How to create conditions and maintain a mini chicken farm in the country (part 1)

In my youth, as a student, I traveled around the country as part of construction teams. We were engaged in a variety of buildings, including poultry houses. I especially remember the chicken coop that we built in the Kostroma region. And first of all, the local zootechnician burst into memory. His poultry farm (including chicken) was so exemplary that, despite the difficult working conditions in the then command-administrative system, his poultry farm brought in income. And this is a very, very important factor.

After all, from ancient times the bulk of chickens in Russia were kept in peasant farms. There could be no question of any income, since these were completely outbred birds kept in extremely primitive conditions. With the onset of the warm season, they were on the pasture: they were released into the yard and, rummaging in the garbage, they collected everything that was in the slightest degree edible. And only with the onset of cold weather they were fed with grain of cultivated plants.

Such a content inevitably led to the fact that the chickens were light in weight, and their meat was tough and dry, and, therefore, poorly nutritious. And then the chickens rushed very badly: 50-70 eggs per year, and only in spring and summer.

Such a dismissive attitude towards the chicken tribe is not accidentally reflected in folk proverbs and sayings, for example: "Chicken is not a bird, and cancer is not a fish", "Chicken is not a bird, and Bulgaria is not abroad", "Chickens to graze - you can't get good", "A chicken is not a bird, a quitter is not a man, a chatterbox is not a master"... Or: "Chickens scream on the roost - to a domestic quarrel"

So it was until, in the 30s of the twentieth century, large poultry farms were created in our country, on which they began to grow various breeds of chicken for egg, meat-egg and meat directions.

However, summer residents for the most part still often keep mostly mongrel chickens in the courtyard. Moreover, birds huddle (especially in winter) somewhere in the backyard in an unsuitable room, where they are both cold and hungry. So it turns out, as in another well-known proverb: "What care, such is the offspring." That is, chickens are born infrequently and mainly only in spring with the arrival of heat and in summer.

But even at very low costs: with proper care and proper feeding, the egg production of chickens can be significantly increased. This is what we'll talk about ...

Chicken "flats"

Almost any room can be adapted to keep chickens or other poultry in summer cottages. Overconsolidation leads to dampness, dirt, malnutrition and, as a result, disease.

For the construction of a new poultry house, it is very convenient to use materials at hand, for example: hew, slab, substandard boards. And as a heater, you can use sawdust, slag, mineral wool, but best of all - modern thermal insulation materials. Joints can be quickly and reliably sealed with polyurethane foam.

Birds feel much worse in stone, brick, cinder block, concrete rooms, because they are damp and cold.

Figure 1: 1. The foundation. 2. Base. 3.Lazy.
4. Exhaust pipe.

Practice shows that the most optimal chicken coop depicted on picture 1... It is not difficult to build it even on a small plot ... To do this, first along the perimeter under foundation they dig a trench about 30x30 centimeters in size. It is covered with any suitable materials: small stones, gravel, crushed stone, concrete chips, scrap metal. All this is poured with concrete at the rate of 1 part of cement to 3 parts of sand.

When the foundation hardens, they spread on it plinth one brick wide, 15-20 centimeters high (it is advisable to use silicate). A wooden frame is installed on a brick base. A layer of waterproofing is laid between the lower frame of the frame and the base of the basement. This measure protects the bottom of the timber frame from rapid decay. You can use any waterproofing material, up to folded in several layers of polyethylene film.

Chicken coop frame made from bars with a diameter of 12-15 centimeters. The height of the room is 3-3.5 meters, of which 1.3-1.5 meters are in the attic. For sheathing of the frame from the outside, a tees and a slab are used. It is advisable to sheathe the frame inside with clapboard or shunt board. The wall thickness of the frame is at least 15 centimeters. It must be remembered that mice and rats will definitely appear in the chicken coop (where there is food). In order to protect against them, the bottom of the wooden frame from the outside must be upholstered with iron sheets. The height of such protection from the base is not less than 20 centimeters.

The roof most often they make a gable. The rafters from above are sheathed with edged boards, including non-planed ones. And although even in recent Soviet times it was recommended to use exclusively slate for the roof, I think that this is yesterday. In current conditions, the most optimal roofing material for a chicken coop is ondulin.

For air exchange through the ceiling and roof, it is necessary chimney with a diameter of 15x15 or 20x20 centimeters. The pipe needs a valve that allows you to regulate the air exchange temperature of the chicken coop.

Height double glazed windows 80-100 centimeters, 100 centimeters wide. There must be a window leaf.

Poultry floor can be anything: earthen, adobe, concrete. The most practical floor, however, is a densely knit boardwalk.

Figure 2: 1. Room for inventory and feed.
2. Room for chickens. 3. Insulation. 4. Lazy.
5. Roosts. 6. Manure tray. 7. Feeders.
8. Feeder for gravel and mineral feed. 9. Drinking bowl.

One of the options internal layout of the chicken coop depicted on Figure 2. Feeders (figure 2, position 7) are located in the middle of the room so that there is no crush during feeding, and the hens can freely approach them from all sides. And so that the stronger individuals do not push back the weak, it is necessary to install a sufficient number of feeders.

Figure 4

It is better to load feeders no more than a third of the depth, otherwise there will be significant losses of feed due to scattering by birds. In addition, so that the chickens do not climb into the feeders, do not trample or stain the feed, they are tightly fixed on top plank (picture 4)... The bar also serves as a handle.

In such feeders, it is convenient to feed both dry and wet food. The rational installation of the feeders significantly reduces the loss of feed. For example, if they are located close to drinkers, feed losses inevitably increase.

Used for gravel and mineral feed feeders with several compartments (figure 2, position 8).

Drinking bowls (figure 2, position 9) can serve as basins, buckets and other shallow containers that are installed against the wall on wooden supports no more than 50 centimeters high. That is, at such a height that chickens can easily jump on them. The stand is needed so that the birds, rummaging in the litter, do not rake garbage into the drinker, thereby contaminating it. Drinkers should always have water. It is impossible to give snow to chickens instead of water, as they can catch a cold.

To prevent the water from freezing in the cold, you need to use an electric heater. Although there are simpler ways for this purpose. For example, wrapping a drinking bowl with any available heat-insulating material. You can put on water (this is especially effective in a round container) a wooden circle slightly smaller than the diameter of the container. Floating in a container, the circle prevents the water from freezing. It is necessary to make 3-4 round holes in it through which the birds will drink water.

Particular attention should be paid to the construction of perches and nests. And that's why… Perch (figure 2, position 5) - the most important part of the chicken existence. Chickens spend half their lives on it. And whether it is convenient for birds directly depends on their productivity.

On thin or too thick poles in order not to fall, chickens sit, clasping them tenaciously with their fingers. The legs get tired of constant tension and, flying off the perch to the floor, the birds do not move for a long time due to swollen limbs. In order to avoid such troubles, it is advisable to make perches not round, but rectangular with a section of 4x6 centimeters. Although in this case there are different opinions.

One chicken needs at least 20-25 centimeters of roost, and they are located at a distance of 35-40 centimeters from each other. Moreover, all perches should be located on the side opposite to the window. And by no means a ladder, only at the same level. Otherwise, all chickens will strive to fly to the topmost perch.

Laz (figure 2, position 4) for the bird to leave the room, it is advisable to arrange it on its southern side, at a height of 5-8 centimeters from the floor. Manhole dimensions: width 30, height 30-40 centimeters. Outside, you can arrange a small vestibule to keep warm and protect the room from the wind. When keeping chickens on a deep litter (for more details, see the section "Caring for chickens"), the height of the manhole should be increased by 20-40 centimeters.

To collect droppings, a special pallet (box), (figure 2, position 6)... Timely collection of droppings is, first of all, hygiene, which significantly affects the health of chickens. A metal pallet is very convenient. However, it is too heavy (although much depends on the design), so most often a wooden box covered with a fine-mesh metal mesh is used instead.

Figure 3: 1. Nest. A tray for droppings.
3.Nests. Base of the floor.

Certain rules must be observed when installing nests (picture 3)... For every 10 chickens in winter, you need to have 2-3, in summer - 3-4 nests. They must be arranged at the side walls at a height of 40-50 centimeters from the floor. Make nests from boards or plywood.

The nests are located in a dark place. If there is none, they darken it with a curtain so that the chicken feels calm there. Nests should be easily accessible for inspection, egg collection and cleaning. The dimensions of the nests are 30-35x35-40 centimeters. They should always have clean, dry bedding. Each layer has its own favorite nest, in which it strives to lay eggs. In addition to the described inventory and equipment, in order to keep the chicken coop in proper form, it is necessary to have a chest for feed, buckets, brooms, rakes, forks for cleaning and leveling the bedding.

To be continued

Ivan Zaitsev
Photo by Olga Rubtsova

Growing sterlet as a business

You will surprise no one with such a business as growing aquarium fish, but few people realize that at home you can create a real mini-farm for growing sterlet. If you make an effort, you can make very good money. Where to start building your successful business?

Sterlet belongs to the sturgeon family. It is quite simple and unpretentious in content, if you approach it wisely. You can organize your own mini farm even in apartment conditions. This is exactly the first advantage in growing sterlet. But there are the following advantages of this type of business:

  • healthy meat and caviar: these products are in great demand on the market and the demand for them is growing every day
  • the sterlet is unpretentious in keeping and therefore the peculiarities of its cultivation can be comprehended even by a beginner; for the cultivation of this type of sturgeon at home, large cash costs will not be needed.

Of all the advantages listed above, one thing can be said that the sterlet breeding business is quite a profitable business.

What is needed to build a cage

A cage is a simple structure and almost any livestock breeder can make it with his own hands. The materials are inexpensive and readily available commercially.

We can give you one valuable piece of advice. For example, you don't have to buy metal structures in a store, but drive up to the scrap metal collection point and find everything you need there. Everything will cost several times cheaper.

First of all, we need:

  • metal rods
  • fine mesh
  • cement 1-2 bags
  • sand
  • metal grill.

In order for the animals to go out for a walk, it is necessary to make a hole. The height of the net should be 0.7-1 m.

Features of the

When buying chickens, you should pay attention to their breed. For example, laying hens of the Loman Brown breed are capable of carrying up to three hundred eggs during puberty.

The budget of the business plan for laying hens is as follows: the cost of each chicken is no more than one hundred rubles, and the cost of feeding one bird per day is 95 kopecks. For example, for five months twenty chickens will need about three hundred kilograms of compound feed at ten rubles per kilo.

This means that this item of expenditure reaches three thousand. It turns out that to start a business of keeping laying hens, you need to have an initial capital of about five thousand rubles. You can cut costs by a quarter by making your own pet food. The following calculation: one egg is sold for three rubles on average.

From the sale of eggs in a week, you can get an income of about one and a half hundred, therefore, all investments will easily pay off within one year. In addition, it is possible to sell chicken manure, which is an excellent fertilizer for personal plots.

DIY mini-farm for rabbits

It is always pleasant to use a thing created with your own hands. The same can be said about the mini farm for animals. After all, if you do it yourself, you can save a significant amount of the budget. At the initial stage, it can be done for a small number of animals. Then add new sections and details as the number of pets increases.

Design and drawings

In order to build a farm with your own hands, you need to devote some time to preparation. You can visit special sites and study the blueprints. Beginners should purchase schemes from specialists. Available for each project and drawings of mini-farms, which are adapted for different breeds, as well as climatic zones.

Materials and tools

No special tools are required to build a mini farm. Every family usually has everything that is needed, namely: a hacksaw, a drill, a hammer, pliers. From the materials you need to prepare:

  • plywood sheets
  • galvanized iron
  • Fiberboard
  • bars, boards
  • grid
  • slate or roofing material
  • nails
  • paint.

To prevent the risk of mold growth, treat all wooden parts and parts with an antifungal agent. Mold is harmful to the health of animals, so controlling it is one of the steps to keeping your rabbits healthy. A beam suitable for such construction has dimensions of 20x40, as well as 30x40 mm. This is the most common and readily available option.

Manufacturing steps

Assembling or building a farm for furry animals is an easy task that is easy to implement with your own hands. In addition, it will help keep the animals clean and easy to care for. Its functionality, autonomy, the ability to supplement, as needed, make this design convenient for breeders. Mini truss is a structure of several tiers with different types of compartments. In its finished form, it will include:

  • stand - the basis for the entire structure
  • walking compartment with a feeder and a drinker
  • nest compartment
  • upper tier.

Having drawings, as well as a general plan for the design of the farm, you can safely proceed to the construction of housing for rabbits.

  1. The very first stage is the construction of the stand.It must be strong and stable to support the entire structure. It is constructed from wooden or metal beams.
  2. A waste collection tank is placed at the base.
  3. The walls are sheathed with chipboard for insulation.
  4. The first tier is erected on a stand, on the eastern side of which a hole is made. The window is closed with a net. The feeder and drinker are also placed here.
  5. The wooden floor is laid at an inclination of 45 °, and gaps are left in it so that the waste moves into the tank from below.
  6. This tier can be divided into two or three sections. For example, to make a walking part and a nesting place, where rabbits and cubs will be. The sections are separated by metal or wooden partitions.
  7. If you equip a nesting room, it must be made warm and sheathed with foam. The floor is made solid so that the rabbits do not cling to the slats and crawl far from their mother.
  8. If the first tier is ready, it's time to build the second. It can be used for juveniles of different sexes. Then you should divide it into two parts with a feeder and a drinker. Also, this tier can be adapted for the second uterine compartment.
  9. Here, the floor is partially mesh. Trays for waste are installed under the second tier.
  10. The roof is covered with roofing material or slate, a ventilation pipe is attached.

Growing broilers in the country

City dwellers who like to eat tender chicken meat of their own production can raise broilers in their summer cottage in the summer. These birds gain weight quickly in a short time with minimal feed costs. Only now caring for them is not easy. Let's try to figure out how to raise broilers in order to get high productivity.

How to feed crucian carp

An improperly composed diet becomes the cause of the degeneration of crucian carp, the formation of a dwarf subspecies. To avoid such a problem, it is recommended to use the food that fish feeds in nature in the menu.

  • Small molluscs.
  • Bloodworms and various insects.
  • Seaweed.
  • Worms.

Regular feeding starts from late April - early May and lasts until mid-September. It is in this interval of the warm season that the crucian carp eat food with pleasure. In extreme heat or in cold weather, the appetite of fish sharply decreases.

Important! Crucian carps feed well in warm water, the temperature of which does not exceed 25 °. The critical minimum for the medium is 12 °.

To ensure the weight gain of farmed fish, it is necessary to balance the diet of food of plant origin and animal food. They can be mixed or given separately. Farmers often combine them with cereals.

How to care for him

You need to feed the crucians at the same time, after a short period of time the wards get used to it and swim up to the feeding place. This can be a small platform or pallet table. The food is laid out on a device with sides and lowered slowly into the water. After 30 minutes, the impromptu table rises along with the remains of the food. This prevents sour water from decomposing organic matter.

A balanced diet is not the only requirement for the normal functioning of the crucian carp. Novice farmers are advised to consider other rules for caring for fish.

  1. For the maintenance of crucians, both dug reservoirs and ready-made containers can be used. Popular are polypropylene tanks, which are available in a large assortment of sizes. The minimum parameters of the tank are: diameter - 2-3 m, depth - 1.2-1.5 m.
  2. Place a pond or pool in partial shade to avoid overheating of the water.
  3. Periodically, to purify the water, you need to replace about 1/3 of the total volume.
  4. The ponds are lined with plants that are natural orderlies.
  5. Mains water is not suitable for filling a pool or pond. It is necessary to ensure the delivery of fluid from the nearest natural reservoir or to pump it with a submersible pump from a well. In this case, the water supply device is necessarily equipped with a filter.
  6. It is recommended to use special aerators for oxygen supply.



To begin with, I got acquainted with the breeding of animals according to the Mikhailov method from books. Then he bought cells and blueprints. Immediately I ran into many inconsistencies and unnecessary details both in the drawings and in the finished products. The floor of the structures has many dead zones, which are quite difficult to remove, and you need to clean it as often as possible, despite the opposite statement. Feeders collect food and other waste. Therefore, it is better to make a nipple drinker, it will not be so dirty.


In rabbit breeding, I am a beginner. I decided to build a farm with my own hands, bought blueprints. Immediately I ran into "traps" in the form of wrong sizes. Also, this farm is quite expensive, it is cheaper to buy several cages. It is more difficult to clean it than described. But in general, the design and system of food and water delivery satisfied me.

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