Barn Coop - Questions - with Pics

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mlorne, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. mlorne

    mlorne Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2010
    Well, after many months of labouring at a reduced capacity (due to an operation in June), the coop has finally taken shape. It is currently housing 7 10-week old Frey's Dual-Purpose hens, and 5 22-week old Red Sex Link laying hens. It is in the bottom of a large (former) cattle barn:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mlorne/4651686094/" title="IMG_6541.jpg by mlorne, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4052/4651686094_9d01147131_b.jpg" width="1024" height="683" alt="IMG_6541.jpg" /></a>

    This is the outdoor run, carefully predator proofed as much as possible:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mlorne/4651064177/" title="IMG_6530.jpg by mlorne, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4016/4651064177_7776ea1331.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="IMG_6530.jpg" /></a>

    And the inside. I have subsequently added a roost, an auto-watering system and a pop door for outdoor access:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mlorne/4651067743/" title="IMG_6540.jpg by mlorne, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4062/4651067743_9bdd01b9de_b.jpg" width="1024" height="683" alt="IMG_6540.jpg" /></a>

    So, now that you have the background, here is my question. I have been wondering if the outside run is too small. The ground is concrete, and over top of that I have been keeping some straw. I throw weeds and greens and such into the run, but I'm wondering about letting them out into the barn inside. The inside is a real mess of manure, old hay, some straw, and lots of nooks and crannies. The hens have been laying in the same spot of the communal nesting box for about two weeks now.

    Am I just asking for headaches by letting them out into the barn? They can't get outside, but there are plenty of places to hide inside if they wanted to. Also, from a health perspective, is scratching through 3-5 year old manure going to pose a problem? For sure there are tons of bugs and things for them to eat, but does anyone know the health implications of chickens and old cow manure?

    Thanks for the help everyone!

    Michael
     
  2. Hollywood Chickens

    Hollywood Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Florida
    I would first make sure that it is sealed and they can't get out, otherwise the manure is really fertile dirt at this point.
     
  3. PureFluff

    PureFluff Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 10, 2010
    Otis, ORE
    [​IMG]
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    BBCode Tags, not HTML.

    I'm not an expert but I'd try it and see how it works. Manure that old can't be a huge deal, can it? Is there any way to powerwash/clean around a bit first, maybe just letting them out into a sectioned off area, and you can supervise them for the first few trials?

    I'm sure the birds will get into some trouble, but it's probably worth a try.
     
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Wow, that huge space for only 12 chickens? That's great.

    I'd be tempted to steam clean the whole place, give the chickens one stall and then donate the rest of the space to needy families, so they could get back on the feet financially.

    Patch the walls and floors, put in a communal kitchen and several baths, get used furniture and you would have a great place for the needy to stay while they get their lives back on track. You could deduct it from your taxes if you get certified as a charity, and it would make a real difference for so many families.

    What a fabulous way to help others! [​IMG]
     
  5. helloroe

    helloroe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 16, 2009
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    That is a gorgeous old barn to work with. I would have the thing filled way too fast. That chicken math is hard to get around.
     
  6. crazy chook

    crazy chook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2010
    Langwarrin, Victoria
    Wow! What a fantastic barn. I so want one!

    I would let them out into the barn, let them eat all the grubs they find. I don't think manure would be that harmful after 3-5 years.

    BUT if it were me I would make their outside run bigger and add some dirt for them to scratch about in.

    hope i am some help.
    Cheers

    [​IMG]
     
  7. nonseq

    nonseq Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 16, 2009
    Central Ohio
    Quote:[​IMG]
     
  8. mlorne

    mlorne Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2010
    Quote:Unfortunately there is a kernal of truth in your joke...sort of. Just south of my house is one of Ontario's largest vegetable growing areas. Every summer, there are hundreds of Latin American workers here tending to the vegetable fields. Last year, just down the road from me, the Ontario Provincial Police busted a large human smuggling ring. Dozens of people were charged with unlawful confinement, kidnapping and a host of other charges.

    So joke as we may, to borrow from a famous Canadian poem "Strange things are down under the Midnight Sun by the men who moil for gold". You never know what lurks in the dark corners of quaint rural life, n'est pas?
     
  9. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Actually it was not intended as100% tongue in cheek. We have a lot of migrant workers here too, and they will do most anything to have a place to live besides their cars.
     
  10. agnes_day

    agnes_day Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2008
    oklahoma
    you could offer free lodging to those migrants working the fields!

    [​IMG]
     

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