The Straw-Loft Poultry House
by M.S. Munson, circa 1914
Little need be said about the first principles in poultry raising, but a few introductory remarks about comfortable quarters for the flock may pave the way for the description of the straw-loft poultry house illustrated in sketches shown.
It goes without saying that the laying hen must have comfortable quarters if she is to be expected to produce her maximum yield. Warmth, dryness and protection from preying animals are the prerequisites to comfort. The poultry house sketched here is a practical starting unit embodying all of the protection features so essential in poultry raising.
Another big point in favor of this straw-loft house is its comparative cheapness. This building may be added to as the demand is created. Starting with the 20 x 20 foot unit shown in Fig. 1, and adding similar units as the flock increases, there would be no need for a building larger than the immediate demand requires.
STRAW ABSORBS MOISTURE
The straw-loft house is a comparatively new type in most sections of the country, and its advantages are not common knowledge. The straw between the slat ceiling and roof of the building acts as an insulation, and tends to hold the heat that otherwise would be lost through the roof. It also absorbs the dampness incident to bad weather. The straw is put into the loft through the gable windows (see Fig. 2).
Considerable sunlight and sufficient ventilation are provided for. The raised concrete foundation is a guard against rats. Every practical labor-saving device has been included in the design, and it is withal a very practical yet economical building. A cross-section of the house is shown in Fig. 3, and floor plan in Fig. 4. Nests are shown in Fig. 5, and self-feeder in Fig. 6.
CURTAINS FOR WINDOWS
Between the two front windows are three openings covered with screen wire to keep out rodents. A curtain of muslin or burlap hangs above these, on the inside, and can be dropped when the weather is stormy or cold. This lets in fresh air, but prevents drafts. Many of the poultry ailments are caused by drafts, or lack of ventilation entirely.
Particular attention has been paid to the materials of construction in designing this building. All of the dimension lumber going into the frame work is of standard stock sizes, which eliminates the labor of cutting to length. Also, short-length pieces have been included wherever possible, which is an economy in the cost of material.
For the poultry-man interested in increased winter egg yield, this building should prove an excellent investment. There is money in winter eggs, and if early spring laying is to be expected, comfortable quarters must be provided now. You can’t get eggs from a flock that is improperly cared for.