- Parent Category: Poultry Housing
- Published on 19 February 2012
Building a chicken house, a proper one, is no easy task. A layer house for egg production is particularly challenging as layer cages need to be installed and assembled in the poultry house. The very first step is to level the site - usually filler sand has to be brought to site for the concrete to be poured onto. If the ground is very uneven or on a slope a TLB may be needed to grade the land. Whether it is a steel structure or a brick structure the same site preparation needs to be done. To see a video of a small commercial chicken run follow the link.
Once the ground is level the slab is poured. On this site the slab was 31m x 8m - the actual poultry house to be built is a 30m x 7m layer house. Once the concrete is dry the actual construction begins. The steel angle iron used was 40mm x 40mm and 30mm x 30mm. The roof sheeting was 0.5mm galvanised sheet and the walls were made of 0.3mm steel.
The site is then squared off - this needs to be done exactly right - lines are run along the one length and then the magic 3, 4 5 formula is used to square the front and back. Stakes are driven into the earth and the line set. All the steel is sprayed with anti rust paint and then painted yellow. Then the trusses are welded and then raised on legs. Anchor cable maintains the stability while the trusses are raised. Cross supports are added - near the bottom where the kick plate and curtains will be installed and half way up where the chicken mesh will be stretched. Once this is all up, and square, the chicken house is ready for the anchors to be driven in (30 x 30 angle iron, 1.5m long) at 45 degrees and then welded. 5mm steel cable with a turn buckle for tensioning is used.. The roof trusses are then welded together with lengths of 30mm x 30mm x 6m lengths of angle iron. While this is being done each truss is squared and straightened. Al the welds are then cleaned and sprayed with anti rust paint and yellow paint.
The chicken mesh is then laid and stretched along the length of the poultry structure. This is done on the upper level and the lower level. The kick plates - galvanised strips, are installed. Before the curtain pelmet is added all extras that need welding are added to the structure. This includes fan braces and DB board frame. Gum boot hooks, curtain hooks, tank stand bracing, light switch plates and the sliding door rail are all welded in before beginning the curtains. All welding should be complete before the roof and poultry curtains are installed.
The pelmet for the chicken curtain is then installed - this is made from 550 GSM curtaining that is UV protected. This lies along the top of the wall over the chicken mesh and is for the actual curtain to slide behind. The back wall and the front wall are then covered with galvanised corrugated steel sheeting. The back frame and front frame have cross supports for the tek screws and the front section has door supports and rails for the sliding door.
Work now begins on the roof - if insulation is to be used it installed now and galvanised wire is stretched along the length of the house to support the sisalation. Extreme care needs to be taken - especially on a long chicken house as the the corrugated sheet is laid - any "off square sheets" will result in a crooked roof. The insulation and the roofing are laid along a line and tek screwed into place. Along the meeting place of the roof sheeting in the center flashing is installed - if air vents are to be used the work needs to be done before the roof sheeting goes up. The tank strand is the installed at the apex of the poultry house near the front. All the holes for the water pipes are drilled and piping installed.
Next curtains are hung and envelopes added. The big gear winches mounted on winch brackets. The poultry curtains are then hung with pulleys and steel cable. Z ropes are added and the curtain system tested. The poultry house is now ready for the electrical systems and timing systems to be installed - this will need to be done by a qualified electrician. All the lights are added (light brackets and plug brackets would have been added earlier. Poultry fans are hung and outside lights are installed. The next huge job are the layer cages - the cages are wired together and the carried into the house to be assembled. Nipple pipe are laid and the water manifold system is then connected. Drip cups for the poultry nipples are attached. Testing the water system is essential and all leaks need to be dealt with.Feeding trughs add strength to the layer cages.
The door frame is then made - in this case it is a double cooling door - half is covered with mesh and the other half with galvanised sprayed sheeting. Finally the front porch is enclosed with chicken mesh. The entire project took 14 days to erect - this chicken house was built by 4 artisans and 3 casual laborers and the day began at 5am and ended at 6pm. Some nights construction went on until 9pm at night due to a deadline when the layer would be arriving. We worked Saturdays and Sundays.
Smaller poultry house construction takes less time (steel structures) - and extras such as roof insulation and a front porch and sliding door all take time. The construction team lives on site and all amenities need to be supplied by the client - toilets, sleeping quarters and showers need to be provided. This is a Yellow Door Layer House designed and constructed by Chicken Shack Agencies - it is likely the most comprehensive layer house in it's class, and possible the biggest of what are known as small chicken houses - any bigger and a brick and mortar structure would be needed. This chicken house is part of a larger project - another 3 poultry houses are planned for this site, all with layer cages, and egg production facilities. Next the silos will be installed along with a cross auger feeding system to carry layer mash to the houses. On the same gantry an mono rail is planned to carry the eggs from the houses to the egg sorting rooms. The mono rail will run alnog the front of the houses as will the cross auger. The silos will be installed at the front of the farm so the feed trucks do not have to enter the property. If you ecide to build a chicken house - take your time to do proper planning - it will save you money in the end.