New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Newbie Advice

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello all, I'm a newbie to the chicken scene. Not new to the farming or livestock, just chickens. Grew up on my grandparents cattle farm, where we raised several hundred head. I've been around chickens plenty throughout my life, I've just never had the responsibility of caring for them. Our cattle farm is no longer actively operating, and I have interest in converting one our barns, used to store square bales, into a chicken coop. I'd like to start small initially, and I'm looking for some advice as to whether or not this barn is feasible for a coop. I will try to upload some pictures of the barn when I get a chance. The barn itself is rather large, rough guesstimate in size would be 200' long by about 60' wide and the ceiling roughly 30' at the peak. Our old catch pen is attached to the barn, and I thought it would make a great day area for the chickens, after the appropriate modifications. My question is, what is the appropriate amount of space I should use in the barn(initially), for say 10 chickens and 1 rooster. My next question is, is my barn acceptable; the barn is open on both ends. Now I know the designated area will need to be fenced off appropriately to prevent predation, but is it ok for the coop to be ventilated like this(I live in North MS, so our winters tend to be mild)?

post #2 of 6

Welcome to BYC -- ventilation is NEVER bad, especially given your location, as chickens are much more equipped for dealing with cold than they are heat.  Given the mild nature of your winters I think you are starting out with a wonderful base structure for your venture.  If you find you encounter too much draft you can always wall in part of the interior if needed. 

As for size - build as big as you can - rather than looking at minimum space (a generally accepted rule of thumb is 4 square feet inside and 10 square feet outside, per bird, not including space occupied by feed/water stations, etc - but, again, that is a minimum and more is always better) - this is especially true if you think there is the potential for expanding the flock down the road as it is much easier, and cheaper, to build once.    *I* would build for twice the number of birds you plan to start with at a minimum - this allows plenty of space for the birds you do start with and allows for easy addition to the flock. 

Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
Reply
Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
Reply
post #3 of 6
Wow, I wish I have a barn like that.

Whether it is right for the chickens, really depends on your goal and how many chicken will you keep.

If just a hobby, I would build a small coop and run and use the barn for a man cave.

Besides, chickens ought to be out in the sun and field during the day.
Edited by ECBW - 5/9/16 at 8:08am
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 


Yea there's a very large open catch pen adjacent to the barn that I plan on making their run/"free range" area.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 


There are several bays in the barn. I intend to section off each bay into individual coops, as it grows. Each bay would likely be capable of comfortably housing several dozen chickens. I was mainly looking for some feedback regarding the open ends of the barn. Several large coops I have seen were all enclosed, and I didn't know if this was for specific reasons or not.

post #6 of 6

Coops are enclosed for two reasons. First is for a shelter, wind shield and roof. Second is for predator protection. Night is the worst time for predators. Excepting if you lived in town then it's neighbors dogs in the day. When you build a door or put a roof on the stalls to contain the birds to it you'll want the holes of the wire to be smaller than 1". Weasels can fit through 1 inch easy, 3/4 likely. The barn is your shelter and all you'll need in that regard. The rest is up to you how much you are willing to risk of predation and money your willing to spend. Once your talking about hardware cloth for large areas it may be cheaper to use wood. Without a picture it's hard to know how your stalls are configured- height of side walls. Weasels may not be a concern of yours so larger wire can be used. I like 2x4 14 gauge welded wire fencing. I'd like a 2x2 opening but that's not readily available to me. Don't use chicken wire, any predator can chew through it from skunk to raccoon to fox. If the bard has no floor think of digging predation. 

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

Reply

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav: