Construction questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by McSpin, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. McSpin

    McSpin Songster

    Jun 1, 2007
    South Western NY
    After reading a lot about coop design, I'm still left with plenty of questions. I'm hoping that some of you experienced chicken keepers can help me out.

    First, I noticed the frequent advise on adequate ventilation. This is never accompanied by any detailed explanations. I live in a cold climate. The more you ventilate in the winter, the colder the coop will be. Also, if well ventilated, what good is it to insulate the walls? If I greatly reduce ventilation in the winter, then ammonia fumes and humidity will build up in the coop. Are there any guidelines for the number of square inches of ventilation per bird, or per square foot of coop, in winter?

    How durable is a plywood floor? I don't want something that prematurely deteriorates while the rest of the coop is in good shape. Is some type of vinyl flooring recommended or is a good durable paint (sealer) adequate?

    I see lots of 8' tall coops. I'm guessing they are made this high for the ease of human entry. It seems I'm always reading about nest boxes and roosts being placed at a low level. Isn't the high ceiling height making those more difficult to keep warm in the winter? I plan on keeping only 6-8 hens, and it would seem far easier to keep it warm in the winter, if the ceiling height was with a couple feet of the roosts. Are there other reasons why a high ceiling is desirable?
  2. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Hi McSpin-
    A few other members here who live in cold climates and keep small numbers of hens have lower henhouses. That's what we intend to do. We're thinking about 4 x 5 feet x 5-6 feet tall for 5 hens in Maine. Stick-built with insulated walls (need to cover the inside with paneling so they dont peck the insulation). Vinyl flooring on the floor. I am planning on using two small round soffit-type vents. There will be three opening windows for summertime. I am hoping this will work well.

    Hope this helps
  3. ThunderStruck

    ThunderStruck Songster

    May 18, 2007
    Sterling, Ohio
    this is what i did with mine. Its 4x6x 5ft tall w/ a sloped roof. when i built my coop i incorporated hinged flaps that are about 6in x anywhere from 12 to about 24 in long. They are around the top roof line on 3 of the 4 sides, i then made them fully adjustable with the use of chains and hooks. make sure to put hardware cloth in the vent openings to keep out the preds. that way i can open and close and adjust as needed to take advantage of my micro climate and the different wind directions. right now i have them open max 24/7 as it got to 104 yesterday!th then in the winter they can be closed up all the way to keep my ladies nice-n-toasty warm and opened as needed....hope this helps.
  4. motherhen

    motherhen In the Brooder

    Mar 25, 2007
    Halifax, NS
    I have a vent space 6ftx3" along the front of my coop and the back is 4ftx3" soffit style. It helps to know how the wind moves on your location. My coop is situated south facing and thats how the wind moves. I also have a sliding front window for summer and shade over that the summer. Right, now when its hot I open the window and at night close the window. It stays nice and warm at night, because it still gets cool at night. The coop is insulated and the shape is a half a hexagon, the longer side facing south. Overall height is 5'6in front and 4'8 in back, what ever the height of a pallet is.
    I hope this helps. Also, when the winters are cold I my friends add extra deep layer of hay to keep it warm so the chickens will sleep in the hay to keep warm. I have 3 right now but 4 more to arrive. The size is approx 8X7, unusual shape.
  5. McSpin

    McSpin Songster

    Jun 1, 2007
    South Western NY
    From reading the responses, I'm guessing that I can make it so there is relatively little ventilation in the winter and the birds will do okay. There is certainly no way to hold heat with any significant ventilation.

    Any comments on the floor material?
  6. fxchick

    fxchick In the Brooder

    Jun 3, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    we live in a warm place but as I am building our new coop I am including a detachable linoleum (well really some sort of vinyl flooring) floor (the regular floor is 1/2" x 1/2" welded wire) so I can have a solid surface for cold times (we get a few weeks to a month or so) and for raising the chicks coming in a few months (in this new coop we are starting with chicks -- no hens yet) -- maybe something like that would work for you
  7. New chicken family

    New chicken family In the Brooder

    May 6, 2007
    Madison WI
  8. Arklady

    Arklady Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Ok this may not be for everyone... but... I have seriously considered doing this in my shed. If it wasn't for the heavy appliances I would have. I just can't move them...

    This looks do able for most people...

  9. Chickending

    Chickending Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    I am in Minnesota and it gets cold here in the winter. We are building our coop right now and for the floor we raised 6" above the dirt floor with treated studs and then put one layer of 1/2 in treated plywood and then a 5/8 layer above that as that is what we had the most of and then layed old linoleum on top of that. That will make the coop easier to clean. We do have insulation in the walls and ceiling. We had to build it with a 10' ceiling as its a pole barn and the window is that height so to incorporate the window in the coop for daylight I had to make them that high. Do you think that will hurt them to keep them warm in the winter? I have a heat lamp I will be using to help them stay warm in the winter on those really cold days here. I intend to have about 15 hens for eggs in the coop.
  10. McSpin

    McSpin Songster

    Jun 1, 2007
    South Western NY
    Quote:Thanks for the link. That is a great technique that it explains. I can see myself putting it not only on the floor, but part way up the walls.

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