Friday, September 14, 2012

Chicken Solarium / Lunarium Progress Report

I wanted the chickens out of my equipment shed.  The chickens clearly hated the landscaping, judging by their fervent demolition work.  So I killed 32 "birds" with one stone.  Well, with one Chicken Solarium, anyway.  

Still to come, a freeze-proof solar thermosiphon to water them even in winter.  Also a super bright switched interior flood light made from LED's salvaged from a damaged trailer tail light, and re-purposing an old solar photovoltaic panel scavenged from the ungrateful goats' barn.  

The interior night-lights in the photo's below are cannibalized from the innards of driveway clearance lights.  Pretty simple solution when you have a transparent roof!  The solar photo voltaic cell of each of the solar powered driveway lights points upward through the clear polycarbonate roof.  The high intensity LED's point down, thinking they are lighting a driveway.

Also, fresh-air circulation system for this chicken house is based on a book I read about open-front chicken houses published by a physician in 1924.  Makes sense...chickens already have a feathered comforter, they will NOT get cold.  But an enclosed chicken house will collect flies, bugs, lotsa nasties to get sick on.  So I put large 4-ft wide door in each end of the 16-foot long house.

So far, the chickens just love this place and they say they'll never go back.


Chicken Solarium


See hatch doors for exterior egg collecting (on right side)

Southern Exposure Oriented to Solar Track for Our Lat/Long

Work table height is optimized for sorting seed trays, also as scaffold for deploying trays on mezanine

Sorting Seed Trays

It was not easy, making the work table low enough for the work table down below, but high enough as a scaffold for working with seed trays at mezzanine level.  And the roof trusses are designed so the horizontal cross braces just clear the gardener's head when she is standing on the scaffold.  And the chickens drop their "drops" on hay strewn on the floor, just barely clearing the work table.  Contrary to conventional floor design, the plywood floor boards are all easily lifted out for washing or replacement.  And their is a gap in the floor perimeter so that we can spray the inner walls (to improve solar heating), and have the water just run down the wall and out the floor.  Sure hope this thing works as well as I worked on planning it.

Deploying trays to mezanine for solar greenhouse effect


Watering seed trays standing on work table

Garden in foreground, hay barn, goat barn in distance

For stealing eggs from outside

If you could see The Ladies all coming down single file in the mornings, you'd know why it's called a "gang" plank.  These girls are not to be reckoned with a feeding time.
This is the only image using 120v halogen photo flood.
Photo courtesy Eric Jacobs Photography.  A professional photographer/chicken fancier.

Roosting by the light of driveway solar clearance lites

Fox's-eye view of an all night chicken buffet....not


Hush little babies.  Just rest.

Sleeping chickies by the light of the moon.  Does this make it a chicken lunarium?