Converting an old shed to a hen house

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by RapidRunFarm, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. RapidRunFarm

    RapidRunFarm New Egg

    Feb 24, 2009
    Hi ya'll - new here and my first chicks arrive on Friday. I'm all set with the brooder, though I think they will outgrow it pretty quickly. My question is this - I live in Central FL and the building that I am converting to a henhouse has an area that has a solid wall to the north, this is also an interior wall that has stalls on the other side. The other two outside walls, facing east and south are slatted. The fourth wall I will have to build, it opens into an interior area also that is a10' wide area that is slatted also. Being in Central FL, how enclosed does the coop area need to be? I was planning on lining the interior with chicken wire and also bending the wire to the inside (dirt floor) then covering the floor with heavy rubber mats. Do I need to make the walls solid?
    Also - I ordered 25 chicks, the inside area is 9'6" x 11 and they will have access to at least a 20' x 12" exterior covered pen. Is that sufficient space?
    TIA for the advice!
  2. mmtillman

    mmtillman Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] I am a newbie will will let the seasoned people in the chickenhood answer your questions.

    But, welcome! [​IMG] I know you are gonna love it here. [​IMG]
  3. hensdeliverthegoods

    hensdeliverthegoods Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 18, 2007
    Catawba County, NC
    The most important thing in constructing your coop is making sure it's well-ventilated. It's also vital to keep it as predator-proof as possible. Even if you live in the suburbs, stray dogs and cats will snatch up young chickens. So keep these things in mind as you retrofit the shed.

    Will you be having an outside run for them?
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Your main issue is to prevent the chickens from drowning or blowing away in t'storms or hurricanes [​IMG] Seriously - I'd make sure they have somewhere they can get out of the winds. Other than that, though, maximum ventilation is best. Slatted wall fine (as long as there is wire inside), or just strong wire mesh. Just make sure it's all REALLY strongly built so it stays put when weather comes through.

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. Catalina

    Catalina Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2007
    10' x 11' + 20' x 12' = 350 square feet giving your birds 14 square feet per bird.
    4.4' inside the coop
    [​IMG] That should be fine!
  6. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    I'd say that's PLENTY of room for your chickies both inside and out! I'm not sure how many burrowing vermin you have in your area... but it sounds like they 'might' be able to get in. Raccoons would rather climb in than burrow, but possums (opossums, yes I know how to spell it correctly, just choose not to sometimes!) will burrow in and they can do lots harm, but I'd say you have a good start!

    What FUN!! and OH YEAH!!! Happy to meet you! Glad you're here!! [​IMG] Hope you enjoy our company!! [​IMG] WELCOME to BYC!!!
  7. brkuk

    brkuk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2009
    Howell, Mi
  8. RapidRunFarm

    RapidRunFarm New Egg

    Feb 24, 2009
    Thanks for all the info! I was mainly concerned about the draftiness. I'm reading alot about keeping chickens out of the drafts - but at what temp? About 1 months of the year I would say that heat is more a factor than cold and I can hang heat lamps as needed. In grown birds is it still a big issue if say the temp is down in the 20s, heat lamps are hanging and the north side of the building is solid?
    I think that I have the vermin problem tackled, the slats only have a 1" gap and it will also be lined with wire. We also have 2 yard dogs so that mostly keeps them away anyway, more concerned with finding a snake in the same small area that I am in so I am also trying to cover that too.

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