In winter, chickens can be carried no worse than in the warm season. If they are warm enough (the ideal mode is -2 ° C to +20 ° C), there will be enough light and good (not excessive, but balanced in composition) food, the number of eggs can be the same or slightly smaller. In addition, knowing that your bird is warm, you can not worry. Therefore, we immediately build a winter henhouse with our own hands with sufficient warming, or take measures to reduce heat losses if the already finished premises are converted.
Immediately about the size of the winter chicken coops. Norms for placing birds in the room are recommended: from 2 to 5 hens per square. If the size of the area is tight, you can densely "populate" the house. You just need to make more nests and roosts. They can be arranged in rows, one above the other. In the multi-tiered small rooms, the layers lay themselves perfectly. With broilers, of course, things are worse - they are hard to climb up, but they are rarely kept until winter.
Winter paddock is also needed: up to -15 ° C, laying hens can walk outside. Only in windless weather. With height, too, everything is more or less clear. The chickens are enough and meter-and-a-half height, but you need to do so that it would be convenient for you to serve the room.
Of what to build
It is inexpensive to build a chicken coop from a slag block, foam concrete. If there is a nearby place where there is clay, you can kick out the walls by using adobe technology (mazanka or dry bricks).
If you need a budgetary warm chicken coop - you can make it as a dugout. The walls can be brought out half a meter above the level, in the south one can make well-insulated windows with double-triple panes. It is good to insulate the piece that protrudes above the ground, and the roof. For heat, all the walls, except the southern one, can be covered with earth. If the top is covered with snow, it will be quite warm.
Another most, perhaps, popular and economical option - a frame chicken coop with their own hands. Since the rooms are usually small, the carcass beam needs a small section and it needs a little. You can trim the frame with a board, plywood, OSB and other similar material. Between the pillars lay a heater and sew on the other side. In order to prevent the mouse from settling in the heater, the people decided to beat the insulation on both sides with a metal mesh with a shallow cell. This increases the cost of building a little, but it's more expensive to fight with mice. It turns out a warm chicken coop and the thickness of the heater depends on the region. You can be guided by recommendations for the construction of frame houses.
Without warming in the middle strip, a chicken coop from a log or a thick bar can do without. Only the seams of caulk should be sewn with slats. Not so much from drafts as from chickens: so as not to pull the tow or moss.
The foundation for a chicken coop
There are options. Build more often on posts - make a columnar foundation. Sometimes - make a shallow pile or belt. But this is the case if a material is chosen for walls that is heavy, or which requires a rigid base: brick (ceramic, silicate, adobe), foam and slag blocks, shell rock, etc. For light buildings made of wood - carcasses, timber, logs - it is enough to fold the columns or put ready-made foundation blocks (they can be done on their own).
In the case of the columnar and pile foundation, the supports are placed in the corners and 2-3 meters in the gap between them. The load on the base will be small, therefore it is very hard to zealously.
Warmth and heating - these two issues are very tightly connected: in a warm chicken coop, even in fierce cold weather, you can do without heating. There are many examples. No matter how economical it is not heating, it as a result flies into a good penny. Because it is much more cost-effective to build a well-insulated shed immediately than to pay annually for its heating.
As a heater you can use any modern materials. They can be stuffed from inside or outside. The main criterion of choice is cost. The most optimal is polystyrene foam. It is inexpensive, has an excellent thermal insulation ability: a plate with a thickness of 5 cm replaces a 60 cm brick wall. Mounted on glue or long nails with plastic washers, you can put pieces of some plastic.
You can also use mineral wool and styrofoam. But minvate requires the presence of two sides of membranes. Outside, put a wind-hydro-protective with one-sided vapor permeability (the pairs should be removed from the heater). From the inside (inside the room) of the steamnotpermeable.
Styrofoam is definitely good. Characteristics are even better than that of styrofoam, even mice do not like it. But it's expensive. But, it can not even be sheathed: the plates are smooth, smooth, there are also colored ones.
Still it is possible to use natural heaters: to hammer between two planes a sawdust, to cover with clay mixed with sawdust, etc. By saving heat, such insulation is inferior to modern materials, but practically nothing stands. So such methods also use. For southern regions with mild winters, "people's" warming is more than enough, but even in the central part, and even more so in the North, they probably can not do.
It was about the walls. The ceiling in the chicken coop must be insulated: warm air accumulates under the ceiling. If it is not warm, it will always be cold. If you punch cardboard from underneath (it holds well the heat) or any kind of slab material (plywood, OSB, fiberboard, gypsum board, etc.), and from the top to the attic put on sawdust or lay the hay, it will become much warmer. And if you insulate under all the rules - it's fine.
The insulation of the floor is done according to the same scheme as for the house: the rough floor, the logs on it, the insulation between them, the top of the finishing floor. Make it as warm as possible: do not regret it.
Not everyone makes the floor wooden. Still there is an adobe clay stir with a straw and allow to dry out, or concrete. The coldest one is concrete, but if you fill in enough sawdust, it will be fine. And if, suddenly, still make a concrete floor with insulation (although-bottles to wall in), will be generally excellent.
When still planning winter chicken coop with your own hands, provide for the presence of a tambour. This small annex allows a lot to reduce heat loss, and hence - to reduce the cost of heating.
The internal arrangement of the coop is described here.
It is difficult to overestimate the value of properly arranged heating for a winter chicken coop. This is known to all owners of poultry houses: at a positive temperature, laying hens feel fine and in winter they are well ridden.
If electricity is supplied to the chicken coop, heaters or infrared lamps can be heated. Fan heaters cheaper to buy programmable. Not in the sense that they are cheaper, but in the fact that electricity for the winter wind less. There are two types of automation: temperature and time. Naturally, it is better to take the one that reacts to the temperature for heating the coop. As it gets colder, say to 0 ° C, it will turn on, as it rises to + 3 ° C, it turns off. In general, the settings you choose yourself. The method is effective and quite popular.
More often chickens are warmed IR emitters. But they do not warm the air, but the objects that fall into the zone of action of the rays. They are hung over the perches and a few pieces over the floor. If the bird is cold, they gather under them. In a hen house it can be and cold, the main thing that its inhabitants was warm. This is the case with infrared heating. One nuance: IR-lamps burn out from frequent on / off, so it is desirable to cut them very rarely. In people, they burn for months, the benefit of "pulling" electricity a bit.
Another important thing to know about the features of the operation of IR heating lamps (there is for lighting, do not confuse). The surface of the lamps is heated, the very design of the lamp is not adapted to such loads. Plastic cartridges do not hold the lamp properly, and finding ceramic ones is a problem. To ensure fire safety, it is better to make a wire cage for the lamp. So the chickens are not burned and if the lamp falls out it will not break and the litter will not break out.
Oil radiators Ineffective: the consumption is large, the heat is low. Homemade devices with an open spiral are effective, but very fire-dangerous, and you will have to keep them turned on. This is an excessively high risk.
Boiler and stove
There is another option of heating - a boiler and batteries. But this is a dream for the majority. They are still drowning with a stove, a wood-fired boiler or a small brick stove. And try to pipe on the chicken coop - so that it gives maximum heat. If the stove is iron, it can be bricked, like an iron pipe. When heated, the brick holds heat for a long time. At normal warming one protopka suffices for couple of days.
Heating of the coop by decomposition of sawdust
There is a way to maintain a plus temperature without heating - due to the heat released during the decomposition of sawdust. But it works only under condition of normal (at least) warming. Fill the floor with sawdust. The first layer falls asleep in autumn, before the first cold. The layer is of the order of 10-15 cm. It lies a month and a half.
This padding is much better than hay: chickens do not get sick, since sawdust regulates moisture well. They also like to rummage in the litter, and they are constantly busy with this, so that laying hens do not get fat even with abundant forage and limited range.
After 30-50 days, add a fresh portion of sawdust (you will understand by smell and appearance). And this time also about 10 cm. Then - more. By the end of winter, the layer accumulates about 50 cm. Even in decent cold inside the chicken coop, the temperature does not drop below 0 ° C, which is enough for laying hens. If you dig into such a litter, there will be about +20 ° C. That the hens in the cold and do: dig holes and they sit down. These sawdust preiyut: there is a decomposition reaction with the release of a large amount of heat.
In spring, the entire mixture is taken to the compost pile, after some time there will be an excellent fertilizer. But still the moment: in the autumn before a door it is necessary to fill a high board: that the laying did not get enough sleep. Walk uncomfortable, but a draft from under the door is eliminated.
Ventilation in the winter chicken coop
To maintain a normal microclimate in the hen house, ventilation is necessary. This is usually a plastic pipe, which is under the ceiling, passes through the roof and sticks out over it at a height of about a meter. At such a drop, natural traction can suffice. Inflow usually occurs through the cracks, but if you have all fixed up on the conscience, you can mount a piece of plastic pipe in the wall just above the floor level. On the side of the room, the pipe is covered with a metal mesh, and they make dampers that regulate the intensity of the air movement.
Another option without a chimney on the roof: directly into the wall, cut a small exhaust fan. But such a system works forcibly and with electricity. The pipe is non-volatile))
The optimum humidity in the hen house is about 60-70%. Deviations in either direction are undesirable. Increase the humidity is not very difficult - to put more water, but with a decrease there may be problems. Very well drying the condensate IR lamp: for a couple of hours, dries drops on the walls and ceiling. So, at least, to regulate the humidity one is needed.
In any hen house there should be windows. And though through them the heat goes away, they can not be dispensed with: sunlight is needed to maintain the bird's normal state. And to make it warm, the frames are made with two or three glasses. And they are necessarily sewn with a net from the inside, although outside it does not hurt, but not for the safety of the bird, but for its safety.
In order for the chickens to continue to sweep in winter, they need to extend the light day: at least it should be 11-12 hours. That's why they set them to turn on the lights. It is better to immediately put the controller, which will turn on and off the light automatically. Spend more money, but you'll have less to go to the hen house.
At first, some chickens will stay overnight on the floor (those that did not climb on the roosts and into the nests), but if the floor is warm, with sawdust, it's okay. Gradually they will get used to the time of switching off and will sit on the ground.
There is an option - to make them an early rise, and leave the evening natural. Then the light will burn in the morning, and in the evening with the onset of twilight they will be laid down to sleep in the sun.
How to build a summer chicken coop with a walk read here.
How to build a hen house: video
In this video the coop is built by the townspeople who escaped to the village. In the video series are collected photos of the process, so that all the stages are visible.
Another video with a clear sequence of building a chicken coop from a bar