years ago.  It is wonderful and has seen many chickens over the years.  It is larger and can house up to fifteen hens, whereas the above one can house approximately ten.

This was our very first chicken hut that Michael made when we got together, some twelve years ago or so. It has seen some use, but is still perfectly serviceable.  Again the run is detachable.  We find having a run on the side a real bonus.  It allows the chickens to be out, but they then lay their eggs in the hut, which makes for easy collection.  They are then let out in the afternoons to scratch and dust bathe.  

Inside both runs are a drinker and feeder, stood on a large lump of wood, to make it easier for the chickens to reach.  As you can see the run above also has an openable door - this is a new addition, before you had to heave the run about each time you wanted to let the hens out.

Both lids on the top of the run are moveable too, which makes it easier when putting in the drinker and feeder.

The difference with this house is that it doesn't have any nest boxes, a mistake Michael always says.  The hens lay their eggs on the floor in the left hand corner of the hut (as you look at the picture).  The eggs can get dirty because of this as the perches are directly above where they lay, I do have to be scrupulous in my cleaning in that area.  Can you tell I'd just put clean straw in?  Such inquisitive creatures.

Tomorrow I will look at beddings, feeds and other equipment needed to kit out your house.

Stats today -

Eggs produced = 11

Sales -
1 dozen eggs £1.80
2 x 400g Tomatoes £1.50
1 x Cucumber £0.60

Expenses - 

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