Building A Chicken House
On our homestead located not far from Yankee Farmers we decided it was time to build a hen house (in the summer of 2016). It was a family project and my brother, Ray Snow had a portable sawmill and milled his own pine boards so we were ready to go. He arrived with the tools and lumber day after day and construction began. We decided to have a 10’ by 12’ with two rooms and a small attic. The larger hens’ room had two windows and the small outside door for the girls. Of course, the roosts and nests are there with a feeder hanging from the ceiling. The waterer is in a corner by the little outside door way as well as near our human doorway into the hens quarters. The smaller room was the entry and storage area with two doors (pass through).
It seemed that having steps at one door and a ramp for the wheel barrel at the other door would be practical. We also set up the nests so they opened into this area. We could have an area to come into to be out of the weather to collect eggs, and feed and care for the hens. Electricity was run underground the year before so that was a big help for building and for keeping the hens. Water needs to be carried. Since hens need protection from above and to have a dry area for dust baths, the house was raised about 16 inches at the lowest from the ground. Cement blocks with notches were used so there is no permanent foundation.
We were able to get our hands on some extra pieces of tin roofing so be aware the snow will slide off two sides. After this winter we are very aware of exactly where the snow lands as it slides. We made a nice fenced in area for the girls and covered it over with a rather makeshift fencing arrangement to protect them from our resident hawks and to keep the hens from flying out. Well, when over a foot of snow decided to slide off onto this “protection” it collapsed nicely to the ground. Luckily, there were no hens under it and we could clear it and be more careful with the next storms. We are moving the fence this summer!