Can a shelter be too big? Building a new coop (first timers!)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by grullablue, Apr 20, 2008.

  1. grullablue

    grullablue Chillin' With My Peeps

    323
    2
    141
    Feb 27, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I've been gone all weekend, and came home to my hubby surprising me by having started construction of a little barn for our young chickens! We currently have 15 mixed light breed chicks, but will probably be letting go of the 6 (assuming) roosters. He has the floor and sidewalls built for an 8 foot by 12 foot chicken barn. It will have two little chicken doors on one wall (out to a run) and one wall will have a walk door for me. It will be insulated (we're in WI where winters get cold!) But I'm wondering....size wise, perhaps maybe might I have room to put a wall in for a small storage space in there for feed, etc? Do problems ever arise with shelter being too big? Or is this perfect? It's looking GREAT, and I'm pretty excited! No pics yet....but I'll get some! He is a builder by trade....so he'll do a wonderful job I'm sure!

    Angie
     
  2. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Never too big. You can always add more chickens!!
     
  3. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    14,107
    24
    311
    Mar 25, 2008
    Virginia
    It sounds like the perfect size! If you will be letting six go, then you will have a little more room for a few more. [​IMG] In my opinion, you can never have to much room!!!
     
  4. Cara

    Cara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2007
    NM
    The larger the space, the harder it is for the birds to keep warm with no additional heat (like with a dog house).
     
  5. grullablue

    grullablue Chillin' With My Peeps

    323
    2
    141
    Feb 27, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Thanks for the replies!
    Cara, I guess that's why I posed the question...that was my concern.... however, I'm not sure how realistic it is, we are considering including some sort of heating element. Just enough to keep water from freezing in the wintertime especially. A heat lamp or something even, I don't know, I haven't done enough research in that area yet. I have been wanting to research solar options out there. Something to keep the temperature above freezing at least, but not too warm. I, of course, also will be spending lots of time researching on her roosts, nest boxes, etc...and how you all prefer to store your feed, bed the floors of your coops, etc. This is all brand new to us, and something we'll be learning as we go along! I just went out and took pics of the progress. He just started it this morning.... so he's made some good progress! (if I remember how to post pics!)

    Angie
    http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb236/grullablue/20april08045.jpg
    http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb236/grullablue/20april08043.jpg
     
  6. grullablue

    grullablue Chillin' With My Peeps

    323
    2
    141
    Feb 27, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    103
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Don't worry about wintertime too-largeness. It is really not hard at all to knock togeterh a temporary wall, *if need be*, that will section off a smaller portion for them to be kept in during the coldest weather, so they have a smaller area to keep warm. I don't know why people get so paranoid about this -- making things smaller is EASY, it's waving a magic wand to make things *bigger* that's tough [​IMG]

    I would personally suggest working as hard as possible to avoid having to use a heat lamp, including letting the temperature drop below freezing which will NOT harm your chickens as long as the air is dry (well ventilated coop). Heat lamps are fire hazards, period, don't use one unless you have no alternative. It is tremendously easy to buy or make a heated waterer base that will keep your water happily liquid all winter, honest.

    And yes, if you have the extra space, sectioning off a little storage area would be a real quality of life thing for you, I highly recommend it if feasible [​IMG]

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  8. Stumpy

    Stumpy Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,948
    35
    201
    Apr 15, 2008
    It looks great!! Keep those pics coming [​IMG]
     
  9. grullablue

    grullablue Chillin' With My Peeps

    323
    2
    141
    Feb 27, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Thanks for all the replies! I'm really excited to see it all coming together! It's got the trusses on it for now....but now it will probably sit for awhile....while we've got the work week. But we've got time!

    Angie
     
  10. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Like Patandchickens said, it's easy to build a temp. wall in for warmth. Just keep that in mind when setting up your nest boxes and roosts. Around here it is all enablers and you will find yourself wondering just how many you can fit in there before crowding becomes an issue!

    I would recommend a heater base for the water, either homemade (many directions on here) or a bought one. I only used a heat souce when it was going to get down into the single digits in the coop. Not only the electric bill and fire hazard but, it makes the birds hardier and therefore healthier. If you use a heat souce all the time and the power goes out they aren't going to be prepared for the cold and problems will arise. Vent good so you don't have moisture buildup and they will be fine.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by