Thursday, 4 December 2008

Leukaemia Research Calendars 2009

Leukaemia Research Calendars for 2009 are available from my pal Bodger on his forum.

Only £2.50 incl P&P

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Converting a shed for poultry use. Part 1

Converting a shed for poultry use is a reasonably easy task suitable for even the most amateur diyer.

First you need a shed make sure it’s sound and watertight. Remember fresh air and cold won't hurt hens, a drought will.
The size of the shed will dictate the number of hens you can keep in there; I’ll assume that you are adding a run so a 6 x 8 shed will easily accommodate 8-12 birds with lots of room inside for rainy days etc.

The next thing to do is decide on a site. Away from full sun would be best in my opinion, you don’t want them to cook in the summer and as far away from your own home or neighbours as you can or is practical.

Let’s talk vermin, yes you probably will get them at some point but there are plenty of things you can do to minimise the problem. Good house keeping is essential all food stuffs should be kept in sealed containers any food spillages cleaned up.
Raising the shed up off the floor will also help a great deal, rodents feel less secure if the floors raised and so the underneath is more open.
I’ve raised mine on 6x2 joists and this is the minimum I would use, with hindsight I’d have raised mine by 12 inch probably using building blocks.

Now make sure the window is operable, but secure weld-mesh to the inside, so you can open the window and leave it open without Mr Fox or wild birds getting in. It may also pay to mesh over any fixed panes too.

Next you need to block off the bottom 12” of the doorway, do this from the inside using something like marine ply which is weather proof. This gives you a barrier against the hens throwing out their litter.

Then build an inner frame around the original door frame, than build an inner door out of timber for the frame and cover that with mesh. Hang this on you inner frame and use something like a pad-lockable bolt to lock it shut. You should now be able to leave the main door open throughout the day, while keeping your hens well ventilated, but secure.

If you wish to use just part of the shed it’s easy to create a partition frame of timber and cover with mesh.

In my next part I'll try to cover nest boxes, pop holes and perches.