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Advice and pointers regarding............................

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by invalidsession, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. invalidsession

    invalidsession In the Brooder

    Dec 30, 2008
    ............an existing structure.
    Hi all, i'm new to this site so appologies if this is a dumb question.
    Myself and family have recently moved onto a 60 acre farm in mid MO. There are several old cow sheds one of which has an attached storage area of approx 12' X 6' with a headroom of around 8'.
    It has a hard packed dirt floor, roofed in corrugated iron and sided with an oak beam and board type construction.
    I can easily secure the various gaps in the building to deter predators, and a simple access door to the front should provide adequate means of ingress and egress for egg collection etc.
    Can you see any disadvantages to this type of building ?
    The only pitfall that comes to my mind is the lack of electricity to keep the birds warm in cold weather but as a first timer to raising chickens I would appreciate any and all comments.


  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    You'll want electricity if you can for lighting.

    You'll also want windows for lighting.

    If it's all you've got, I suppose it will do.

  3. rainbowgardens

    rainbowgardens Songster

    Nov 19, 2008
    Central Virginia
    It sounds better than my set up. Just be sure nothing can dig under to get in. Lights may not be necessary if you have windows, unless you want it to keep the birds producing in the winter. I don't know how cold it gets were you live, but you may not need supplimental heat. I'm jealous of your floor space!
  4. bywaterdog

    bywaterdog Songster

    Dec 29, 2008
    You might want to replace 1 or two of the corrugated roof panels with clear Lexan panels. This would greatly help your lighting situation without the expense of running electricity to the shed.
    I too am new to the forum, but have had city chickens for years.
  5. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    I think it sounds awesome!!! I don't have any windows in my coop or electricity but i do run a HD extension cord out to the coop in the winter for a heat lamp and heated water bowl. Their run is a dog kennel wrapped in tarps and clear plastic for winter which lets in quite a bit of light, they also free range during the day.
  6. ginbart

    ginbart Crowing

    Mar 9, 2008
    Bloomsburg, PA
    invalidsession and bywaterdog: You will learn a lot here, I sure do.

  7. UrbanChickenMama

    UrbanChickenMama Songster

    Nov 29, 2008
    Vancouver, WA
    It sounds very nice. I can only second what the other said, you'll want to add light some how. Either naturally by adding a window or two or electricity. Not sure how far from electricity the outbuilding is, but it could be as simple as running an outdoor extension cord to it. That's what I'm doing at the moment. I hope to do something more permanent in the spring.

    Good luck and by the way....


  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    To me the main reason for wanting electricity, bigger than lights (you can always wear a headlamp if you have to work there after dark, and it is probably better for the chickens to let their egg productin fall off naturally in the winter *anyhow* rather than trying to push it with extra lighting) is WATER. Preventing the freezing thereof.

    However you can certainly cope with an unwired coop by just bringing them out a fresh waterer or bucket several times a day. As long as someone will be home to commit to doing this, no problem.

    I'd suggest picking breeds you can be CERTAIN won't have frostbite issues that might require running a bulb for heat on certain days... stick with larger bodied smaller combed types known for cold weather hardiness.

    If you acquire them as chicks, you will need somewhere WITH electricity to brood them til they are maybe 6-8 wks old or so (depending on time of year, etc)... because of dust issues (a whole different world of dust than you could ever imagine) it would be Real Good if you had some other outbuilding hooked up with electricity for the brooding phase, as they will make a horrible dusty mess of your house if kept in a basement or etc.

    If there's no windows, you definitely need to install 'em. Also you may need to construct additional (closeable) ventilation openings. And predatorproofing is not always as easy as it seems, especially where foxes, raccoons and weasels are concerned.

    Overall it sounds to me like a good plan, though... the above mentioned things are not roadblocks, just items to account for [​IMG]

    Have fun,

  9. pawsplus

    pawsplus Songster

    Dec 18, 2008
    Middle TN
    As others have said, electricity is good to have (I just run a HD ex cord from my porch to the coop). But if you can't do that, you can have light when you need it by using one or more of those push-on battery powered lights. I tried to find a pic online and must be googling the wrong words. But you know what I mean - they are round, about 6" in diameter, and you put 4 AA batts in and then push the front for on and again for off. Easy and cheap! I have one in my coop b/c I usually unplug the ex cord when I don't want to use the heat lamp, so this way I don't have to plug it in every time I want to go over and check something. [​IMG]
  10. michelle1017

    michelle1017 Goat Mama

    Aug 21, 2008
    Just wanted to say [​IMG] from a fellow Missourian!

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