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coop questions new to chickens

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
We have a 12x12- 3 sided barn we use for goats a few years ago we just don't know how to go about changing it for them.Can we just leave the one side open with wire to close them in and build a smaller coop inside of that to keep them warm? I was thinking a 4'wide x 12'long about 1'-2' off the ground and up to the ceiling (about 3'-4' tall) we will put wire at the top 6"-10" for ventilation. It will house the roosting boards and access to the nesting boxes on the outside of the barn for easy access to the eggs. They will have the whole 12x12 area inside to run in. I plan on using the deep litter method so pine shavings on the whole dirt floor of the 12x12 and inside the smaller coop 4x12.The barn is made of rough lumber and the boards do not touch so will this be to drafty? If so can I just put up plywood to close it off in the smaller coop and leave it open for ventilation everywhere else. Oh the wall in the middle and the lawn mower will be removed lol

post #2 of 6

It depends on how many chickens you have and the weather conditions where you live.


Rule of thumb is 4 sq ft per chicken for coop and 10 sq ft for run.


Coop needs to have lots of ventation, but you don't want want a ton of drafts.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Oh sorry we have 3 isa brown and 3 leghorn pullets. They are just under a week old. And we live in Southwest Virginia
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
How do I know if it is well ventilated or drafty?
post #5 of 6

Well, the slats of your goat pen, without adjustments would be pretty drafty.   Most put ventilation in right under the roof on at least two sides, so their is air flow above where the chickens roost, but not on them.   If you build a coop in the structure you wouldn't probably need to worry about drafts, you would just have to make sure it has ventilation.    


You could do a coop for 6 birds that was like 4 x6 inside it, but that wouldn't account for getting new one's if chicken math hit.   So basically anything that size or bigger would work, and all that covered barn would work as a nice run that they could probably use even in bad weather.  I would just cover that one end with hardware wire if it were me.


If you haven't browsed this site for coop ideas, you should there is all kinds of them that can help give you ideas.  I looked over a lot of  them while building ours and it helped us a lot so that it was easy for us to clean/get eggs and keep the chickens happy.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Yes the open end will have hardware cloth, chicken door, and people door. I am going to sweet talk my husband to add a run to the front so they will be able to roam under a roof or outside. But thay will have to wait need to get this done first lol.
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