Putting up a kit metal Chicken Shed ‘I get by with the help of my friends’.
When you are into chickens, breeding Crested Cream Legbars is a possibility. My customers and family love the blue eggs. As my council doesn’t like crowing roosters, my new country friends Simone and Kurt are hosting the flock.
The basic galvanized chook shed is 1.5 x 1.5m base with 1.8 wall and a full sized door. The front has a wall of 600mm on one side and the rest of the top is 12mm mesh. All other walls and roof are “v” crimp galvanised sheeting. A basic sort of shed, and neat and strong enough if it goes into a concrete base. The shed needs strengthening if it is going to be raised on blocks.
The shed needs a few extras to make it ideal.
1. Time to assemble it and outfit it including
2. a good wood-free roost for six chickens
3. a double outside-access nest box plus a roosting bar in front
4. a sliding pop door
5. a shutter across half the front wire as a winter-only weather shield
6. 4 “y” type fence droppers to stop shed blowing away
7. a board across the doorway to retain the litter on the floor
8. a poop tray under the roost
9. and EITHER a concrete floor OR posts anchored into a deep litter dirt floor
Both these styles of flooring in a metal chook shed attract rats.
A deep litter floor is standard technology. But dogs, the foxes and the rats can then dig into the shed.
The rats in particular will set up a colony in the soil under the shed, it gives them ideal breeding conditions, it is dark, warm in winter, with plentiful food, eggs and perhaps baby chicks to eat, all just above them.
Concrete is also rat friendly, offering a warm and cosy roof over their tunnels. Rats enjoy the dark, the warmth in winter, and the closeness to food.
But rats will not live in clear ground where their tunnels open into the light, so the solution is to put the chook house on stilts.
The extras to raise the shed 250-300mm above the ground are —
10. a wide slotted angle base frame 38 x 57mm (to stiffen the shed and with the wide overlap to hold the edge of the floor)
11. wire mesh to keep out mice, and
12 steel straps underneath the floor
13. a 15mm form-board (plywood with sealed top, bottom and edge) 2 piece floor of (1.475 x 1.475m)
14. six 300mm high x 200 x 200 hollow concrete blocks to support the shed walls and frame
15. concrete as a base for the blocks and to put down the centre hollow to lock in the fence droppers
16. a chicken tunnel or ramp to the ground outside
see the fence dropper in the corner block
I put the sides and roof together from the parts on two tables. It went smoothly, and the right number of parts were provided.
One panel had holes punched the wrong way on one edge, but I had a battery drill so no problems.
To assemble the wall sides and the roof together I got my brother Bruce to help. He is tall and it took an hour.
Then I spent time getting and fitting a metal double chook nest with outside access, building the pop-hole slide, a heavy bottom frame, and a main roost and nest roost bar. I then removed the outside egg nest to load it onto the trailer.
Next day I again borrowed my brother to load it down a steep drive and onto the 10×6 trailer. Three people would have been ideal.
When loading the shed started to bend, so we stopped, and fitted the steel base to the shed with tech screws. Now the shed was strong enough to lift and move, but we found it rather awkward because it was heavier.
On arrival at the farm we leveled the six blocks, one in each corner, extras near the front door post and one in the back wall opposite, then put the blocks on mortar and tapped them level again. We drove in the four fence droppers through the hollow centres of the blocks in the corners to stop it blowing away, and added concrete to the hollow centres.
This took us half a day and I came back on the next Saturday afternoon to fit the floor and attach and install the feeder and other working equipment. Two people make fitting the floor much easier.