We used to heat our home and water with a Hardy boiler furnace. This is essentially a giant outdoor wood burning stove surrounded by a tank of water and it kept our house and water toasty in cold weather. We usually fired it up the first of November and kept it burning until the first of April. Keeping it burning meant stuffing it with firewood twice a day. When the weather was cold, I’d burn a full-sized truckload of wood every week. I can’t tell you how happy I was to finally get a heat pump. And the money I saved burning firewood all those years? It MIGHT pay for the surgery I am going to need one day to replace the saddle joints in my thumbs where I wore the cartilage out picking up large sticks of firewood. Anyhow, I built a large shed over the stove to keep the wood supply dry (and me when it was raining). This shed is 16′ x 20′ and we are thinking of repurposing it for our poultry operations. It has electricity and water, and it is located conveniently close to the house. In the picture below, you can see it on the left side and slightly behind our house.
Below are a couple of pics of the inside, looking up at the ceiling. I think I will take the old metal roofing off and put down boards all the way across the tops of the rafters, from the ridge down to the bottom. I’ll cover the top of the boards with tar paper, then add slats to screw the new metal roof onto, and I’ll put foam insulation between the slats. This will insulate the roof and keep it from sweating and it will also let me keep the inside ceiling area open (which will just look nicer). All of the interior beams and boards will be painted white and all of the metal brackets will be painted a glossy black.
I want to build a covered patio off the back of this building and add a door leading out onto the patio. This will be the area we will use when we process our own broilers. This will be where we have the kill cones, the scalder, the plucker, a table for gutting the birds, a hose to wash them, a vat of cold water with vinegar to soak them for about 10 minutes, and a vat of ice water to cool them down before taking them inside to part up and package. Inside the main building, we will have several freezers and refrigerators. We’ll probably start out with two freezers (for broilers) and one refrigerator (for eggs). This building will be air-conditioned too. There will be a stainless steel table for cutting the birds, a sink for washing them, and an electric burner to boil water so that we can heat-shrink the poultry bags onto the birds before putting them into the freezers. Off the side of the main building, I’d like to have a small storage room. This will be where we keep the poultry transport cages, the scalder, the plucker, tables, hoses and any other outdoor processing equipment. Below is the layout of how I envision this.
I plan to put black metal roofing on the top of the building and board and batten siding on the sides. I will paint the siding white and paint a picture of our logo in black on the long side facing the drive coming up to the house.
I’d also like to paint this on the gable over the door.
And have an old farm lamp hanging over it to illuminate the sign (and the entrance) at night time.
Here’s what the white board and batten siding will look like. Actually, the front of this building is very much what I envision the front of my poultry building to look like, except where there is a window in the gable of this particular building, mine would have the fresh egg sign and the farm lamp would be mounted higher, over the sign.
This project is not on the list for this year, but definitely on the to-do-list next spring. Once we complete this project, our poultry operations (layers, broilers, stew hens) should be in full swing.
[Business is never so healthy as when, like a chicken, it must do a certain amount of scratching around for what it gets. ~Henry Ford]