A Couple of Coop building Questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tsmith1499, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. tsmith1499

    tsmith1499 Out Of The Brooder

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    My wife and I are in the process of building an 8'x8' coop for our Silkies. Right now we only have 5 but will be getting more. Probably no more than 10. My questions are these

    1) I live in Md. and am trying to build it right but keep the cost down at least for now. Do I NEED to insulate and finish the inside of the coop or is this more of an option? OR will I need some kind of heat lamp until I DO insulate and finish the inside? I have seen a lot of coops in colder climates NOT insulated and finished, but don't see where they have any auxilliary heating.

    2) Can I use a wooden closet rod as a roost or is a 2x4 better for Silkies?

    3) How high should I place the nesting boxes for the Silkies?

    Sorry for what are probably obvious answers to the more experienced of you, but these are our first. Thanks for the help.
     
  2. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    I don't really know about the insulation thing for your region. I am in Tennessee. Our winters aren't as harsh as yours, but it still gets nippy for a bit. It stayed below freezing for most of last winter. My coops are not insulated at all. All are sided with 1/4" plywood and have lots of ventilation. My chickens all did fine. They fluffed out a lot, but I had no frostbite or loss due to freezing. I put out hot water every morning and lots of scratch to keep them moving. But nothing is insulated out there.

    Silkies are not known for their roosting skills. [​IMG] Some of mine will hop up to a roost. Others prefer to pile up on the floor. It just depends on the bird. The silkies I have that do roost grew up with non-silkies and learned to roost from them. All of my coops have 2x4 roosts turned wide side up. The chickens seem to balance on it better and they can tuck their ties up under them if it is cold out. A closet rod would be too hard for them to hold on to I would think.

    I use milk crates set on the coop floor as nesting box. I fill it with shavings about half full and they love it. It is the perfect height and size for the silkies. That coop also has nest boxes set about 18" off the ground. None of my silkies will use them. [​IMG]

    What color silkies do you have? Silkies are the BEST! [​IMG]
     
  3. frostbite

    frostbite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 27, 2011
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    My guess is that as long as the coop isn't drafty and it stays dry, it won't need heat or insulation, as long as your birds are well feathered. Birds in the wild that stay in one place year round adapt nicely to the cold in the winter. IF the coop is too warm relative to the outside, I would think the birds would be endangered by the severe contrast in temperature.

    I'm putting the finishing touches on my coop now, have never raised chickens before, but will get chicks in the spring. I insulated my coop, but we have long winters with long stretches of super cold weather (up to 50 below zero on occasion, commonly 20 below) and I don't want to overwork my heated waterer. I'm going to put an incandescent light in there on a timer so they get enough light during the dark part of window to keep laying. I'm not sure 3-4 hours of sunlight in December-January will be enough to keep them on task!

    Good luck to us both! And be very careful about taking advice from a newb like me... I'm betting there are experienced hands around here that could confirm or deny. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
  4. tsmith1499

    tsmith1499 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 9, 2011
    Mount Airy, MD.
    We bought what are either 3 Red Silkies or , now as I am finding out, they are possibly Cinnamon Buff or Buff Cinnamon. They definately are not the normal buff color. We also have 2 gray Silkies. My wife like them because we haven't seen any of these colors here where we live. Not that there arent any. We just haven't seen any of these at our local fairs. She also likes them because they are so nice and calm and easy to work with. We are not looking for show birds, just some to have a few eggs and to use a our county fair for educational purposes. Also my wife likes ANYTHING different. Thanks, Tom
     
  5. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Md? Save your money and time. Heat is also not necessary. Water is essential if you have not thought about it.

    I can't seem to build a roost low enough for my silkie. She chooses the threshold.
     
  6. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1) Do I NEED to insulate and finish the inside of the coop or is this more of an option? I would say that insulation is a must!!

    2) will I need some kind of heat lamp until I DO insulate and finish the inside? I would put a heat lamp in the brooder if they are young but be sure they can get away from the heat too

    3) Can I use a wooden closet rod as a roost or is a 2x4 better for Silkies? I prefer closet poles but the opinion on the site vary

    3) How high should I place the nesting boxes for the Silkies? My nesting boxes are on the same level as the brooder floor.
     
  7. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    tsmith, I am in Western PA and my coop is not insulated nor heated. I close up all the windows when the temp drop below 45-50 in the fall, my girls did fine last winter and it was colder than normal for our area. No signs of frostbite and they laid all winter.

    I have 5 wk olds that I am moving to a new coop next week so I will provide them with a heat lamp at night for a few weeks until they get acclimated.
     
  8. VelvettFog

    VelvettFog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Best reply to this thread so far [​IMG]
     
  9. hannakat

    hannakat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Beaver County, PA
    Quote:Best reply to this thread so far [​IMG]

    x2
     
  10. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    The common thought about adding heat to a coop is that is never allows them to acclimate to the cold. With mine, temperature transitions seem to be the hardest. They have handled temps down in the single digits and heat up to 100. The only losses I have had have been when the temps made a drastic overnight change. I lost 4 this summer when the temperatures went from the mid 80s to high 90s with oppressive humidity overnight. They did fine last summer with high 90s when they had a chance to work up to that level. When they can acclimate to the cold, they seem to be fine.

    Insulation is up to you. Make sure you provide some ventilation to keep the moisture and ammonia levels down. If you do insulate you need to make sure your chickens can't get to it to eat it. They will peck at styrofoam for sure. [​IMG]

    Your cinnamon silkies sound lovely! I would love to see pictures. I do buffs here and have eyed the reds somewhat covetously. [​IMG]
     

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