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fowl barns

 
                        
Posts: 57
Location: Northern Rockies
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Can anyone recommend some good reading materials on care for fowl (primarily chickens, ducks, and geese) including building fowl housing.

Off the cuff, how much area should I relegate to each adult duck when building a barn?  How about chickens?  geese? 

Thanks for any suggestions!
 
Jami McBride
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Hey Rickster,

There is a log of good info here on the forums - try a search using the button in the upper right-hand corner.
I know the space required has been listed for chickens, but I don't know about ducks and geese so I Googled and found this....
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Jami, I really appreciate your efforts! Thanks!  I googled a few query combinations but they were obviously different than what you used, as I didn't get to this table.  I got lots on duck and goose-hunting, though. 

I'll search the forum some more, too.  I obviously need to be more creative on the key words. 

Thanks again, Rickster
 
                    
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Those are numbers for gulag conditions. I dont have enough run space for my ladies, and they 100+ sf each daily- even then in this weather im getting mudpatches and overbrowse. those are the site limits and Ive probably got too many hens for where I can keep them.

my indoor coop is @8sf/bird, but one could go much less with a portable coop model- im on hill slopes with limited road so that rolling gypsy chicken dream doesnt quite fit in to my scheme.

Paul Wheaton does a great and rancorous thing on chickens. coops, runs, etc., and I only disagree with about 5% of it, which is pretty outstanding

this is as good a place as any to start:
http://www.richsoil.com/raising-chickens.jsp

its all worth considering and then, with the context of your site realities and experience. fold it into your best work.

let us know what you learn!
 
Jami McBride
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Location: PNW Oregon
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No problem Rickster, I'm gifted in searching - I have zero patience 

Deston - thanks for adding - yes these are just numbers, and as we all know many factors play in.  No birds should be kept full time in this amount of space - IMO, but people do, some people have to.  However, it is a starting point, gives people a good idea for building and such.  And official amounts, the type seen in a book was what Rickster was asking for, not best practices.

So I would say using these numbers for building, and then allow your birds to roam on open land during the day (free range) or move them tractor style on open land (also free range) = best practice, if you can.

 
                    
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J: I'd have brought those number up if you hadn't. They're a valid reference, though as we know, require considered critique.  I was offering good reading material.

R: many great posts are found here in this forum, if one scratches around a bit in critter care and searches for the keywords of his interest- one could find some notions from the best thinkers on this topic. as always, site dictates much of design. The article linked above is the (as of yet) polar consideration to the kind of chicken rearing that most agronomists and universities will be discussing when they offer design ideas/

questions: what site considerations (area, slope, fodder present and potential, water, predators, etc)?  how many animals do YOU* need? How many dos your GOAL* need? what purpose will you raise them for? *- just for home use  *for potential offsite trade/marketing? all of these things will affect the style (fixed/moble/combo), size, and other design considerations for the fowl's housing.

cheers!
 
                        
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Location: Northern Rockies
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Deston and all, this information is most valuable. 

I'm in a great situation.  I'm a land-use consultant (planning, restoration forestry/ecological forestry, etc.) and have been shifting my emphasis towards permaculture and ecological agriculture for a few years -- mainly researching and observing.  Now, though, I'm having the opportunity in several contexts to put some things together. 

I've definitely coped with the questions you're raising -- and am still coping with them.  I have a great framework to put it all together and now am going about putting the data in the cells, so to speak -- Meal plan to harvest.  For some reason my mind really grasps spatial planning and application of ideas... so this is all fitting together nicely.

One project:  create a settlement with one home inhabited by two people to provide xx% of the diet for 6 people.  Still figuring out what is really feasible.  I'll have plenty of land to work with in a larch/lodgepole ecosystem.

For the fowl I'll have barns attached to heat-exchange greenhouses, in which I'll grow large-shrub-centered perm perennial guilds interplanted with annuals.  Each guild will be inaccessible to the various fowl until appropriate times and for appropriate time periods, and sensitive perennials will be protected by chicken wire (tho I"ll try Sepp's broth).

In addition, I'll have a couple of acres of guilds dedicated to fowl forage which I"ll have sectioned off for periodic access by little critters.  Also, I'll have chicken tractors on the septic field which I'll be sowing with green manures and ground covers. 

But, the question I'm speciifically addressing right now is barn space.  I'll also leave run-space that will be devoid of vegetation (cuz chickens alone make short work of an enclosed space) but will provide a convenient enclosed outdoor space for times when the other options aren't available (and in which case we would have to feed with stored food). 

So, aside from barn space, I wonder how much space I should plan for the run immediately adjoining the barn.  (I'll try to maintain a couple of protected guilds here, too, but assume they won't offer much in the way of sustenance.)

So, right now
 
Jami McBride
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Location: PNW Oregon
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Run space was also covered in the table I posted.  And since you are talking about moving the birds around through different environment options then those numbers should be fine.  The numbers quickly become inappropriate when we are talking constant exposure for the birds, as Deston pointed out.

Sounds like you've got some great options for your fowl-plans.
 
                        
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Location: Northern Rockies
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After seeing the roughing that birds give each other, I'm inclined to house chickens, ducks, geese (maybe not), and quail separately.  In that case, I suppose separate runs too.  Does anyone have a take on the best shape of a run?  Skinny and long? 
 
marty reed
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their are many plans in here i hope this helps http://bioengr.ag.utk.edu/extension/ExtPubs/PlanList97.htm#Recreation%20Plans and a cheap way to go is to buy a trampoline fram and use it for your structure just and idea

the cheap guy
 
Emerson White
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Location: Alaska
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If your birds need 8 sq. ft. a piece inside their coop then you have them in there for too long. They should get out in the early morning and go back in the evening when they are ready to sleep. Here we need to give them more so they can stay out of the snow for longer but not much, they should be less active in the winter, they survive better and on less feed.
 
                        
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thanks for these responses.  hmm... hadn't thought of the dilemma Emerson poses.  I'll chew on that one.  Thanks!
 
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