Converting gardening shed into coop, looking for guidance

CoopyLoopy

Hatching
5 Years
Mar 23, 2014
8
0
7
I am new to raising chickens so I am looking for a few pointers and to avoid any mistakes regarding the layout of my coop. I have 13 pullets that are about 5 weeks old and I need to get them into a coop soon. I have a 9' 4" x 7' 4" gardening shed that I have cleaned out, pressure washed and is ready for conversion into a coop. The main door (double door) is on the south side and there is a garage just a few feet from the west side of the shed. The right door opens first and the left can be left locked in place. I have several windows that my Dad has sitting around that I plan to place somewhere and I plan to install a turbine vent on the roof. I have some left over insulation that I will use and then sheet over with plywood. The wood floors and treated decking slats that have about 1/4" gaps. I plan to either caulk them shut of put a plywood floor down over them. I saw the post on "poop boards" and plan to go that route. How many feet of roosting per bird is comfortable? I plan to run the roost(s) from north to south which would give them a little over 9' if I do one or 18' if I build 2 lengths. If I do two I will build the nesting boxes below one and have there feeding area below the other.

I would love to hear any suggestions or advice on getting this right on the first try and not discovering later what I should have done or avoided.

Thanks!!!

 

CoopyLoopy

Hatching
5 Years
Mar 23, 2014
8
0
7
btw...I live in west central Illinois so our summers are hot and humid and winters can vary from almost mild to almost artic like this past winter!
 

Hokum Coco

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 6, 2012
4,241
3,463
467
New Brunswick,Canada
I am new to raising chickens so I am looking for a few pointers and to avoid any mistakes regarding the layout of my coop. I have 13 pullets that are about 5 weeks old and I need to get them into a coop soon. I have a 9' 4" x 7' 4" gardening shed that I have cleaned out, pressure washed and is ready for conversion into a coop. The main door (double door) is on the south side and there is a garage just a few feet from the west side of the shed. The right door opens first and the left can be left locked in place. I have several windows that my Dad has sitting around that I plan to place somewhere and I plan to install a turbine vent on the roof. I have some left over insulation that I will use and then sheet over with plywood. The wood floors and treated decking slats that have about 1/4" gaps. I plan to either caulk them shut of put a plywood floor down over them. I saw the post on "poop boards" and plan to go that route. How many feet of roosting per bird is comfortable? I plan to run the roost(s) from north to south which would give them a little over 9' if I do one or 18' if I build 2 lengths. If I do two I will build the nesting boxes below one and have there feeding area below the other.

I would love to hear any suggestions or advice on getting this right on the first try and not discovering later what I should have done or avoided.

Thanks!!!


Here is my coop it is 4x8 and I have kept as many as 24 birds in it all winter with no problems and no run. My nest boxes are milk crates on a shelf (shelf are 2' apart.

Watering
For along time I used heater tape around a bucket with chicken watering nipples. It worked excellent. However me being me I neglected to change the water as often as I should. This is what it looks like and it thermostatically controlled to come on at just above the freezing temperature. You would have to wrap it to suit your particular application if it is viable for your set up. It is available at Home Depot in Canada.




Last year I switched to white rubber contains the wife found somewhere. The freeze solid every night but the ice just pops out of them in the morning and I replenish them with fresh warm water. They have black ones at the feed store that are similar but large than mine.

The chickens congregate around them like people having their morning coffee. The only draw back is my yard is pepper with small ice bergs the size of the buckets


My Coop is a salvaged 4x8 metal shed here are a few tips and a quick look at my set up.
My floor are planks with a layer of tin for rodent proofing. On top of the tin I have a piece of vinyl flooring cut one foot longer than the length and width of my coop (roughly). Six inches squares are cut out of the 4 corners of the vinyl flooring. This allows the friction fitted flooring to travel up the walls six inches around the perimeter of my 4x8 salvaged metal coop. Shovel out the heavy stuff into a wheel barrow. Pop out the vinyl flooring hose it off pop it back in.
Easy Peasy!

Bedding
I have used all types of litter for coops.

I have not tried sand (sand gets good reviews on this site).

Of all the things I tried to date wood pellets have been the best. (I tried wood pellets as a last resort when pine shavings were not available.) They are super absorbent and swell up and eventually turn to saw dust. The droppings just seem to vanish and turn to dust when it comes in contact with wood pellets .

Replace my litter and clean my coop every October after I harvest my garden.


Works for me in my deep litter method.

I do add to pellets from time to time.

I have anywhere from 10 to 24 birds housed in my 4x8 coop.

Through the winter months the pellets froze harder than concrete with -40º temperatures. The poop froze before it could be absorbed by the pellets and there was like a crusty layer of poop in certain areas where they collectively took aim (no smell, messy feet or flies @ -40º). Come April things started to look after themselves.

Nest boxes
In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new.

POOP BOARDS are the "BEST" addition yet. Handles well over ½ of the poop in my set up keeps ammonia smell in check 3½" below roost excellent for catching eggs laid through the night (roost are in cups for easier removal and cleaning). I recently friction fit a piece of vinyl flooring over my poop board.it makes clean up even easier; Pop out; Scrap; Hose; Pop in.

Winter months even easier flex over compost bin DONE!

Easy peasy!.

.






Edited by Hokum Coco - Today at 5:48 pm
 

jetdog

Songster
6 Years
Jun 18, 2013
1,282
138
148
Massachusetts
Copy paste,the windows are a great idea a couple on either side for nice cross breeze I would be nervous about the roof turbine and snow getting in, cover the floor with plywood and put a kick board in front of the door to keep bedding in, you will love the poop board, I went with 1 ft of roost space per bird.
 

CoopyLoopy

Hatching
5 Years
Mar 23, 2014
8
0
7
Ventilation in the summer is easy enough but what is the best way to ventilate in the winter when temperature and drafts are a concern?
 
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