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Hen House Timber Choice

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Mrs C

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As per the title what timber would you choose? Also, what roofing material?

I have been fighting mites and the mites are winning as my current house is designed such that you can’t get at all of it for spraying so time for a new build :)

Thanks
 

Woody2Shoes

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+1 for ply (ply and felt for roof) - just painted with water-based fence paint - the fewer nooks and crannies for mites to hide in the better! Cheers, W2S
 

clogs

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we had 125 hens in France as well as the red mites on occaision.....
Bought an entire pack of 19mm shuttering board 65 sheets and built them outta that....
a full 8ft high at the front and did chop abit off for the roof fall.....widow and vents all wired up.....
Roof was used steel panels.....doing it again I'd find some insulated st/panels.....

My wife's project really..... we used the chemicals povided at the farm store but in the end we used a rose / garden sprayer with the solution of bleach.... then after a second squirt just power washed it all down...boards n all.....
started at breky time, second squirt around 11 then the wash down....clean and dry for the fresh hay by 5pm.........

if u have one or two special /fav hens we we're told a drop and only 1 drop of T tree oil will stop em....we did it on the back just below the neck.....we found out about the red mite the hard way after 4-5 years...hit us bad.....
after the treatment all's well.....
we did a big clean 1nce per year.....oh, and we had concrete floors.......
2 other things,
1. is to put a 4-6" high strip of gavl metal all the way around to stop the rats....
2. we used to buy our food in bulk.....when the galv bins were full we used old chest freezer for storage...they are rat proof....
 

MikeG.

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Those who've had hens........how high does the chicken wire need to be around the run to make it fox proof?
 

powertools

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It's not just the height but also needs to be underground.
Part of ours is only 2ft high but has mesh over the top.
 

owen

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Those who've had hens........how high does the chicken wire need to be around the run to make it fox proof?
I worked on a fully fenced 20000 hen egg farm, fenced four foot high all the way around and we would still get foxes in now and again. Best way to keep foxes out is make sure you always shut the hens in the house at night can guarantee the night you forget, the fox won't.
 

AJB Temple

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I used to own a farm. Quite a lot of hens. To reliably keep a fox out or an outdoor run, then at least 2 metres preferably 2.5 metres. I have seen a dog fox get over an 8ft fence, and chickens wire adds more purchase. Plus keep a dog. Foxes do not like dogs.

For a hen house. Well the last one I had was built by the tenant farmer who rented part of the land off me, and he made it out of tantalised timber frame, insulation between the frames, and cement board inside and outside screwed on. Pretty cheap. Insulated roof with galvanised corrugated over. This could be jet washed with bleach and mite chemicals. We have a big Karcher steam cleaner that we used on the farm, and you can dip the detergent pipe into a bottle contains the mix. Nothing survives this. Was done once a quarter. (The eggs were for sale - even though this was small scale compared to the egg producers - we had about 250 chickens - all free range but in at night).

Since we now live a lazy life - comparably - I buy all of my eggs from Waitrose. Saves a fortune compared with keeping hens. They will also sell 3 chickens for £10 that are perfectly good for BBQ and making a shed load of stock.

If I could keep Poulet de Bresse here I might be tempted again.
 

Woody2Shoes

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Never make a roof out of ply covered with roofing felt.
It's worked for me for the last 20-odd years. I wouldn't make a roof for anything too precious that way though!

IME the only thing to keep the fox away - I see him patrolling most days - is electric netting.
 

Woody2Shoes

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Those who've had hens........how high does the chicken wire need to be around the run to make it fox proof?
This stuff - powered with a mains energiser - just works (or has done, reliably for 20-odd years for chickens, guinea fowl and geese). Once foxy touches it, s/he won't come back. The time of greatest risk is when a fox dies and another (naive) one takes over its territory - and then has to learn (usually only once!).

 

Mrs C

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re roofing felt - the mites hide between the felt and whatever is supporting it making it impossible to spray.

Thanks for all the suggestions- hadn’t considered ply which seems a logical way to go.
 

Daniel2

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Very helpful "powertools".
Thank you for your valuable participation in this thread.

Could anyone else please answer my question ?
I'm genuinely curious.

ATB,
Daniel
 
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owen

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I was under the impression that this thread was about chicken housing.
You have both shown that you know nothing about it.
Wow, that comes across as a very peachie reply. Considering your post had no information or reasoning just a point blank " never do this". I think it's a fair question to ask.
 

Trainee neophyte

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Chickens need to be dry. Warm is less important. Airflow is vital. I know my climate is different, but I use polytunnel bars with white plastic sheet instead of clear plastic, to stop any boil-in-a-bag issues during the day. The "roof" stops stops 3 feet above ground to make sure there is lots of air flow, and it is open at either end. Wooden bars for roosts, and thats it: nothing for mites to live in. The plywood nesting boxes are a problem with mites, but what can you do? They are separate to the roosts, and lower down. It's ugly as sin, but the chickens have survived 15 years so far.

Turkeys don't like being inside at all, and roost on the bars outside in all weathers.

Foxes are a problem. Electric fencing works. A dog locked in with your chickens helps, too, as long as it doesn't learn to eat eggs or chickens. Completely covering the pen with wire also helps - see chicken tractor designs for hermetically sealed, mobile coop designs. I tried this, and gave up after a fox emptied the coop twice - 20 chickens at a time. Back to Fort Knox security and no more free range chickens. If only the chickens would agree to stay in...
 

Tris

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Those who've had hens........how high does the chicken wire need to be around the run to make it fox proof?

Our run is 1.8m high and luckily netted over the top as we have seen the vixen on top of it when she's got cubs to feed. You could turn the wire out at the top to stop them, a 45cm overhang slows them down pretty well.

As to the topic subject, I'd look at recycled plastics like green frog designs, easy to dismantle and clean down.
Hth
Tris
 

powertools

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Unlike some members I only reply to threads that I have knowledge of.
I thought that I had photos of our chicken accommodation in a domestic situation but I haven't and will take one in the morning.
Keeping chickens in a garden is not a small undertaking and makes no economic sense but is done for interest and for the amusement of the grandchildren when they visit.
Under the circumstances it is essential that the hens have a house and run that not only becomes a feature in the garden but also gives them a happy safe and healthy life.
Before you get involved do you want an ugly structure in your garden surrounded by an electric fence or do want a feature in ýour garden that gives you and the kids pleasure and a healthy place for the hens to live.
Perhaps MikeG could show us a photo of his plywood structure.
However if you decide to build your hen house with a ply roof covered in roofing felt you will run into a problem with red mite that you will not be able to control as they will live under the felt and you will have no way of controlling them and the hens will have a very unhappy life.
If anybody has any questions about back garden chicken keeping I woud be happy to help if I can.
 

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