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Need help turning my garden shed into a coop - Page 2

post #11 of 34

Now I understand. I thought you were going to allow the chickens out of the run.


If you want to keep the chickens in the run, I would suggest just covering it with a netting or something. This will prevent the chickens from getting out of the run and predators from easily getting into the run.


It will be a very nice coop and run.


Have you decided on how many hens you will get? Do you plan to get a rooster and hatch chicks?


Do you want a variety of breeds to have a lot of color? Or do you want them for eggs and meat?

post #12 of 34

In the pictures it looks like there is some inside sheeting on the walls. If so I would suggest you put a cap piece in between each stud or finish the sheeting all the way up. IMO a hen could fall into the wall cavity and that would not be good at all.


I am rather envious of your shed. I think you will have a wonderful coop when you get it all done.


Life is to short to fuss and argue over the small things.
Life is to short to fuss and argue over the small things.
post #13 of 34

  I'm sorta confused. I read the chickens were going to be free ranged 100% on the time. What's the run about?


  But along the line Fred pointed out, I would cut out two windows over the small ones you have now about 3 times the size for ventilation. True you have some but with the size of your new house and most probably the number you'll end up with I don't think what you have is going to do. You will need the ventilation all night to get rid of the ammonia and poop oder. They do leave a pile in the mornings. 


  But oh my do you have a jewel to work with. Just so fortunate. smile.png

post #14 of 34

I did the exact same thing with an older 10x20 shed that was here when we bought the place. I can only tell you what we did and it is working for us. Everything I say is from the prospective of looking at the front doors. 1st you def. need a roof vent, those little gable vents are not nearly enough. Roof vents are very cheap, you just have to cut a hole in the roof and mount them correctly. We had a couple windows and part of a sliding glass door left over from the house remodel to use but you might be surprised how cheap those windows made for trailers are off the shelf at Lowes or HD. 


We screwed shut the left door, put a window on the left just inside and a window on the left towards the back. Nest boxes are under the window near the back on the left and are 25 inches off ground. The back wall has the roosts and pop door below the roosts. On the right near the back (across from nest boxes) we put the one door from the slider that is basically a frame and glass. We mounted it so it looks like a big window that does not open. On the left behind the front door that is screwed shut, we put in a divider wall and use that space as a grow out area for chicks. On the right we put a wall across the width of the building 5 feet in from the door and used an old screen door to get into the coop area. We use that space on the right to keep the food and extra bedding or whatever. Ill try to get a diagram or some pics up. This has worked out well for us. By the time the new chicks arrive the end of this month, we will be at 5 sq./ft. per bird inside and 15 outside in the run. Our coop is not insulated nor does it have inside sheathing. I have never had a problem with cold. Most breeds are plenty cold hardy as long as you have some "year around" ventilation to keep the humidity down. It naturally wants to get humid due to the birds breathing and the poop. Remember that cold=cold BUT cold+moisture=frostbite.

Edited by bairo - 2/5/12 at 6:19am
post #15 of 34

Not been into chickens as long as many others but here is my two cents...

All chickens can fly except Silkies whose feathers won't allow them to get aloft...but that doesn't mean Silkies won't try to keep up with the other sorts of chickens they are raised with. My Silkies were raised with Welsummers and Easter Eggers and have always roosted with them on the highest roost and gone up and down the steep pop hole ramp. If you expect Silkies to "fly over" the low fence to get out into the yard they'll need a couple steps up to the top rail to get over. You'll need to create a ramp or step ladder idea for them inside the coop as well...bottom rail about a foot off the floor, second another foot up, etc.

Many folks prefer their highest roost to be about human chest high for ease of examining their chickens when they are roosting. That is when they are the most calm and easiest to pick up and look over for mites, etc. I've found that very helpful in training my chickens to allow me to examine them!

Consider you will need to clean both the roosts themselves and the area under the roost the most often as that is where the most poop will be deposited. Start a compost pile, barrel or bin and position it close enough to the coop for ease of cleaning. 

Please remember that chicken wire will keep chickens in but isn't strong enough to keep any large or small predator out.

Ventilation and plenty of it is essential for any coop. The ability of fresh air to enter and exit taking the ammonia with it, with out creating a draft of air on the chickens while roosting, needs to be your #1 aim in retro-fitting your shed. Determine where the prevailing winds blow in your yard and vent accordingly. If it were me I'd put a couple of cupolas on the roof peak.

What a blessing your shed is...easy to convert, tons of room (remember chicken math!)...lucky, lucky you and your chickens!!


post #16 of 34

If you have 4 dogs you might end up fencing the chickens in.   I have 8 dogs.  I've only had problems with young puppies getting after the chickens.   .  I keep the  chickens fenced in because a lot of dogs like eating chicken turds.    My chickens stay in a 5 foot high fence. If they get out I catch them with a fish net. They don't like it.  If they keep it up I clip their wings.

post #17 of 34
Originally Posted by MadabtChickens View Post

I want to get RIRs, EEs, Silkies, and maybe Delewares, but it depends on what we can find locally. I won't be having chicks shipped. I have no idea which breeds can fly and which can't. I did not see that information in the breed descriptions when I was doing my research.


Has there been any progress on your project?


Silkies can't fly. The other breeds you listed can fly very short distances to get into a tree or maybe get onto a roof. You can cut wing feathers to prevent them from flying, and many people just clip the feathers on one side because this makes them off balance when they try to fly.


But whether you want chickens to fly or not depends on the setup you have. If you covered the run with netting and kept the chickens in the run, you wouldn't have to cut their feathers because they couldn't fly anywhere. If you let them out of the run you want them to be able to get away from danger.


It's kind of like allowing out of the house a declawed cat that can't climb a tree. It's not a good idea.

post #18 of 34
Thread Starter 

Okay. I had a big huge thing typed up and it disappeared, so I'm paraphrasing now. They are going to be free roam during the day, but we will be covering the top of the fenced in area for when we don't want them free roaming. Will I still need roof vents if I have a window? I will more than likely have the big doors open and a fan running during the summer. My uncle will be coming to run electric to the coop. Can you guys post pictures of the ventilation you have in your coops please? There is some siding on the inside of the coop, but it only goes up to the vertical beam, so there is no chance the chickens will fall down there.


The dogs have their own fenced-in yard and will only be around the chickens when we are. I'm not worried about them eating poo. The only one I let lick me doesn't eat poo and she's had plenty of chances with cows and horses all around us which is why she's the only one that's allowed to lick. 


I don't care about how colorful, or not, the chickens are. I just want pretty eggs and average production. We picked up 4 Delawares and 2 Silkies yesterday. We will pick up 4 EEs and 4 RIRs when we can find them. We do not want any roos, so will be getting rid of whatever turns out to be a male.


I'm sorry if I missed any other questions. I stopped get notifications on this thread for some weird reason and it's kinda hard to catch up. I will read through the replies later and answer anything I missed. Thank you so much for your help so far!

post #19 of 34
Thread Starter 

Also, I'm not worried about predators getting into the run since the hens will be in the coop at night and the coop is very secure.

post #20 of 34
Originally Posted by MadabtChickens View Post

Will I still need roof vents if I have a window?

As long as you have good cross ventilation, you should be alright. Either a window opened on either side or a window on one side and a vent on the other, etc.


If the chicken run is covered with netting or something the chickens will not be able to get out of the run. You shouldn't have to worry about heat in there unless it gets really cold. You may want to have supplemental light to help keep egg-laying productivity up. But the days are getting longer, so you might not have to worry about that this winter, especially if you just have chicks now.


The only things you might have to worry about are hawks when the chickens are free ranging.



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