Explore the blog, Then Check out our website

Explore the blog, Then Check out our website
Chicken Scratch Poultry

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Barn Addition Is Complete

Back in September Larry and I made the decision to build on to the barn that he had constructed on his own back in 2012.  It was a 20x24 barn (not counting the over hangs).  With the addition it is now a 20x64.  When breeding poultry it takes an unimaginable amount of space to do it correctly.

Just as he got the roof on the addition,  we stood back and looked at it and said let's go bigger, the photo on the left is at the point when we decided to go bigger.
We aren't getting any younger, might as well do it now while we can.
Larry was able to put all the trusses up by himself with a homemade crane and a come-along.

Our nephew Kyle came down from Alaska for a few days and was a tremendous help to Larry.  They were able to get all the electrical and lights fixtures hung and all the wood siding hung so that the barn was completely enclosed.

Larry now has all the pens on the inside up and ready for poultry, he's cutting doors so that each breed has access to the outdoors.  Once he's finished constructing doors they will be automated to open and shut at dawn and dusk.

Here's a peek inside the barn, this is the Coronation Sussex pen.  Bigger breeds are allowed bigger space.  As you can see the Coronation love to eat.

Larry is making a mechanism that opens and closes all the doors.
In this photo he is connecting a short round shaft inside of square metal tubing.  This round shaft will ride on a bracket that holds up the length of the entire drive shaft.  There is a round shaft inserted between two square tubing's every eight foot.   The J shaped brackets support the drive shaft at the round bar connections of the entire mechanism.

A little grinding here and there and everything fits together smoothly.  This is from a woman's point of view :)

That shaft runs 64 ft and opens 11 doors on this side of the barn.
I'm also suppose to tell you what a miracle this contraption is, that not just any ole Joe could design and craft this automatic system.  Well done Larry, well done!  He was needing a pat on the back.

This is the gear motor that opens the doors.  It hangs at the back of the barn under the eves so that its out of the weather.  This motor runs cables that pull on arms that move the shafts on both sides of the barns, opening and closing all doors at the same time.  The use of a gear motor allows for slow, smooth opening and closing of the doors.

The cables from the gear motor are kept snug by pulleys.  These pulleys also allow for pulling on the drive shaft arms at the correct angle.  Larry has found that using garage door spring pulleys work best.  They have a deep grove that keep the cable from falling off the pulleys.

This is the brain of the operation.  Larry had to implant part of himself inside of this small computer.  This box contains a PLC (programmable Logic Controller).  This device controls the lights and the automatic door operation.   The PLC is programmed to open and close the doors at a specific time after daylight and after dusk.  This time changes automatically everyday keeping our birds safe from night time predators.  It also allows us to control the hours of light the chickens get each day.

Now that the doors are operating, the pens are up and the vents are open its time to cover the pens in netting.  We cover all pens so that no chicken has the opportunity to jump over and get into the wrong pen and it also keeps them safe from hawks.

That's a lot of netting!  We hope you enjoyed this blog about our expansion of the barn.  It's been a big project and Larry has done a great job!  
We're still taking day old chick and started young pullet orders.  If you would like to check out all the different breeds that we offer just head over to the website http://chickenscratchpoultry.com/
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Hope you have a great day!

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