Coop half way there! Need some advice.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chicks44, May 11, 2009.

  1. chicks44

    chicks44 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 17, 2009
    I apologize if this has already been posted by someone else, but I have some questions and knew this was the place to go! [​IMG] Sorry so long!

    My wonderful husband is working hard on our 8X8 playhouse coop. We are so excited to join this unique community!

    1) Right now there are two ventilation holes inside the coop. Will this be enough for summer air quality? I live outside of Boston in the burbs, and it can get pretty humid here in the summer.

    2) There are 2 framed plexiglass "windows". Will this pose a problem in terms of keeping it warm in the winters which can be cold? We are only planning on having 7 chickens.

    3) I really don't want to bother with electricity, is a light really necessary?

    4) Currently the run is surrounded by 1" poultry netting and there is a metal roof as well. We definitely have critters in our area, should we in addition to laying the wire one foot inside the run lay it outside around the perimiter? I also was thinking we could double up the wire at least half way up and around to make the holes smaller. If I make this investment, I want them all to be safe and happy! [​IMG]
  2. lunkerchicken

    lunkerchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Howdy neighbor! I am from the Cape and I am working on my coop as well. I have two large vents in the front and back of the coop and think this will be enough. As of right now and probably through the summer, the space between the tops of my walls and the roof are open too - I will put some type of wire up there and in the winter probably block it off as it will be too drafty.
    I have 8 chicks right now, 4 Buff Orps and 4 RIR's, only a week old and will get the out there in 4 - 6 weeks. I have one large (tempered glass window) that I think should be ok even in the winter. The window will allow the afternoon sun to come in and I think that will be a bonus. I have insulated the entire coop - walls, door, nesting boxes etc... I think with the chickens it is the drafts that are worse than the actual cold. They can take the cold but add a draft through the coop and it could spell trouble. The fine line that you walk is it can't be drafty, yet you must provide adequate ventilation for the girls or else they could develop respiratory issues! There is some great info on this subject on the site - just takes a little looking around.
    I am running electric out to the coop just in case I need to heat it in the real nasty winters (which we rarely get down here). In a pinch, would you be able to run an extension cord to the coop to provide some heat in a rough stretch?
    Funny you mention the run, I just started mine today. My coop is raised so they will have some space under as well and I started putting up chicken wire today. I have the wire extend below grade about 10-12 inches and then I added a ton of rocks to the base of the trench before covering it with dirt. I think I should be all set. My biggest concern with predators will be at night and they will be in the coop at that time and nothing is getting in there - it's like Fort Knox!
    I included a photo for you to take a look at some of the things I have referred to. It is from last week so there have been some updates since then but you will get the idea.
    Post some pics of your progress when you get a chance and by the way
    [​IMG] from Cape Cod, MA!!!




    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. chicks44

    chicks44 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 17, 2009
    Thanks so much for your reply!

    Small world! I love your coop, looks great. I will post some when I figure out how! The coop design we purchased did not call for any insulation. The gentleman who designed it said his chickens lived in minus 15 winters in Wisconsin. So, you are probably right about the cold vs. drafts. What do you insulate the walls with anyway? Regular insulaton? What is the main source of drafts? Is it too much ventilation? I am concerned about the conditions for them in the extreme cold and also the high humidity. We could also run electricity to the coop, but would you do that strictly for heat, or would that also be for a light source? How would you safely heat in anyway? Getting the right temperature and all? Sorry to ask so many questions, but I am really just starting this! THANKS so much!! [​IMG]
  4. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    Welcome to BYC, you are not bothering anyone, that's what the fourm is all about, to ask and answer questions.

    I think you need a little more ventilation, especially if it is real hot and sticky, chickens need a lot of air, and if you really want to know more about this subject please read the page of (Patandthechicken) she is a member of byc and you can find her page in the search section, she has everything detailed and explained.

    electric in coop is not real important.

    your poultery net is unfortunately is not really racoon or opossoms or foxes proof so if you want your chickens to be real safe you need some welded wires, like 1"x1" and some hardware clocth.

    Please post some pictures for us of your coop and chickens

  5. chicks44

    chicks44 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 17, 2009

    The hardware cloth seems to be really expensive. Can you just overlap the 1" poultry netting so the holes are small and it will be double the width, will that keep the coons out? I am perified of all these creatures. Raccoons scare me to death!
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Omran is correct. The chicken wire will not stop a raccoon, dog, fox, or many other predators. They will rip it to shreds. The hardware cloth is expensive but it will stop the predators if fastened firmly. Yu can also use 1" x 2" welded wire which is less expensive. It is best with welded wire to also put the chicken wire around the bottom two or three feet of the run to keep the chickens form sticking their head out where a raccoon can get hold of them.

    Here's the link to Pat's Ventilation Page Omran mentioned.
  7. lunkerchicken

    lunkerchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi Chicks44,
    I insulated with both regular batt insulation as well as some foam board. The walls and door are batting and the nesting box has the foam board because I used smaller lumber.
    I haven't decided on heat yet. I don't know whether it is going to be my trusty 250 watt heat lamp hanging from the rafters or there are some special coop heaters out there.
    I too am using chicken wire and on the bottom 3rd, and plan to double it out. Although I have the usual predators in my area, I am hoping by keeping the girls locked up at night that the run will provide plenty of daytime protection. I think the biggest daytime threat would be the neighborhood dogs but my back yard is fairly protected from anything coming in. Time will tell I guess.
    I would have loved ot have gotten the hardware cloth but way to expensive for me!!!
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Two layers of chcikenwire simply makes the raccoon or dog have to rip twice to get through, no particular inconvenience to them.

    You could consider heavy gauge 2x4 welded wire with hardwarecloth or 1/2" chickenwire (NOT normal 1" chickenwire) along the bottom 2-3' to prevent reach-through.

    It sounds like you probably do need (considerably?) more ventilation... there is no way to predict exactly how much you will actually need but if you aim for somewhere between 1 sq ft of opening per 10 sq ft of floorspace (as a bare minimum) and 1 sq ft of opening per chicken, you will probably have enough for most contingencies (exception: super hot climates, where more is needed).

    Drafts are when you have cold air blowing at the chicikens. This doesn't necessarily relate to whether you have enough or 'excessive' ventilation so much as it relates to WHERE your ventilation is located. More discussion on my ventilation page, link below.

    Electricity is not necessary as such; however in the Boston area remember you will have to bring fresh (thawed) water out to them once or twice a day if you don't have access to an electrically-powered waterer base or heated waterer. This is not necessarily a problem, I'm just pointing out the need to anticipate it [​IMG]

    Have fun,

  9. chickens3

    chickens3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    Eau Claire, Michigan
    that will work just fine the way you have it bulit just make sure that the latter is not to high some chickens will not use the latter if it is to high.[​IMG]

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