Building a Chicken Barn
I need some type of design for a chicken barn. not just any chicken barn, my husband has the funding to start a small hatchery and turn it into a large franchise, nation wide maybe global with our connections.
We need a barn design that will be safe, economical, and simple, but most of all successful.
It needs to have incubators, chicken runs, coops, feeding arrangements, also needs to be easy to maintain and keep clean.
It will not be just a barn though, big time customers will be walking through to pick which birds they want which eggs, everything needs to be clearly visible from the aisle in the middle of the barn, any ideas?
Thank You for your question. My thoughts are that really any of our barn designs would work well. I would make sure I didn't build anything to wide, and you'll want to build it as tall as you can, you will see why in a bit.
Probably the best design would be the high top horse barn. You could house the chickens in the wings of the barn and use the center isle to provide an area for your clients to walk through. That really could be as narrow as 8' or as wide as 20' depending on what you want to do in that center aisle. If it will just be foot traffic than 8' would be about right. If you want to be able to drive a tractor in there and turn it to scoop out the stalls on occasion you will want something at least 16', depending on the size of your tractor.
You could divide the stalls up and have 2 different breeds of chickens in each stall. A stall that is 8x10 could be divided into 2 stalls of 5x8 each, and each with a corresponding run outside of the lean to.
I would build a feed box on the aisle side of each stall so that you could fill them without entering the stall. I would also install automatic waterers so that your prize birds will always have fresh water.
You might also want to install a passive ventilation system. Passive as in it does not require electricity. You don't want to be at the mercy of the grid for the health of your chickens. Start by adding some cupolas and some gable vents to your barn. Then install some vents that you can open and close near the bottom of the walls in the chicken stalls. This combined with the high peak of our traditional barns will provide natural movement of air.
As we all know hot air rises so as the barn warms up, air will move up and out the cupolas and gable vents. The high open ceilings cause a sort of chimney effect, keeping fresh air flowing through your barn and also keeping it cooler inside.
Another benefit is that it will keep moisture from building up which reduces disease and smells. If these systems are working properly and your birds are healthy you will be surprised at how little odor there is.
You also should avoid steel siding if at all possible. Wood siding is better at keeping out the heat and cold, and it won't sweat like steel will. Also, with modern oil based paints and stains it needs no more maintenance than steel does.
Steel roofing on the other hand would be the way to go, as long as there is a layer of wood under it as a buffer.
That is all I can think of right now. Maybe others will have advice that they can give in the comments below.
Have a great day!