Advice for newbie- Questions on Aluminum shed as a coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CA Bean, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. CA Bean

    CA Bean Songster

    Hi everyone! This is my very first post so forgive me in advance if I sound ignorant to the chicken world. ( I am new to it all)
    After doing some searches on Aluminum sheds as coop I didn't find too much. We live in Coastal Central California so it doesn't get too cold nor too hot. ALthough we do have weeks that can be in the 90's in the summer but often it is 65-70ish degrees. The existing metal shed is 1/2 sun and 1/2 in shade under the oaks. So here are my questions:

    Should I use the Aluminum shed (5ft high by 8ft x8 ish)and will I be happy or shall I just try to make a recycled/low cost/craigslist/freecycle coop and be better off? I plan one day to have maybe 30ish chickens and add or make more coops when necessary. I don't plan on having them all at once. Starting with most likely 5-6.[​IMG] We want to be more self sustainable with eggs and meat chickens.

    The run would also be under the oaks. I am wondering if that is not enough sun? Is it too shadey? It will have wind coming through. I could possibly move it to a sunnier area but prefer not to.

    Shall I insulate the inside of the shed? We don't get snow but we do get to be 35ish deg in some of the winter months. I assume I would atleast put plywood or something inside the shed. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

    It has plywood floor right now and it is just maybe 5 inches off the ground-shall I raise it higher? Thenshall I cover it with vinyl although I like the sound of doing the deep litter method.

    Anyone have a pic of Aluminum sheds as coops?
    Thanks so much for any response. I am soo excited about chickens!
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2008
  2. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada

    I wouldn't be concerned about the aluminum shed. You will need to add some ventilation to it to get air circulation and to vent out the heat. from the temps you quoted, your birds should be outside pretty much all year round during the day except for laying the eggs, and will use the coop at night for roosting, and if the weather is really bad. for times like that, you should really add a few, or at least one--window.

    for the floor, definitely cover it with vinyl flooring, even if you choose the deep litter method. Also, most predators will love a raised floor so make sure you predator proof it really well.

    Insulate it? My winters get down to -18 C and my barn is not insulated. My chickens are fine but if it is really cold- we have a heat lamp. I don't think you would need to insulate.

    Good Luck!
  3. pkeeler

    pkeeler Songster

    Jul 20, 2008
    64 sf is a bit confined for 30 chickens. But it is there and usuable and you could put 15-20 chickens in there. Build another coop later for a separate flock.

    I don't see any problem with aluminum. Go in there with a thermometer the next hot day and see what it says. Anything less than 100 would be ok, especially with a shadey run.

    As for the run, the more shade the better. Chickens evolved in the jungle and there is not much sunlight below the canopy. They don't like to be exposed to the open sky for several reasons. [​IMG]

    I would worry more about ventilating the coop than insulating it. I assume this is a solid utility shed. It will need some good sized windows. A good rule of thumb is 1 sf of window for every 5 sf of floor space minimum (if I'm remembering that correctly). You will also want some vents along the top. If you think it might get too hot, paint the coop white.

    The floor sounds fine.
  4. CA Bean

    CA Bean Songster

    Ok thanks for that info about the shed. Yeah I don't plan to get 30 chicks at one time and I read somewhere about possibly even seperating meat birds from laying hens which I am considering that would be part of the 30. I don't actually know if I will ever get that many. I am gonna start with 5 or 6 .

    I am so reassured about the shadey area. For some reason I thought chickens liked full sun- it seems like I always see them the coops in full sun.

    The central coast ( CA) hardley ever gets to be over 100 deg so I guess I won't have too much to worry about on that end.

    As far as ventilation and window, I assume the window is for light and also ventilation? What if I left the sliding doors open during day and just put in one small window or a couple vents??

    I appreciate your responses!
  5. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    sorry, I must have missed how many chickens you wanted to get. pkeeler is right that it would be a little cramped. [​IMG]
  6. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Window is for light, you would need vents either on the roof or at the peaks on the sides, or a whirlybird etc. for ventilation. Yo need those regardless. You don't want drafty, but air circulation is a must. (What if it is raining real bad while it is a hot humid 90 F and yo have to have the door closed.)
  7. CA Bean

    CA Bean Songster

    Quote:Clarified it and edited original post. No, no I don't plan to cram anything into a small area. I was just thinking one day possibly I could have that many but ofcourse we would need to add to the shed or build more coops and have them more free range etc... I am an animal lover not hoarder! lol. I want them to be happy healthy chicks/pets.
  8. CA Bean

    CA Bean Songster

    Ok so lots of ventilation and a window for the shed and maybe put down some vinyl for the floors and build the inside with nesting boxes, feeders, waterer and I maybe on my way to be good to go.
  9. CA Bean

    CA Bean Songster

    So do we want a lot of light or normal under oak tree side lighting in the coop? I think i will have the double sliding doors slightly open most of the day. I have one sunny wall for a window- afternoon sun and the other 2 sides are under oak tree canopy.
    I know they like the nest to be in the darkest part of the coop.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2008
  10. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    You can do a search on nesting boxes and see some inventive ways to make them. remember they share nesting boxes so you don't need lots.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: