Coop Design - Metal shed remodel. Help please!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Pharmerchick, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. Pharmerchick

    Pharmerchick New Egg

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    Jan 22, 2014
    Waxahachie, Texas
    Hi y'all, I was wondering if I could get some help with my coop design, I have some logistical questions. I have done some reading on here but there are a LOT of pages and I can't get through them all! Feel free to point me to relevant threads as you feel necessary. I have looked at a couple threads on metal shed coops but I didn't find my specific information there.

    Here goes:

    1) the shed is elevated about 4-6 inches. Should I seal up that space with something? With what?

    2) we have to replace the floor, or at least part of it, the plywood is rotted in places. My plan is to do the deep litter method. What would be the best way to keep in the litter? Also, the plywood floor doesn't meet flush with the walls (they are that kind of metal that goes in and out at intervals so there may be gaps) what would be the best way to seal that or make it otherwise rodent proof?

    3) does it really matter what configuration the doors/windows/roosts/nest boxes are in?

    4) when you put in windows/doors, how do you keep them from being drafty when closed in winter?

    I'm sure I have more but these are most pressing on me at the moment.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. alaskanchickens

    alaskanchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So! Yes on 1! I would use some type of Hardware cloth or 1/2" or smaller square wire which can usually be found right with chicken wire. Dig a trench around the coop and bury 4 inches or so to deter predators from digging under. I have a couple holes in the floor of mine, I have put hardware cloth on the inside, stapling it really well to the floor and if you can reach it, underneath also! It also helps keep the litter in. As far as doors and windows: we don't have windows because it would just let too much cold in in the winter, you could put something over it, like a chunk of Styrofoam if they can't reach to peck at it or a heavy wool blanket. No, theres really no special way it needs to be set up! Just make sure your nest boxes are elevated some and the roosts long enough for your birds so they're not smashed together which causes pecking.
     
  3. alaskanchickens

    alaskanchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are the walls made out of corrugated tin? If so, all I can think for that is if you could get more and attach it to the wall a few inches up then bend it at the floor and attach to the floor with roofing screws or something.....I would definitely close it up just in case your barrier around the bottom got broke into by something
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    A metal shed in Texas will be an oven!!

    There are a lot of pages, and a lot of chatter, to wade thru... but advanced search helps narrow it down.

    advanced search>titles only> open air coop

    advanced search>titles only> metal shed
     
  5. Pharmerchick

    Pharmerchick New Egg

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    Jan 22, 2014
    Waxahachie, Texas
    Alaskanchickens, that's a good idea about the holes...thanks! I'm going to have to have lots of ventilation because as aart said, it will be an oven otherwise!

    We live on a hill so have a near constant breeze which is nice but it still might get too hot inside. Maybe I'll try first with just windows and if it doesn't work out well replace the walls with wood.

    I'll try to post up some pics of the shed and some of my ideas here in the next day or so.
     
  6. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop is a salvaged 4x8 metal shed here are a few tips and a quick look at my set up.
    Walls are insulated with Styrofoam and covered with plywood.
    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 17 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.

    This year I was forced to use pine shavings (no wood pellets available)

    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) a "MUST HAVE" in my opinion. 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!.

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    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  7. SlipsWife

    SlipsWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are in Texas (Odessa) and are using a metal shed, 8x12, that was on our property when we bought it and our girls did fine last summer. We have a large number of pecan trees so there's shade over the coop and it helps a lot. The temps inside the shed are cooler than outside (but warmer during the winter, it works out great!). We don't have roosts built in the coop yet but do in the run, 10x30 w/a shade screen on top of the 10x10 section that connects to the coop. Our chickens roost outside during the summer and when it's super cold, go in during the winter. We have boxes set up for nesting inside but they all lay behind the boxes (they aren't raised). We do have a number of items for them to roost on inside but nothing is more than 2 feet off of the ground. There's a large section cut out on the side of the shed, probably 3x5. We use a board to cover it during the winter, with a small cut-out for them to go in and out, and just move it during the summer out of the way.

    I had sooooo many grand plans for our coop when we started. We were going to have a chicken mini-mansion. Pinterest (and this site!) are like an addiction and I let myself feel like I was having to 'keep up' with what everyone else was doing. Get this, the chickens don't care! They don't know that other chickens have chandeliers in their coops (it's on my wish list, they will find out eventually). I was over thinking it. Things that I thought would work perfectly for us, didn't and vice versa. The shed is not exactly pretty but it's structurally sound and is probably bigger than what I would replace it with and it was here. It would take a number of years for egg production to even get close to making up for a $1500 coop (with daily care factored in too) so I had to be reasonable about it.

    I do plan on:
    *painting the shed/coop
    *replacing the door (oh, we use a blanket that's been tacked up during the winter to stop drafts)
    *building a perch
    *building poop boards
    *adding a cute little 'fresh eggs' sign above the door
    *adding a chandelier
    *a permanent section to attach a light for warmth
    *permanent feeder
    the list is close to endless....

    Best part, we've been using it 'as is' with minor adjustments for almost a year and it's been fine! We only have 8 girls right now, 6 big girls and 2 bantams so I plan to at least double them this year. Now, depending on predators, you might have to do a few extra things. We had an issue with feral cats and hawks (and our own dogs that we no longer have...) when they were smaller and free ranging but luckily since they've gotten to big for the cats to want to tango with and we've stopped free ranging them (I do NOT miss poop on my back porch and outdoor furniture and now we don't have yet another project of screening in the porch...) our losses have calmed down. I know that hawks could still be an issue since part of the run isn't covered on top but I think it's not worth the risk for the hawk to get trapped so we haven't seen him/her/them in awhile.
     
  8. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I concur with aart. -way too hot in Texas for a metal shed unless it is open-air (two/three sided).
    I think this scenario works well because the birds stay outdoors in the breeze during the summer (roosting outside, too). -even with windows for ventilation and shade, a metal coop in the Texas summer heat will be way too hot for chickens to be housed in (even if just for roosting).
     
  9. SlipsWife

    SlipsWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2013
    Odessa, Texas
    I think our shade trees are what probably play the biggest role in keeping the shed temps down. Plus it's not raised off of the ground, I didn't think of the fact that the OP said hers is, this may or may not be a factor. I'm going to try and remember to use our digital thermometer that saves/records low/high temps this summer to get exact idea of what the temps are in the coop (a suggestion I saw on another post for wintering chickens). I swear the temp. difference, with the one side open, no windows (another wish list item...lol) is 20* cooler than the outside. There is some type of insulation on the inside walls but not the ceiling. That being said, our yard is a lot cooler thanks to the shade. There's one section that doesn't get shade that we would never move the shed to. A breeze might not be enough if the building is baking in the sun. The digital thermometer we bought was extremely inexpensive and might be worth trying. We picked ours up at walmart in the kitchen goods section, same aisle as measuring cups/digital scales/spatulas.

    We weren't going to use the metal shed, thinking of it more of a hot box. My husband has an off the ground, 12x24 building out back also (right next to the metal shed, has same amount of shade) that seems to get significantly hotter than the metal shed.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Could be that the fact that it is on the ground could keep it cooler @SlipsWife
     

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