Monday, January 21, 2008

Drafts and Portability

It is interesting to design something that will be used by animals; completely different from considering human scale alone. Also, it turns out that chickens have some strange habits and preferences which must be considered. For example, to stay warm they create a cushion of air with their feathers, so sleeping in a drafty area can kill them. But, a good chicken coop must also have adequate ventilation.
One of the biggest problems that I have encountered so far is the problem of portability. I want the coop to be big enough to allow the owner to walk inside, yet able to be moved by just two men. It would also be a plus if it could fit into the back of a standard pickup, since the garden may relocate. This has lead me to design a coop that has two distinct pieces that lock together; one for nesting and one for roosting. The larger of these two areas, the roosting area, will have hinged walls that will fold flat for transportation. The roof over the nesting box will lift to allow egg collection from outside the coop. I do have some reservations about including too many hinges, since they wear out and break over time. I suppose that the lifespan of this coop will probably be determined by the movable parts, because the rest of it will be a simple frame with attached panels.

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