Introduction: Home Grown Eggs: Building Your Own Chicken Cage
Being able to grow ones very own eggs can be very handy in the kitchen. I seam to always run out of eggs when I am cooking things and have to make a mad dash to the store to get eggs. By growing your very own eggs you can never run into the problem of not having eggs. If you grow your own eggs you will be able sell what is left.
Step 1: Materials Needed
-Square Hollow 1/2 inch aluminum tubing
-Self Tapping Screws
-1/4 inch thick plastic sheet
-2 by 4's
-Sheet of plywood
-Saw wood and metal
Step 2: Building the Platform
The platform is necessary because the cage needs something solid to sit on. It needs this because if it is not there the cage will break apart.
To build the plat form you need 6, 2 by 4's. The two sides (length) will be the full length of the 2 by 4 (8 ft). The width will be 4 feet wide. You will have to cut the 2 by 4's down. You will need to make a square frame with the 2 by 4's. After this is done you will need to place the other 2, 2 by 4's in the middle to help support the frame. Once this is done you will need to place the plywood (4 by 8ft) on top of the frame. Secure the plywood with the wood screws. Once this is done you will need to paint the wood. You do this in order to seal the wood. You want to seal the wood, because if you do not seal the wood it will start to rot.
Step 3: Plastic Platform
The next step is building the plastic platform. This can be done two ways. The first way is by just getting a sheet of plastic and screwing it down to the wood platform. The second way is by cutting 8 inch pieces that will fit around the plastic sheet. You will then plastic weld the 8 inch pieces to the plastic sheet. This adds support to the cage, but is not necessary.
The plastic sheet is used to help with the cleaning of the chicken poop. The smooth surface helps cleaning the cage a breeze.
Step 4: Cage: Frame
The dimensions of the cage are 4ft by 4ft by 4ft. You will use the L brackets to hold the different pieces of aluminum together. Each side top, bottom, and side all need an L bracket to hold the cage together. The pictures help show how to attach the brackets to the aluminum. You will want to use self tapping screws instead of the screws that come with the brackets. Self taping screws work better.
Step 5: Cage: Door
The size of the door is up to you. The door needs to fit inside the frame. The width needs to be just under 4ft. The height of the door is as tall as you want it to be. In the chicken cage that I built I put the height of the door half way to the bottom of the cage. The door is just a simple rectangle. There needs to be a support in the middle of the door. On top of the door there needs to be a piano hinge for the door to swing. In the picture you can see the piano hinge and the cage door attached to the top bar of the cage.
Step 6: Cage: Assembly
Once you have the cage sides cut and brackets put on and the cage and the door is made, you are ready to assemble the cage. This may require two people.
Step 7: Cage: Wire
Once you get your cage assembled you are now ready for the chicken wire. The chicken wire should be 4 feet wide so you only need to cut two of the four sides. You will use zip ties to hold the chicken wire to the cage. It is easiest if you attach the wire to one side then measure the length of the wire. Once the chicken wire is measured you can cut the wire with wire cutters. All of the sides need chicken wire but the side on the bottom of the cage door. The cage door and the top of the cage also needs chicken wire.
Step 8: Nest Box
The nest box is an option function for your chicken cage. Chickens like to lay their eggs in a dark environment. The nest box allows the chickens to lay their eggs in the dark environment they enjoy.
The nest box is composed of angled aluminum, self tapping screws, and plastic. The width of the nest box is 4ft. The height is the rest of the way to the cage door. The nest box is basically a box with legs. The portion that holds the chicken needs to be at least ten inches tall. The rest of the way to the floor is the legs of the box. The floor of the nest box needs to be at an 8 degree slant towards the back. There needs to be a slant for the eggs to roll down. There needs to be a slit at the back of the box that is 2 inches wide for eggs to roll out of the box. There also needs to be some chicken wire at the back of the nest box to catch the eggs. There also needs to be chicken wire in front of the nest box on the legs so the chickens do not escape.
Step 9: Feeder
There needs to be a feeder in the cage. You can see in the picture how the feeder is placed into the cage. The slots are two inches wide and six inches tall. There needs to be enough slots for all the chickens to eat at the same time. If one chicken goes to eat then others will want to eat. The feeder needs to be five inches from the bottom of the cage. The feeder should have clasps attached to it so it should easily attach to the cage.
Step 10: Water
There also needs to be a place for the chickens to get water. The drinker is the yellow object in the other picture. The water needs to be about ten inches tall. You can secure the drinker with zip ties. The drinker needs to be hooked up to a hose and should work when the chickens peck at the nipple.
Step 11: Perch
You can add a perch if you would like one. All you need to do is find a bar that is longer than four feet and cut holes in the chicken wire, so the bar its in the cage. You can place the bar at any height. You just need to be careful not to put it to high, so the chicken can not jump on the perch.
Step 12: Assembly
Now that you have everything built you are ready to put everything together. Place the wood platform where you want it, either inside our outside. Once the platform is place you are now ready for the plastic sheet/platform. This goes directly on top of the wood platform. You can either place the plastic on top or screw it down into the wood platform. Next you place the cage in/on the plastic. Now you can place the cage door to the cage if you have not done it already. Last is you add the nest box. The nest box needs to go in the hole you did not put any chicken wire. The nest box can be secured with zip ties.
Enjoy your chicken cage