Bob & Sara Griffiths-Tranquility Loft
Burgaw, North Carolina
The basic loft is a 40' x 12' building mounted 18" above the
ground on 6" x 6" piers. It was built to county specs and I'm
sure it could handle a Cat IV Hurricane. All wood is pressure treated and
wire is 1/2" hardware cloth.
The loft has four flying sections: a 6' x 8 ' widow hen section, an 8' x
8' young bird section, an 8' x 8' widowhood cock section and a 6'x 8'
celibate hen section. It also has two 6' x 6' separation sections on the
East end and a 6' x 12' feed room on the West end. The front center hall
is four feet wide and opens to all flying sections. All sections can be
isolated from each other and open into the front traps and aviaries, with
a series of sliding and hinged doors. All doors are foweled except those
to the widowhood cock section which are solid.
Expanded metal is used for all floors except the feedroom. Each section
has solid walls between the adjoining sections and wire on the walls
toward the hall and exterior. The flying sections also have solid ceilings
with a closeable 4' x 2' opening in the center.
The breeding lofts and aviaries are mounted on the outside of the basic
building. The breeding pens are 4' x 2' x 6'. The aviary sizes correspond
to the section it supports. All the breeding pens and aviaries have
expanded metal floors and translucent vinyl roofs. There are 12 individual
breeding pens, each with a nesting platform and feed, water and grit
containers. The outside walls of the breeding pens are solid and act as
baffles to keep air flowing without drafts. The breeding pen partitions
and ends are wire. Each pen is accessed through a wire door to the
adjacent section. There are no breeding pens next the widowhood cock loft.
That area is a second aviary for them.
The 4' x 8' landing board is covered by a California Trap that can be
closed for locating youngsters. It has two 4-hole electronic traps which
can be used separately for young birds and old birds.
Water is piped into each aviary and all loft lights are on a timer. The
wire ceilings in the breeder pens allow a single set of lights to cover
all flying and breeding sections. Each breeding pen and aviary also has a
switched electric outlet for water heaters on the few days each winter
that it gets below freezing.
The perimeter under the loft is enclosed and houses 5 chickens to clean up
The baffles free flow of air design for keeping the loft cool works very
well. This has been an extremely hot summer here this year and it is
always pleasantly cool in the loft relative to the outside temperature.
The loft can house 75 young birds, support 24 widowhood cocks and 40
celibate hens. It can also handle 15 pair of breeders.