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can I use an old metal grain bin as a chicken coop?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone, I'm new to this group and am wondering if I can use an old steel grain bin as a chicken coop.  I live in North Dakota and we are still getting into the 30's at night.  This has been a cold and slow start to spring here this year!  I am thinking it would be easier to keep the chicks warm in the grain bin.  I was thinking of running electricity to it and hang a heat lamp for the times it is on the cool side.  It has a top vent and I was thinking of making a screened door using chicken wire in case it got too warm.
Any input on this idea?
thanks so much,
Terri

Living in North Dakota & I have 1 cat, 1 dog, 19 chickens, mostly Chanteclers, and a couple of other breeds. CHICKENS ARE ADDICTING.

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Living in North Dakota & I have 1 cat, 1 dog, 19 chickens, mostly Chanteclers, and a couple of other breeds. CHICKENS ARE ADDICTING.

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post #2 of 9

Hi Terri

Do you have a photo?  Is it in a barn or exposed outdoors?  Any thoughts on insulation?  Love to see it!cool

Focussing on the black Australorp.  Facebook page under Linda Pattison.

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Focussing on the black Australorp.  Facebook page under Linda Pattison.

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post #3 of 9

Can't speak for your area but in IN, it would have to be well insulated for winters and a lot of ventilation for summer as metal heats up BIG TIME.

post #4 of 9

someone around here made a pavillion out of one. You could do something similar, using the roof and foundation and converting the sides.  We have bins like those and they get awful hot in the summer.

RIR and EE's
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RIR and EE's
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

I do not want to have the chicken through the winter.  The chickens I'm getting are JUMBO CORNISH X ROCK meat birds from McMurray's.  The winters are just too harsh here for me to keep chickens through the winter (-35-to-40*F), and I'm getting too old to be tending chickens in that kind of environment.
The grain bin is the smaller grain bin.
http://thumb17.webshots.net/t/63/63/9/5/65/505790565FcbwYe_th.jpg

I just need to buy myself some time and if it looks like the bin is getting too warm I will have time to build an addition to a shed for them.  I am just needing it to get them to the point they will not need a heat lamp.  I repeat this is a cold and dry spring here in North Dakota and the winds are always blowing so I need a secure building asap.


Edited by terri1nd - 5/4/08 at 9:04pm

Living in North Dakota & I have 1 cat, 1 dog, 19 chickens, mostly Chanteclers, and a couple of other breeds. CHICKENS ARE ADDICTING.

Reply

Living in North Dakota & I have 1 cat, 1 dog, 19 chickens, mostly Chanteclers, and a couple of other breeds. CHICKENS ARE ADDICTING.

Reply
post #6 of 9

It is your call but I would think the grain bin would be too much enclosed and the smell of them would be very hard to get rid of. They have a stench like no other chicken I know of. You will only have them around about 8 - 10 weeks. Make sure there is plenty of ventilation to keep temps cool also the ammonia from their poop builds up super fast so you'll have to keep a check on them. The bedding is hard to keep clean. They poop and eat and poop some more and drink tons of water. Stress will kill them very quickly. If the grain bin builds up heat you will most likely have chickens dropping like flies. I did the jumbos from MM during the fall and found the cool temps made life much easier for them. They need just as much room to run around in and play as other chickens. Don't crowd them or you will have problems.

LF Blue/Black/Splash Orpingtons - Appleyard Ducks - Geese - Bronze Turkeys - Dairy Goats - Fiber Sheep + eleventy hundred more animals
My Etsy Shop
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LF Blue/Black/Splash Orpingtons - Appleyard Ducks - Geese - Bronze Turkeys - Dairy Goats - Fiber Sheep + eleventy hundred more animals
My Etsy Shop
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post #7 of 9

My wife has wanted a small bin like the far right one in your picture for a potting shed.....they are hard to come by around here. Most everyone uses them for storage of some sort. Corn cribs are easy to obtain, but not a bin.

Come and check out my "Old style" henhouse  build project
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=129053
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Come and check out my "Old style" henhouse  build project
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=129053
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post #8 of 9

Perhaps you could use the storage bin as your utility/feed room and build off the end to house birds for the summer?

Focussing on the black Australorp.  Facebook page under Linda Pattison.

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Focussing on the black Australorp.  Facebook page under Linda Pattison.

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post #9 of 9

We've got an old metal grain bin we used to use for seed wheat, but don't anymore and I've wondered if there is some way I could convert it to another coop, but those bins get terribly hot in the summer so you'd have to make some window openings for ventilation or I think they'd probably cook.

I'm a Farmer/Rancher  Wife,Mom & Grandma  No Farms, No food. 
If you want house chickens and ducks in diapers then this is the forum for you.
I've got 50+ years of poultry experience, but this 'poultry' forum isn't for me anymore.
If you're going to complain about farmers, don't do it with a full belly or a mouthful.
Reply
I'm a Farmer/Rancher  Wife,Mom & Grandma  No Farms, No food. 
If you want house chickens and ducks in diapers then this is the forum for you.
I've got 50+ years of poultry experience, but this 'poultry' forum isn't for me anymore.
If you're going to complain about farmers, don't do it with a full belly or a mouthful.
Reply
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