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 Post subject: Breeding pens?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:37 pm 
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Clucky Hen
Clucky Hen

Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:43 am
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Hi,

I have built a couple of small chook sheds for backyards before, but now I have a lot more space and a big shed so I am in new territory..

I want to find a cheap way to convert it into a few different breeding pens, or separate areas , and am wondering the best way to go about it.
The shed is not clad at the moment, with just the frame and a pretty high roof.

It needs to be warm enough, we are in Tassie so it will get pretty cold, also very windy here.

There are no foxes here (yet) which is a good thing, at the moment the chooks and ducks are all ranging out of pretty makeshift houses including one made of bales of hay inside the shed (too funny looking for a photo :))

I am wondering if I will need to clad the whole shed, or just internal sections and the weather side, whether I should be putting a roof above the pens below the high roof to make the chooks feel more secure, should I put walls between some sections of the pen or just mesh? and most importantly, what sort of materials I could use to keep it cheap.


That is all I can think of, hopefully someone will have a few ideas?


Here are some pics:
Image

Image

Image


Last edited by piggers on Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:40 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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no suggestions but WOW it will be fantastic when its done...looking forward to seeing your progress

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding pens?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:32 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Aren't you lucky to have that to start with, I'm sure there are a lot of green-eyed BYPer's wishing for a big shed like that.

Now I know very little about building anything, but I would think its not necessary to put in a lower roof. Just the nest box seclusion should be ok.
Also For ventilation I'd probably fully clad the prevailing wind side and/or the south side. Then I'd 1/3 -1/2 clad the rest with mesh to the top.

Inside I'd use mesh, but I think it would be a good idea to have one pen fully surrounded that you can use as an isolation/quarantine pen if needed.

Think about how many pens you need , and project for future expansion.
Then measure up what you have and start plotting sketches - lots of them. Don't forget feed storage, plumbing, drainage and lighting.

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding pens?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:07 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Location: Northern NSW(yowie country)
I agree with most of what Stella has said but I would put some form of cladding about 3 foot high between each of the internal pens.That way the roosters can't see each other and try and fight through the wire.Luck y you though..I am so jealous

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding pens?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:23 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Location: Rockhampton
There are foxes in Tasmania. Maybe not in your area though. You'll know if they turn up.

I have had roos in separate runs within a shed and it's better they can see each other and display at each other. If you put solid walls between, they can still hear each other and will fly up trying to get at the other roos. I had 2 broke their necks that way. I now have mesh dividers and they display and carry on but get used to each other. I think they crow less too because they can display at each other so they don't spend all their time crowing.

Can't help with the whole climate thing but I guess if they are enclosed in cold weather, ventilation would be a good thing and if you're not opening the shed much, more air would be better than less. So high roofs, not low ceilings.

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding pens?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:29 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Hmmm thats interesting Tigger.....maybe it's different breeds.I mainly have large and bantam softfeather birds and before I put up a dividng wall between the pens the roosters would make a mess of themselves trying to fight with the boy next door. Their combs and wattles would be always bloody from trying to fight as would be their feet and spurs.Maybe it was just my temperamental lot...... :biggrin:

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding pens?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:23 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Swallow,
you'd think logically that they'd react worse if they could see each other, wouldn't you? But has not been the case with my Hamburgs. I have the fine aviary mesh between them and they are Ok, but in the other place it was fibro to about 4 foot high. Occasionally they might have a go now but very rarely, and don't knock themselves around at all.

So roosters aren't logical then!

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding pens?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:44 pm 
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Clucky Hen
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Thanks to everyone for their ideas, does anyone have any pics of breeding pens or similar setups they are happy to post?

The main thing for me will be cost of materials, so once I get a basic idea of how to set it up, it will just be a matter of finding cheap mesh, cladding and materials for nesting boxes and roosts etc..

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding pens?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:11 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: Maules Creek, NSW
I often shop at Mitre 11 (the tip/dump) before I go elsewhere... Good luck on sourcing your materials... Maybe an old house site or something?

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding pens?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:57 pm 
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Clucky Hen
Clucky Hen

Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:00 pm
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heres a link to a place in america i found when looking for design ideas for my pens, would suit your shed to a tee
http://www.poultryhelp.com/barnpens1.html


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding pens?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:39 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Great link Dan!

piggers, I've never done a breeding pen setup myself, but four things I would do.
1. Unlike the US shed above, I would put inward opening doors on the pens. Several people on BYP have them and they seem to work very well - when you open them, the chooks are forced to move back rather than having the opportunity to run out.
2. Like the US shed above, make sure you leave a good wide aisle to access them. Remember you are likely to be doing things like moving wheelbarrows, sacks of feed etc. Too narrow an aisle is going to be a pain in the long term. The setup I've visited was a converted stable, so the aisle there was wide enough for a horse and seemed to work very well.
3. Put some sort of cover in the breeding pens. The friend I visited had old pallets leaned against the walls of each breeding pen, so that any hen who needed some time off from the rooster had somewhere to hide.
4. Definitely make a quarrantine / hospital pen. It's just so useful to have a sealed separate place to bring new birds, something you can black out if you need to force a moult, somewhere warm and draft-free if birds are sick.

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding pens?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:28 am 
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Assist Admin
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Location: Gold Coast, QLD, AUSTRALIA
Chookpens - Gallery has photos of some set-ups that might be helpful. :D

A tip for easier viewing is to set the images per page to 90 (maximum), scroll through the thumbnails and only click on those that you are interested in. I'm hoping to get some sub-categories set up in this section of the Gallery one day when Zilly is not so busy with other tasks on the extensive "to do"list. :biggrin:

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding pens?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:10 pm 
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Phoenix
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Just one observation. Make the tops of your nestboxes slope pretty heavily. This will stop the birds using them as roosts.

J

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding pens?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:11 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Me? I would have the nest boxes accesible from outside the pens.

SIngle row, not two rows high like in that link. You would need to block off the lower or upper front face of the pen area to make the nest box feel secure for them. But thats what I would do....

Raf

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding pens?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:43 pm 
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Eggy
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Location: Florida
I set up breeding pens in somewhat the style as the link above. My pens are 4x12 and are separated by chicken wire. Sometimes the roos do fight but it is on a rare occasion and then I move some of the aggressive ones and that usually does the trick.
Image
Image
Image

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