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Thread: Simplifying designs...

  1. #1
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    Simplifying designs...

    A friend is building a roll out chicken egg collector (roll out refers to the eggs rolling out of the way of the chickens so they can't poke at them, not the collector). The design he picked is the one linked from here:
    http://splinedesignstudios.yolasite.com/portfolio.php

    Looking it over its over engineered for the purpose and I made some basic design changes that I think will substantially reduce the complexity:
    • Replaced the tabs on the sides that hold the shelf from sliding with a chamfered dowels. I explained how to make a simple and repeatable indexing jig to make sure the dowels were all in the same place.
    • skip the "fancy' angled cuts on the same side pieces and just use a 1x2 cut to length and nailed on at a consistent angle.
    • Replaced the half lap joins on the interior connections with nail down battens on the cross pieces and just cut the uprights to fit and slide them in place.


    This reduced the expected build time from ~2 days (he's handy but doesn't have a huge amount of tools and isn't that much of a woodworker) to a 2-3 hours.

    On a related note The Schwartz has been blathering on about stuff from Enzo Mari's 1974 book "Autoprogettazione", pdf here (enzo explicitly released it so that anyone NOT doing commercial work is free to copy/etc.. the book).

    http://www.matthewlangley.com/blog/E...ettazione2.pdf

    While a lot of the designs in that book are not what I would do (and some aren't really even usable) its an interesting perspective. As woodworkers (and engineers formal or not) there is often a tendency to over complicate things and do designs that incorporate elements past the required requirements. Sometimes its fun and useful, other times you just need to get the chicken coop built and some hardware store pine is just the ticket.


    Although I'm making this rant I also did a basic design for how you would make it using only green wood and minimal tooling (think 1700's era work; I figured a axe, one chisel and two drill bits plus a brace would get the job done - a sheath knife would also be useful for whittling pegs), only solid wood and nails (think late 1800's-mid 1900's work) as well as re-designing the current one to be simpler.. so I'm clearly not immune to the problem

  2. #2
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    Interesting. I don't find it all that onerous to open the lid on my coop and pull the eggs out of the pine shavings in the nest box. My girls are bad little girls and like to roost in the nest boxes, even though they have perfectly good perches in the coop.

    But I can't walk inside mine either...
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    Interesting. I don't find it all that onerous to open the lid on my coop and pull the eggs out of the pine shavings in the nest box. My girls are bad little girls and like to roost in the nest boxes, even though they have perfectly good perches in the coop.

    But I can't walk inside mine either...
    He also has somewhere north of 75 chickens and is selling eggs at small commercial scale. The main reason he wants the roll out boxes is to reduce the amount of cleaning required (ignoring all of the clean/don't clean arguments its USDA required so its what it done) because the eggs are removed from the proximate discharge area faster.

  4. #4
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    So no shavings in his nest boxes I reckon.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    So no shavings in his nest boxes I reckon.
    Nope the lack of shavings/bedding in the boxes doesn't appear been a problem yet (in the context of unhappy chickens). The main concern with the roll outs is that the chickens will freak out at the eggs disappearing. The current theory to solve that is some fake eggs with dowel pins on the bottom to trick the chickens into thinking the egg is still here

  6. #6
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    I used the little fake eggs to train mine to use the nest boxes. Theyve got that part down now at least.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  7. #7
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    You learn something every day on this forum. chickens and fake eggs ....wow here i thought they laid eggs naturally at least thats what the ones i had in the army did.

    I am curious Ryan and anyone else in the know for that matter, how far can an egg fall after its just been laid without breaking? Judging by the way i read that roll away design, that is if i am even understanding what i am looking at, the distance between the sloping shelf and the next level is around 4 inches. I presume an egg thats newly laid can survive that fall without damage? or do i have the whole idea of how this design works wrong. For idiots like me would have been handy if the guy had drawn a chicken in the box.

    So Brent i forgot you now had chickens, what sort of numbers of eggs are you collecting from them per day and how many have you got? Any idea of what the economics are like. I am not expecting it to be cheaper than mass farmed chickens, i know you feeding them real food not ground up anything goes type food. but wonder just how the costs work out per dozen of home produced eggs?
    cheers

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    So Brent i forgot you now had chickens, what sort of numbers of eggs are you collecting from them per day and how many have you got? Any idea of what the economics are like. I am not expecting it to be cheaper than mass farmed chickens, i know you feeding them real food not ground up anything goes type food. but wonder just how the costs work out per dozen of home produced eggs?
    Hah! These are my little lady pets. I have to say they just amuse me and make me laugh with their little clucks and noises.

    I do feed them the normal egg layer chicken chow to make sure they have proper nutrition. I also give them some scratch every day (cracked corn and a few other grains) along with some meal worms and whatever kind of overripe fruit we have laying around.

    When the sunlight dropped off, their egg laying dropped to zero. As of right now, I'm getting about 1 egg a day from my 4 ladies. During the summer I'd expect to get 4 a day.

    It's definitely not a money maker. But I never ate enough eggs to make it worth my while to look for a cheaper way of production. They are just kind of a fun pet to have around.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    You learn something every day on this forum. chickens and fake eggs ....wow here i thought they laid eggs naturally at least thats what the ones i had in the army did.
    Well as I'm sure you're aware chickens aren't the sharpest tacks in the box, but they like to lay eggs where there are already eggs (I don't know why actually.. just that they do) so this tricks them into thinking "hey this must be a pretty good place to lay and egg" or something like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    I am curious Ryan and anyone else in the know for that matter, how far can an egg fall after its just been laid without breaking? Judging by the way i read that roll away design, that is if i am even understanding what i am looking at, the distance between the sloping shelf and the next level is around 4 inches. I presume an egg thats newly laid can survive that fall without damage? or do i have the whole idea of how this design works wrong. For idiots like me would have been handy if the guy had drawn a chicken in the box.
    You have it about right. They (should) come out hard so the survivable distance is the same at minute zero and day 10. I'm not sure what the safe distance is but reportedly that should be ok. The distance is actually closer to 2" as there is another ramp that's slid into place between the base of the box and the upper ramp. That way the eggs roll backwards then fall down to the lower ramp then roll forwards where you can flip down the cover and collect them easily.

    At least that's the theory... neither of us have seen one of these things in action.. I was just helping him simplify the build

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    When the sunlight dropped off, their egg laying dropped to zero. As of right now, I'm getting about 1 egg a day from my 4 ladies. During the summer I'd expect to get 4 a day.
    Hens require 14 hours of daylight (equivalent) for optimal egg production:
    https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps029
    At peak capacity they lay an egg on average every ~27 hours (or just over 6 a week).

    I do wonder if anyone has studied whether allowing them to go (essentially) dormant over the winter for their egg laying has any impact on their summer yield rates. You would think that it would lessen the stress on them some and they'd stay closer to year 1 yield during the laying season longer.

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