Converting a lean-to to a coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Tappy4me, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. Tappy4me

    Tappy4me Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2013
    Virginia
    Hey all!

    My father in law gave us permission to convert a lean to portion of the storage building in the back yard to a coop. (We are living in their old house until we find a place of our own.) This would save us some funds, and we could continue to save up to build the pallet coop exactly how we want it later at a more permanent location. :)

    Here are some basic pictures of what it looks like. Please pardon the mess...all but the wood pellets are my father in laws. [​IMG]

    We were thinking we could get some of that foam board insulation, and cut to size for the walls, then put beadboard overtop of that, (or plywood, whichever would be cheaper) so the chickens wouldn't be able to eat it. (Seems they love Styrofoam?) We'd have to tack up chickenwire or hardware cloth over the front and back areas at the top to keep predators out. Would those areas be enough for ventilation? Or should we put a window on one side that can be covered in cold weather?
    I was thinking the nest box could maybe go to the right of the entrance, with the way the 2x4s are sitting already, would seem easy to attach them there with outside access.

    The whole building has electricity running to it, so we can easily run a wire for a light and an outlet to use for a heater and such.

    Feasible idea? or no? If so, recommendations are welcome!!

    Again, please pardon the mess. It's all my father in laws, who keeps a lot of clutter around. [​IMG]

    Full building shot: (far left is the spot we are allowed to convert over to a coop)
    [​IMG]

    side shot:
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    Front:
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    Inside:
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    Entrance right: (where I was thinking we could put the nest box access)
    [​IMG]

    Entrance left:
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    [​IMG]
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    It doesn't need heat or insulation. Chickens have a rough time tolerating heat and can even die above 100F, but cold in your state is not a problem. The only caution is, be sure your coop has ample ventilation, up high, so that the warmer, humid air that they give off will exit. It's the humidity that creates the threat of frostbite, not so much the temp, even below freezing.

    If that area across the top of the wall with the opening is open to the air as it appears, that should provide sufficient ventialtion, especially since it's the high spot of the roof. If you feel you have to predator proof the area, I would definitely use hardware cloth, nothing solid. You could actually cover the open wall with hardware cloth as well. I would cut a couple of holes in the side and cover them with hardware cloth as well. You may have enough roof overhang that they won't need a shutter in foul weather if that side is opposite of where your weather comes from.

    Electricity is handy so you can turn a light on for working with them at night, or for a brooder lamp to raise chicks, or for a timer if you decide to add daylight hours for egg production, or maybe a heated dog waterer to prevent their water from freezing. But the adults won't need heat.

    there are always a number of threads on here in the fall about whether to add heat, and the Alaskans love to reply that they don't heat their coops. This very good article was written some ears ago by a Canadian:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/winter-coop-temperatures
     
  3. Tappy4me

    Tappy4me Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2013
    Virginia
    Thank you for the reply!

    We've had an extremely cold winter this year... many days below 20* for consecutive days, even weeks at a time. So we'd much rather prepare the coop for the worst, so that even the adults in really cold weather will be OK.

    Both the top and the back of the lean-to is open to air at the top.

    We have a ton of raccoons, foxes, possums and bobcat here, so would like to do what we can to keep losses to a minimum. We'll be installing a door on the front of the lean-to.

    The light will be extremely helpful haha. And the outlet would be so we could hook up a heat lamp or something only if needed during the coldest nights, or if we have some younger chickens out there...but mostly for if we need to hook up a heated water dish or the like. (Just want to be prepared!) We'd like to keep the coop staying above 40* in the winter, to keep any year round egg layers happy-which is why we were thinking insulation was needed. Good to know if it's not though!! We can bypass that for now then and just shore up the existing walls where they are warping a bit. :)

    What would be the best place to stick the nest boxes and the roosts? We're looking to have about 10 chickens, give or take...I think we have ample space. The building is about a 10x20 or so. Would have to confirm measurements, but it's quite spacious.

    Thanks for that link! Was extremely helpful!
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  4. Tappy4me

    Tappy4me Chillin' With My Peeps

    347
    26
    108
    Apr 1, 2013
    Virginia
    [​IMG]
    Got the door and wall up saturday thanks to my father in law. He installed lights too. Just have to finish clearing iut the inside so we can predator proof and it'll be done!
     
    1 person likes this.

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