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Author Topic: Breeding pen size & construction  (Read 11029 times)

Beth C

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Breeding pen size & construction
« on: November 20, 2010, 09:50:13 AM »
Last year I had all of my blacks in a large run, and when I ran into the odd color popping up, I didn\'t know which hen it came from, so, after reading your various tracking systems, I\'ve decided to put pairs & trios in individual pens this year. I\'m sure this has been ask before but I couldn\'t seem to find it: what size breeding pen would I need to accommodate up to 3 birds (LF)?

And any words of wisdom on materials, construction, things to avoid, etc. will be greatly appreciated. My ideas always look good on paper, but once I have them together I quickly find out what I should have done differently. Well, maybe not so quickly. I put everything together with screws instead of nails, because it\'s generally takes at least 3 tries to get it right... ;)

faith valley

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Breeding pen size & construction
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2010, 10:11:13 AM »
We only do bantams now, but did have largefowl for several years.  My husband designed a breeding pen that was wonderful for the largefowl; luckily it was adaptable for the bantams so we could just tweek it when we got out of the large birds.

We would house 4 largefowl in this pen or several bantams.

http://faithvalleywaterfowl.com/chicken_tractor.html

Patty

John

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Breeding pen size & construction
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2010, 11:12:06 AM »
Quote
what size breeding pen

For LF I would start with a minimum of 2 square feet per bird.  The coops (pens) pictured below are about 2 feet deep and between 32 and 36 inches wide.  They are designed for one LF hen each and a cock that visits every few days.  I use LED rope lights (red or white) on a timer set for 16 hours of light per day.  

Beth C

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Breeding pen size & construction
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2010, 05:41:23 PM »
Patty: Love your tractor design! I\'ve always wanted one, but the horses & goats would make short work of it I\'m afraid.  :(

John: The bottom one is exactly what I need. I can\'t tell in the picture, does it have pull out trays? You said the cock only visits - do you house them together when they\'re not with the hens? I kept mine together last winter and they did ok, but wasn\'t sure if they\'d get along during breeding season. It would sure make life easier.

John

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Breeding pen size & construction
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2010, 06:14:03 PM »
It is about 6\' high and 8\' long.  The coops are about 2\' high.
No pull out trays and these are only used during the breeding season.  Once a week we remove each hen and clean her coop using a plastic feed scooper and 5 gallon bucket.  I use wood shavings in these so they clean out easily and quickly.  I just don\'t like bending to clean the lower coops, so my son generally gets to do those.
If the cocks don\'t abuse the hens you can keep the pair together.  Last year I had 4 silver hens in the other unit and rotated the same cock over them all so he paid a 24 hour visit to each every 4th day.  I also have some other small coops to house individual cocks and just put them in with hens a couple times per week.  
In my larger coops/pens I leave the cocks in with 7 or more hens continually.

Beth C

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Breeding pen size & construction
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2010, 09:25:13 AM »
Quote
I just don\'t like bending to clean the lower coops, so my son generally gets to do those.


Ah, sounds like the perfect job for a 5 year old! ;)

Thanks for the pics - they\'re real close to what I was thinking of, and it helps a lot to have the finished product to look at.

One concern I have is heat building up. It gets hot very early here. I\'ll probably construct them with as much wire as possible for ventilation - any other ideas?

John

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Breeding pen size & construction
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2010, 03:05:55 PM »
The chicken barn has an exhaust fan in the gable on the east side to draw out the heat as needed.  A thermostat turns it on and off and I usually have it set to kick in at 85 to 90 degrees.
Lots of 2 by 4 welded wire is great, but you need about a 6\" board across the bottom front to stop the birds from \"scratching\" all the wood shavings out of the coops.

John

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Breeding pen size & construction
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2011, 04:33:16 PM »
I'm not hatching chicks yet like some of you, but I took advantage of the mid weather over the past few days to setup all my breeding pens.  This is 6 to 8 weeks sooner than usual for me and I plan to hatch a month sooner than usual.  Here are a couple photos.  This is a new unit similar to the one I posted a photo of above.
Even though I use LED rope lights in some indoor coops I've decided to also use those old 7 watt Christmas lights that have been stored in the basement for years. 
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 05:51:48 PM by John Blehm »

John

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Breeding pen size & construction
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2011, 04:39:39 PM »
I\'ve gotten rid of some old bantam coops and built some new LF breeding coops.  That gives me 37 different breeding coops between all the Ameraucanas and Chanteclers for 2011.

Guest

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Breeding pen size & construction
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2011, 04:55:02 PM »
Quote from: John
I\'m not hatching chicks yet like some of you, but I took advantage of the mid weather over the past few days to setup all my breeding pens.  This is 6 to 8 weeks sooner than usual for me and I plan to hatch a month sooner than usual.  Here are a couple photos.  This is a new unit similar to the one I post a photo of above.
Even though I use LED rope lights in some indoor coops I\'ve decided to also use those old 7 watt Christmas lights that have been stored in the basement for year.  

I really like this set up and I have the perfect place I could build one.  Do you by chance have a building sketch for a mediocre carpenter like myself.  Or could you email me a ton of pictures so I could try to reproduce it.  What is the total dimension of this unit and what are the individual pen sizes.

Beth C

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Breeding pen size & construction
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2011, 05:13:59 PM »
I would love to have a copy as well - I really love your design and I\'m fairly sure anything I come up with on my own won\'t do it justice.

I haven\'t hatched anything, either. I got 3 eggs from my wheatens, none fertile. I do have a few test eggs in my incubator, mutt red thing X black cock bird - should be interesting. But wanted to test the bator and besides, anything that lays a fertile egg w/o lights on the winter solstice deserves to reproduce. ;)

QUADCH

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Breeding pen size & construction
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2011, 05:16:34 PM »
Quote from: John
I plan to hatch a month sooner than usual.    


YEA!

Cloverleaf Farm

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Breeding pen size & construction
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2011, 05:47:11 PM »
Quote from: John
Even though I use LED rope lights in some indoor coops I\'ve decided to also use those old 7 watt Christmas lights that have been stored in the basement for year.  


I just ordered some solar powered Christmas lights for my coops.  They aren\'t here yet, but they were only $20 per strand of 50 mini lights with the solar panel.  Can\'t wait to put them in!! Electricity to the coops is a problem here in this old house, hopefully this will be a great solution!

John

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Breeding pen size & construction
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2011, 06:56:00 PM »
I don\'t have a drawing, but here are some photos and a materials list.
(8) 8\' 2 by 4s
(4) 6\' 2 by 4s for the legs
(2) 8\' 1 by 6 boards (actually 3/4\" x 5 1/2\")
(4) sheets of 7/16\" OSB
A bunch of screws, some wire for the front and misc. stuff.

Guest

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Breeding pen size & construction
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2011, 07:25:17 PM »
Is the front 1x2 fencing?  What do you use around the openings...looks like white plastic?  Also do you bulk order all your bunny feeders if so where?  The only bunny feeders I have found local have sieves in the bottom.