Since we live in Indiana, and the winters here can last half the year, we decided to install insulation. With it, we believe a lot of frozen water founts can be avoided. We also installed stick on vinyl tile on the floor for easy cleaning. ***UPDATE six months later, the tiles were a bad idea, see our lessons learned page***
The building will be sectioned off with a coop side and a storage side. The storage side will have small pop doors installed as well so it can double as a grow up area for young chicks. Large openings in the ceiling provide access to roof and eave ventilation. Inexpensive particle board covers the walls to keep the insulation from being pecked and eaten.
The vent openings are covered with mesh screen attached to a wooden frame. The frame is then screwed on to allow it to be removed easily if we ever need access to the gable area.
The windows all have mesh screening stapled directly to the frames. ***UPDATE We ended up changing this, see our lessons-learned page.***
We had a flat panel door left over from a remodeling project at a previous home. We added a sliding door tract and it now separates the two spaces.
The storage side houses some old kitchen cabinets that were once in the house, then the garage and now the hen house. Leaving the top cabinets setting directly on the counter left us enough space to store bales of bedding material. The cabinets will be great for storing feed, egg cartons, garden tools and such.
We wanted to make sure there was plenty of elbow room for our heavy breed girls. We faced the wide sides of the 2x4's up to give enough room for them to cover their feet with their bodies preventing frostbite. The entire roost can lift up and attach to the ceiling with a chain making it easy to clean under it. The feeders also hang from the ceiling on chains. This helps keep the water cleaner and prevents food from being wasted. The chicken doors get a little launch pad/step to help the girls out. The doors are high to prevent the litter from falling out and will give us plenty of clearance for using the deep litter method. A small partition just in front of the human door will prevent the shavings from falling out as well. It slides right out of it's tract to allow easy coop cleaning.