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Need advice on turning a garage into a chicken coop!!!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

We have a old two car garage that we are not using.   So im turning it into a coop and run.  The building is block walls and a cement floor.  It is about 25 x 25 ft. The run will be 25 ft wide and 75ft long. I am gonna dived the run in half to rotate.   This is going to be for my silkies.  My question is how many birds could i have in here?  I am going to be breeding and i am planing on raising everybody here.   The chicks and breeders will be in rabbit hutches.   would this be big enough for several generations? The colors will run together but i will be planing breeding's and they will be in the hutches.  I can make the run bigger if need be.  The building has two east facing windows and two sliding doors.  I would like to put a doggie door or something in so in the winter the big doors wouldn't have to be open all day. Can you train them to use one?


Thanks!

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post #2 of 22

general rule here seems to be 4 sq. ft. per bird inside and about 10 ft. outside.  Sounds like you could have a hundred or more with this set-up.  I'm jelous.   I am gonna have to build my flock as i can build more coop/run space.   I've started with 12.   Not sure how to train but i've heard about ppl using pet doors but i would be concerned that preditors may sneek in at night.

post #3 of 22

Should be enough room for a couple hundred birds.  Just in the coop you have over 600 sq ft. I don't know about teaching the chickens to use a dog door. I almost think it would be too much for them to push the flap. We have one for our dogs and our cats have to jump pretty hard against it to get it to flap open.

You could cut a door into the block wall with a concrete saw. Just frame the space back in with 2x6 afterwards to replace the support you removed from the wall.

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post #4 of 22

You could fit a *lot* of chickens in there, at the stocking rates most people use wink

I would be real careful with it being a block building on slab, though. Some times of year, especially late winter and spring, you are likely to have significant problems iwth it getting really really humid and clammy and condensation-y in there unless you have VERY VERY LARGE amounts of ventilation or shut the thing up completely altogether. Reason being, the slab and block walls 'hold cold' and when warm humid air meets cold building interior the moisture condenses out and makes it kinda nasty.

So make sure you have more than enough -- MORE THAN more than enough! -- ventilation.

Good luck, have fun,

Pat

post #5 of 22

What a coop that will make!

I totally agree with Pat...make sure you have very good ventilation. And a deep thick layer of litter/shavings on the floor.


Edited by Lee - 2/14/09 at 9:53am
post #6 of 22

Yup! vents and fans will help--
such a GREAT thing to have to use! The cement floors will make for EASY cleaning!!!  I used my office-- unfortunately, only 1 small door-- and had to tarp all the floors... but so easy to set-up!

The Rule of thumb for space in both the books I've got here is that for full sized birds it is 2.5 square feet per bird indoors, and 4ft per bird outdoors--- and half that for bantams.

Our coop: http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=132936

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post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

WOW!!! I was hoping for like 20 birds.  That's just awesome.  We are going to replace the windows with new ones so that i can open and let the breeze in.   I did not know about the ventilation problems.  When it's nice i'll keep one door open but during the winter that won't be possible.  If i made a chicken door i would have it predator secure.  I'll open it for them and lock it at night.   I was going to use sand.  Would that make a difference with humidity at all?  Also since i will have silkies would sand be good with the feathered legs?

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post #8 of 22

I use sand on the drop boards under my roosts. Then I just clean the poop with a kitty litter scoop every morning. I use the all purpose sand I get at Lowes.

post #9 of 22

I want pictures to drowl over!

Pat is correct!!!
I have block shed it holds moisture & you get high humidity
(so add ventilation any were you can)

Joanne

Breeding:  Partridge Brahmas, Blue Jersey Giants, Bantam Golden Laced Cochins & Royal Palm Turkeys
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Breeding:  Partridge Brahmas, Blue Jersey Giants, Bantam Golden Laced Cochins & Royal Palm Turkeys
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post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninny 

I did not know about the ventilation problems.  When it's nice i'll keep one door open but during the winter that won't be possible.


You're gonna need at *least* having both sliding doors and both windows open, at some times. Unless maybe you live in a bone-dry desert. YOu won't need it *all* the time, if you stick to just 20 birds, but some parts of the year I pretty much guarantee you you'll have serious humidity problems.

Is there *somewhere* you could stick in an extra vent or two? Is this, I'm going to guess, a 50s style hip-roofed garage i.e. there are no gable ends, the roof is four triangles that all go up to sort of a point on top? Would you consider peeling back some shingles and putting a couple of attic vents up on the roof? That would help some. You could still have flaps inside to shut them off when it's bad cold, if you only have a small number of birds in there.

If you could put plywood or old panelling or something like that on the inside of the cinderblock walls, as much as possible, that would at least reduce the problem. That's a lot of area to cover though.

Otherwise I suppose just try to keep the number of birds down (I'd say 'use droppings boards, removing the poo every morning', but do silkies even roost?) and plan to manage/tolerate humidity problems. You may be able to make it work ok.

Good luck, have fun,

Pat

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