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Publication numberUS3687330 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 29, 1972
Filing dateJan 21, 1971
Priority dateJan 21, 1971
Publication numberUS 3687330 A, US 3687330A, US-A-3687330, US3687330 A, US3687330A
InventorsHerolzer Ralph H
Original AssigneeVanguard Industries
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Chicken coop
US 3687330 A
Abstract
A chicken coop comprising a generally horizontally extending perforated bottom structure molded of a foamed plastic material integral with a four-sided peripheral wall structure, the latter including a plurality of horizontally spaced vertically coextensive elongated elements integrally connected at their lower ends with the periphery of the bottom structure and at their upper ends with a continuous peripheral portion, each of the elongated elements including an inner portion disposed inwardly of the adjacent peripheral portion and presenting a smooth interior peripheral surface which merges smoothly into the peripheral surface of the remaining portion of the elongated element, the inner portion of each elongated element forming the maximum thickness thereof measured in the direction of horizontal extent of the adjacent peripheral portion, the thickness of each elongated element measured in a direction perpendicular to the maximum thickness being at least as great as such maximum thickness, the peripheral portion and the vertically coextensive ends of the elongated elements being adapted to engage within a channel-shaped peripheral portion formed on a separate perforated top structure molded of foamed plastic material and being fixedly interconnected therewith, the top structure having a relatively large access opening therein adapted to be opened and closed by a horizontally sliding perforated door, the coop having upper and lower complementary stacking rings adjacent the periphery of the top and bottom structures.
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United States Patent Herolzer [54] CHICKEN COOP [72] Ralph H. Herolzer, Cincinnati, Ohio [73] Vanguard Industries Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio Filed: Jan. 21, 1971 Appl. No.: 108,551

Inventor:

Assignee:

[52] US. Cl. ..220/41, 119/19, 220/83,

220/97 F Int. Cl. ..A0lk 31/18 Field of Search ..119/19, 17; 217/62; 220/41,

8/1953 Woock ..220/83 X 3/1956 Pugh ..220/97 F l/ 1965 Kesh ..220/41 X Primary ExaminerHugh R. Chamblee AttorneyCushman, Darby & Cushman 57 ABSTRACT A chicken coop comprising a generally horizontally [451 Aug. 29, 1972 foamed plastic material integral with a four-sided peripheral wall structure, the latter including a plurality of horizontally spaced vertically coextensive elongated elements integrally connected at their lower ends with the periphery of the bottom structure and at their upper ends with a continuous peripheral portion, each of the elongated elements including an inner portion disposed inwardly of the adjacent peripheral portion and presenting a smooth interior peripheral surface which merges smoothly into the peripheral surface of the remaining portion of the elongated element, the inner portion of each elongated element forming the maximum thickness thereof measured in the direction of horizontal extent of the adjacent peripheral portion, the thickness of each elongated element measured in a direction perpendicular to the maximum thickness being at least as great as such maximum thickness, the peripheral portion and the vertically coextensive ends of the elongated elements being adapted to engage within a channel-shaped peripheral portion formed on a separate perforated top structure molded of foamed plastic material and being fixedly interconnected therewith, the top structure having a relatively large access opening therein adapted to be opened and closed by a horizontally sliding perforated door, the coop having upper and lower complementary stacking rings adjacent the periphery of the top and bottom structures.

extending perforated bottom structure molded of a 13 Claims, 8 Drawing figures 4 /,Z l- 2 6 v5 PATENTED M1829 I972 SHEET 1 0F 4 INVENTOR Egg ug $204 25/? nv Z fi ATTORNEYS SHEET 3 [IF 4 ATTORNEYS CHICKEN COOP This invention relates to chicken coops, and more particularly to improvements in chicken coops molded of plastic material.

Traditionally, chicken coops have been made of wood, the most common construction including an imperforate floor, four sidewalls constructed of a plurality of parallel vertical dowels having their ends fixed within upper and lower elongated members, and a top structure of similar dowel construction. In recent years, there have been many chicken coop constructions proposed in the patented literature and offered on the market formed of moldable plastic material. In general, these prior art plastic chicken coops have been constructed utilizing conventional thin, perforated ribbed walls in the structural components of the chicken coop. The utilization of this conventional formation, particularly in the side wall structure of the chicken coop, has not proven entirely satisfactory. A perforated and ribbed thin wall construction in the sidewalls of a chicken coop does not provide the chicken coop with both the strength and ventilation necessary. Where the perforations are made large enough to provide adequate ventilation, the strength characteristics are detrimentally affected. And conversely, where sufficient strength is built into the sidewall structure, adequate ventilation has not been provided. From a point of view of the strength provided in prior art plastic chicken coops, one common failure occurs when the chicken coops are loaded in stack formation on a truck. The usual practice is to tie the stack formation onto the truck by straps, or the like. The straps contacting the uppermost coop in the stack frequently resulted in the collapse of the sidewalls.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a molded plastic chicken coop construction having sidewalls formed of integral elongated elements similar to the dowels utilized in wooden chicken coops, the construction affording all of the advantages of strength and adequate ventilation heretofore provided in wooden chicken coops and eliminating the disadvantages that have existed in the chicken coops of plastic material heretofore proposed.

Another object of the present invention is the provision of a chicken coop of the type described having stacking elements formed adjacent the top and bottom peripheries thereof which not only perform the function of stably supporting a plurality of chicken coops in vertically stacked formation, but, in addition, provide added strength to resist the tie-down stresses imposed during transportation, particularly with respect to the uppermost chicken coop of the stack formation, as aforesaid.

Still another object of the present invention is the provision of a chicken coop molded of plastic material presenting relatively smooth inside surfaces devoid of sharp edges, thus minimizing damage to the chickens contained therein while providing essentially non-skid upper and lower surface configurations, thus reducing the hazards to personnel climbing on the chicken coops in the formation of transportation stack loads.

Still another object of the present invention is the provision of a chicken coop construction molded of a foamed plastic material so as to be of minimum weight while at the same time having sufficient strength to provide a durable life under normal operating conditions.

Still another object of the present invention is the provision of a chicken coop molded of plastic material which is simple in construction, effective in operation and economical to manufacture.

These and other objects of the present invention will become more apparent during the course of the following detailed description and appended claims.

The invention may best be understood with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein an illustrative embodiment is shown.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a chicken coop embodying the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the chicken coop shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line 33 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary top plan view showing a corner of the bottom part of the chicken coop;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary bottom plan view, partly broken away, showing a corner of the door and top part of the chicken coop;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 7-7 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 88 of FIG. 2 showing two chicken coops in vertically stacked relation.

Referring now more particularly to the drawings, there is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 thereof a chicken coop, generally indicated at 10, embodying the principles of the present invention. In general, the chicken coop 10 includes a generally horizontally extending bottom structure, generally indicated at 12, which is of generally rectangular configuration in plan, a generally horizontally extending top structure, generally indicated at 14, which is of generally similar rectangular configuration in plan, and a four-sided peripheral wall structure, generally indicated at 16, which extends vertically between the periphery of the bottom structure 12 and the periphery of the top structure 14. In accordance with the principles of the present invention, the chicken coop 10 is molded of plastic material. The plastic material utilized may be of any of the wellknown types, and preferably the material is utilized in a foamed condition. The preferred plastic material is foamed polyethylene. In the preferred embodiment shown, the chicken coop 10 is molded in essentially two parts, the bottom structure 12 being molded integrally with the peripheral wall structure 16 to form one part and the top structure 14 being molded separately. It will be understood, however, that the peripheral wall structure 16 may be molded integrally with the top structure 14 and the bottom structure 12 molded separately.

Referring now ore particularly to FIGS. 3 and 4, the bottom structure 12 includes a perforated floor portion 18, the perforations preferably being in the form of a multiplicity of rectangular openings 20 disposed with their sides at 45 angles with respect to the sides of the bottom structure. As best shown in FIG. 6, the plastic material defining the openings has a generally T-shaped cross-sectional configuration, the upper edges defining the openings being rounded off, as indicated at 22 and the lower edges being sharp as indicated at 23. It will be understood that the openings adjacent the periphery of the floor portion 18 are of generally triangular configuration, thereby forming a continuous imperforated peripheral portion 24 surrounding the perforate floor portion 18. Extending downwardly from the peripheral portion 24 in slightly inwardly spaced relation to the peripheral edge thereof is an integral stacking ring 26 which, as shown, is of rectangular configuration in plan, as well as in cross-section.

The peripheral wall structure 16 includes a plurality of horizontally spaced vertically coextensive elongated elements 28 having their lower ends integrally joined with the peripheral portion 24 of the bottom structure 12. As best shown in FIG. 3, each of the elongated elements 28, with the exception of the corner elements is formed so as to provide inner portions of generally semicircular cross-sectional configuration and outer portions of generally semi-elliptical cross-sectional configuration. The extent of the inner portions measured in the direction of extent of the adjacent peripheral portion 30 constitutes the maximum thickness of the elongated elements, and the thickness in the direction perpendicular thereto is at least as great, and preferably greater, as shown with the major axis of the semi-elliptical portion extending in that direction. The corner elongated elements 28 have a cross-sectional configuration conforming to the crosssectional configuration which would be derived by fusing two elongated elements together at right angles with respect to each other and rounding off the peripheral surfaces of the inner portions to provide a smooth contour.

The upper ends of the elongated elements are in tegrally connected with a continuous upper peripheral portion 30 disposed in generally parallel relation with the peripheral portion 24. As shown, the peripheral portion 30 is of generally rectangular cross-sectional configuration and is integrally connected with the upper ends of the elongated elements 28, with the inner portions of the latter extending inwardly of the peripheral portion 30. The inwardly extending relationship of the inner portions of the elongated elements, at least in the area adjacent their interconnection with the peripheral portion 30, is an essential feature of the present invention in that it provides smooth interior surfaces on the elongated elements while at the same time providing sufficient integral strength.

Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 3 and 5, the top structure 14 includes a peripheral portion 32 of inverted U-shaped or channel configuration in crosssection. The inner wall of the inner flange or leg of the peripheral portion 32 is formed with a plurality of annularly spaced semicircular recesses 34 which are adapted to receive the upper ends of the inner portions of the elongated elements 28 which are coextensive with the peripheral portion 30, when the latter is received within the channel-shaped peripheral portion 32.

In accordance with the principles of the present invention, means is provided for fixedly securing the peripheral portion 30 with the peripheral portion 32. While suitable means may be utilized to effect this rigid securement, in the preferred embodiment shown, the central interior surface of the bight of the peripheral portion 32 is formed with a small annular starter bead 35 which serves to weld or fuse the two parts of the chicken coop together when sonic welded in accordance with conventional practice.

The top structure 14 also includes a perforated top wall or roof portion 36 which is integrally connected with the peripheral portion 32 adjacent the lower end of the inner flange or leg thereof. The roof portion 36 is formed with an access opening 38 of generally rectangular configuration which, as shown, preferably extends substantially across the top structure 14 between two opposed sides thereof in one direction and withon one-half of the extent between the other two opposed sides of the top structure. The access opening 38 is of-a size to permit a plurality of chickens to be loaded therethrough at the same time. Such size is desirable in that it is a conventional practice for chickens to be loaded into chicken coops by an operator holding a number of chickens in each hand.

The remaining area of the roof portion is provided with perforations in the form of openings 40, again of generally rectangular configuration, disposed with their sides at 45 angles with the sides of the top structure 14. As best shown in FIG. 7, the plastic defining the openings 14 is of generally U-shaped configuration, presenting a smooth interior surface and providing relatively sharp edges, indicated at 42, on the exterior. The sharp edges 42 have the functional advantage of providing a nonskid exterior top surface on the chicken coop 10. Such non-skid surface is desirable since, during the normal use of a chicken coop, when a plurality are being mounted in stacked relation on a truck bed or the like, the operator has occasion to step on the upper surfaces of the coops. An antiskid surface is of particular importance where the material from which the chicken coop is constructed is plastic because of its otherwise waxy or slippery nature.

The chicken coop 10 of the present invention, like all conventional constructions, includes means for opening and closing the access opening 38. In the preferred embodiment shown, this means takes the form of a sliding perforated door 44. The perforations of the door are preferably constructed similarly to the openings 40. The door 44 is retained on the top structure 14 for sliding movement between open and closed positions by a pair of horizontal flanges 46 extending inwardly along opposite sides of the top structure 14 from the upper interior surface of the channel-shaped peripheral portion 32. The door is mounted beneath the flanges 46 by manually flexing the same until the associated ends enter therebelow. Any suitable means may be provided for releasably retaining the door 44 in its closed position. In the preferred embodiment shown, the means takes the form of a pair of recesses 47 formed in the sides of the door, and a pair of ribs 48 formed in the top structure 14 at positions to engage within the recesses 47 when the door is disposed in its closed position.

The area of the roof portion 36 extending between the access opening 38 and the adjacent openings 40 is preferably strengthened by an elongated strengthening rib 50 extending across the top structure in depending relation. The top structure 14 also includes an integral stacking ring 52 extending upwardly from the outer peripheral edge of the channel-shaped peripheral portion 32. As best shown in FIG. 8, the stacking ring 52 is complementary with the stacking ring 26, permitting a plurality of like chicken coops to be stably mounted in vertically stacked relation one on top of the other. In this regard, it will be noted that the upwardly facing surface of the upper stacking ring 52 of the lower coop 10 engages the downwardly facing surface of the peripheral portion 24 extending outwardly of the lower stacking ring 26 of the upper coop 10, while the lower surface of the upper stacking ring engages the upper surface of the channel-shaped peripheral portion 32. The outer peripheral surface of the lower ring thus engages within the inner peripheral surface of the upper stacking ring so as to effectively prevent relative horizontal movement between the two coops and thereby provide horizontal stability to the stack formation.

It will be noted that the lower stacking ring 26 serves as a supporting means for the chicken coop whether disposed in a stack formation or on a horizontal surface. The perforated floor portion 18 is consequently free of direct horizontal support and thus has a desirable degree of resiliency which materially aids in handling the chickens. The upper stacking ring 52, in addition to providing a stable stacking function, serves as a strengthening rib tending to prevent collapse of the peripheral wall structure 16 when the coop 10 constitutes the uppermost coop of a vertical stack and receives the tie-down straps or the like for retaining the stack of coops on an open-bed truck or the like. For the reasons set forth above a continuous full periphery stacking ring construction as shown is preferred, although it will be understood that the above advantages can be obtained with parallel elongated stacking elements extending along two opposite sides.

It can thus be seen that there has been provided a chicken coop 10 molded of a foamed plastic material which is light in weight and yet provides both adequate strength and adequate ventilation. When a plurality of coops constructed in accordance with the present invention are disposed in vertically stacked relation, there is adequate ventilation through the peripheral wall construction. While the bottom of the floor portion of the coop can be formed of imperforate construction, the perforated construction shown is preferred since this construction provides for vertical flow of ventilating air through the stack of coops as well as horizontal flow through the peripheral wall structure 16. The coop 10 of the present invention provides smooth interior surfaces, minimizing damage to the chickens, while at the same time being provided with nonskid upper and lower surfaces through the provision of the sharp edges 23 and 42.

It thus will be seen that the objects of this invention have been fully and effectively accomplished. It will be realized, however, that the foregoing preferred specific embodiment has been shown and described for the purpose of illustrating the functional and structural principles of this invention and is subject to change without departure from such principles. Therefore, this invention includes all modifications encompassed within the spirit and scope of the following claims.

lclaim:

l. A chicken coop comprising a generally horizontally extending bottom structure of generally rectangular shape in plan, a generally horizontally extending top structure of similar rectangular shape in plan, a foursided peripheral wall structure extending vertically between the periphery of said bottom structure and the periphery of said top structure, said peripheral wall structure being molded integrally with one of said horizontally extending structures of a plastic material, the other of said horizontally extending structures being separately molded of a plastic material, said peripheral wall structure including a plurality of horizontally spaced vertically coextensive elongated elements integrally connected at one of their ends with the periphery of said one horizontally extending structure and a continuous peripheral portion integrally connected at the opposite ends of said elongated elements, each of said elongated elements including an inner portion disposed inwardly of the adjacent peripheral portion and presenting a smooth interior peripheral surface which merges smoothly into the peripheral surface of the remaining portion of said elongated element, the inner portion of each elongated element forming the maximum thickness thereof measured in the direction of horizontal extent of the adjacent peripheral portion, the thickness of each elongated element measured in a direction perpendicular to said maximum thickness being at least as great as said maximum thickness; said other horizontally extending structure having a peripheral portion constructed to cooperatively interengage with said first mentioned peripheral portion, means for fixedly securing said peripheral portions in cooperative interengagement, said top structure having a portion disposed inwardly of said peripheral portion formed with an access opening therein of a size to permit the passage of a plurality of chickens therethrough, the remaining portion of said top structure inwardly of said peripheral portion being of perforate configuration, perforate door means mounted for movement into opening and closing relation to said access opening, and upper and lower stacking elements adjacent the periphery of said top and bottom structures respectively operable when a plurality of like chicken coops are disposed in vertically stacked relation to interengage with the lower and upper stacking elements respectively of chicken coops disposed thereabove and therebelow in the stack formation.

2. A chicken coop as defined in claim 1 wherein the inner portion of each elongated element is of generally semi-circular cross-sectional configuration and the remaining portion of each elongated element is of generally semi-elliptical cross-sectional configuration having its major axis extending in a direction perpendicular to the extent of said maximum thickness.

3. A chicken coop as defined in claim 1 wherein the inner portions of said elongated elements are vertically coextensive with the peripheral portions of said peripheral wall structure, the peripheral portion of said other horizontally extending structure being of generally channel construction receiving the peripheral portion of said peripheral wall structure therein, the interior surface of the interior channel leg having a series of annularly spaced recesses formed therein receiving the inner portions of said elongated element coextensive with the peripheral portion of said peripheral wall structure.

4. A chicken coop as defined in claim 3 wherein said means for fixedly securing said peripheral portions in cooperative interengagement comprises an annular bead fused therebetween by sonic welding or the like.

5. A chicken coop as defined in claim 1 wherein said upper and lower stacking elements include an upper continuous stacking ring extending upwardly from said top structure along the peripheral edge thereof and a lower continuous stacking ring extending downwardly from said bottom structure in slightly inwardly spaced relation to the peripheral edge thereof.

6. A chicken coop as defined in claim 1 wherein the portion of said bottom structure extending inwardly of said peripheral wall structure is perforated.

7. A chicken coop as defined in claim 6 wherein the plastic material defining the perforations in said bottom structure portion includes rounded interior edges and sharp exterior edges.

8. A chicken coop as defined in claim 7 wherein the plastic material defining the perforations in the remaining portion of said top structure and in the perforation in said door means includes rounded interior edges and sharp exterior edges.

9. A chicken coop as defined in claim 1 wherein said peripheral wall structure is molded integrally with said bottom structure.

10. A chicken coop as defined in claim 1 wherein said access opening is of generally rectangular configuration extending substantially between two opposite sides of said top structure in one direction and within one half of the extent between the other two opposite sides of said top structure.

11. A chicken coop as defined in claim 10 including a horizontally inwardly extending flange extending along each of said first mentioned two opposite top structure sides, said door means being slidably mounted between said horizontally inwardly extending flanges.

12. A chicken coop as defined in claim 1 wherein said plastic material is foamed.

13. A chicken coop as defined in claim 1 wherein said plastic material is foamed polyethylene.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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US3164428 *Jul 22, 1963Jan 5, 1965Kesh Mary NStorage receptacle for wet articles
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3771495 *Jan 10, 1972Nov 13, 1973Dow Chemical CoPoultry cage floor and poultry cage
US3796188 *Oct 12, 1972Mar 12, 1974Bradstreet SReusable sanitary pet lavatory
US3815550 *Sep 5, 1972Jun 11, 1974Becker Mfg Co IncFloor assembly for animal enclosures
US3930467 *Mar 18, 1974Jan 6, 1976Norwesco, Inc.Poultry Coop
US3965865 *Jun 5, 1975Jun 29, 1976Peter KundikoffPoultry carrier incorporating disposable feed trays
US4343261 *Nov 12, 1980Aug 10, 1982Thomas William RAnimal caging system
US4597503 *Dec 18, 1984Jul 1, 1986Scepter Manufacturing Co. Ltd.Unitary molded citrus crate
US4624382 *Feb 10, 1984Nov 25, 1986Sergio TontarelliMulti-purpose container which may be reduced in height
US7510233 *Oct 26, 2007Mar 31, 2009Wastequip Manufacturing CompanyMethod of transporting poultry
US7798559 *Feb 20, 2009Sep 21, 2010Wastequip Manufacturing CompanyMethod of transporting poultry
US7810453Jul 26, 2007Oct 12, 2010Raymond CraftPoultry flooring system
US20080054679 *Oct 26, 2007Mar 6, 2008Bowling Jeffrey LMethod of transporting poultry
US20090025646 *Jul 26, 2007Jan 29, 2009Raymond CraftPoultry flooring system
US20090155041 *Feb 20, 2009Jun 18, 2009Wastequip Manufacturing CompanyMethod of transporting poultry
US20110146583 *Dec 21, 2010Jun 23, 2011Larson Erik NModular pet enclosure and kits thereof
EP0108613A1 *Nov 3, 1983May 16, 1984Anglia Autoflow LimitedApparatus for transporting small livestock
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/345.2, 119/437, 220/607, 119/453, 220/23.83, 220/676, 220/380, 206/525
International ClassificationA01K31/00
Cooperative ClassificationA01K31/002
European ClassificationA01K31/00D
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 23, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: BUCKHORN MATERIAL HANDLING GROUP INC., AN OH CORP.
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:NESTIER CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004235/0116
Effective date: 19830630
Apr 15, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: MIDLAND-ROSS CORPORATION
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:VANGUARD-MIDLAND-ROSS INC.;REEL/FRAME:004048/0042
Effective date: 19741231
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:VANGUARD-MIDLAND-ROSS INC.;REEL/FRAME:004048/0042
Owner name: MIDLAND-ROSS CORPORATION, OHIO
Apr 15, 1982AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: MIDLAND-ROSS CORPORATION
Owner name: VANGUARD-MIDLAND-ROSS INC.
Effective date: 19741231
Oct 30, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: MIDLAND-ROSS CORPORATION, 20600 CHAGRIN BLVD. CLEV
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:NESTIER CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:003921/0847
Effective date: 19811030
Owner name: NESTIER CORPORATION
Free format text: RELEASED BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:MIDLAND-ROSS CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:003921/0855
Effective date: 19811029