Coop made of OSB?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pmcatnip, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. pmcatnip

    pmcatnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 23, 2012
    I'm designing a new 8x8 coop and don't want to break the bank. Plywood is $40 a sheet and OSB is only $10 a sheet...$360 difference when I count up the walls, floor, and roof. My wallet would much prefer to use OSB but I wonder how well it would hold up long term. It rains here most of the time (Willamette Valley, Oregon). What kind of success or failure have you guys had with OSB in outdoor uses? How long could I reasonably expect it to last once painted?
  2. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2013
    Never used it but I would look into texture 111, looks nice and holds up better than osb and holds a good coat of paint, if it's to much money consider making one a little smaller to offset the price.
  3. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
  4. Jakoda

    Jakoda Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2012
    Old Lyme CT
    I've heard the OSB can hold moisture..For my rebuild I went with T-1-11 , it was around 32.00 a sheet (4 x 8) at Lowes..My flooring is plywood however , I covered it with interlocking panels, kind of like horse stall mats..It's held up really well, easy to clean, cushiony on the feet, doesnt hold moisture..THe panels I got at BJ's wholesale, 8 / 2x2 panels were around 17.00
  5. res

    res Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wouldn't use OSB in an outdoor "exposed to the elements" project, even if it is painted. It just is not made to stand up to that amount of moisture. The OSB may be cheaper to purchase, but the more expensive plywood is going to last 10x as long. Same with T-111, it will last way longer than OSB.

    Whatever material you end up choosing, if it is wood, it will last a lot longer if you paint or stain it to repel water.
  6. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    OSB is NOT meant to be used for exteriors
    I also think your $40 per sheet for plywood is high, and you could find some for less with some shopping around.
    I've purchased TREATED plywood for less than that.

    Siding is a far better choice for walls, and a metal roof would be better in your climate, doing away with the need for any sort of paneled roofing material at all
  7. yogifink

    yogifink Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2013
    Pinebluff, nc
    My Coop
    OSB is made for application that does not come into direct contact with an outdoor environment. If you plan to use it on the walls, it will need to be wrapped with tyvek and siding will need to be hung. It is okay, but not recommended, to be used on the roof; for a coop I think you would be fine depending in your choice of roofing material. Absolutely do not use it on the deck. From the sounds of it, you are plaining to build large enough to walk in, and OSB is not rated for decking (floor) use. 3/4" think plywood minimum on the floor if you plan to be walking in the coop, any less and the floor will bow when you stand on it.

    If your trying to keep costs down, and your bent on using new material, metal roofing material can be used on the walls and the roof without using any kind of OSB/plywood under it. <-- This is how modern pole barns are built.

    Or, if your willing to scrap around a little bit, old lumber is usually pretty easy to find when you start looking for it. You could probably find enough decking boards for the wall/roof and floor in one trip to an old farm.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  8. pmcatnip

    pmcatnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 23, 2012
    Thanks for the input everyone. I'll look into the siding. It sounds like the best option for weather resistance and price. Yes I am planning a walk in style coop.

    I'm open to used material but it's hard to find any worth getting. I've looked at the used materials at the Habitat ReStore but the pieces are too small to be much use, and on Craigslist but it's usually a random pile and they want you to buy the whole pile. I got some used 4' pieces of 2x4 for the features inside the coop but that was the most usable material I've found so far. And I work for my local city and deal with the local contractors a fair bit; I know they do not have extra material sitting around to give away. My area is very slow to recover from the recession and everyone's still tightening their belts.

    Here's a sketch of the preliminary coop layout (subject to change). If you see something that is a grossly bad idea please be nice, this is my first time doing something like this. [​IMG] It's a perspective shot like what you'd see walking in. Ventilation isn't shown on here because I didn't show the roof pitch but I am planning ventilation on those little triangles you get on the side walls from the roof pitch.

    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  9. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada

    This method might be something you could explore. It stands up well and can be accomplished with pallets or rough sawed boards.
    If cost is a factor it may be the answer. Depending on your design.


    Here is a look at my set up.

    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!

    I have been around the sun 63 times.

    It is not my first "Rodeo!"

    Nobody "I know" heats a chicken coop.

    Healthy "cold hearty" chickens die from heat not cold.

    I live in Canada last year was subject to -40º (C or F take your pick) no light or heat in coop NO PROBLEMS. You have to feed heavier during cold snaps with extra corn I find.

    Chickens have been raised on this continent for over a hundred years without heat.

    If you feel you must supply heat to your chickens I suggest keeping your chickens in the house that way you can huddle with your birds when the hydro goes out.

    Chickens will die from cold if not given the chance to acclimatize. Hydro is more apt to go out in an ice storm or blizzard when subject to below 0º temperatures in my opinion.

    How would you supply heat then to your un-acclimatized birds ???

    Diary of last winter cold snap check out the link:

    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.

    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.

    April looks after that however..

    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 15 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.

    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. I recently friction fit a piece of vinyl flooring over my poop makes clean up even easier; Pop out; Scrap; Hose; Pop in.

    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.

    Easy peasy!.

    Chicken coop is salvaged 4x8 metal shed.




    I house an assortment of birds in this baby barn (¼ inch veneer plywood between birds and elements) no heat no light no problems.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  10. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    I agree with the others on the OSB, skip it. You do not want, to even attempt using it for a chicken coop floor. After a while, moisture will get to it, and you may find yourself going through the floor one day. Use a sheet of 3/4" marine plywood for the floor, covered by a coat of rubberized roof coat, and that floor will outlive you. For siding, I used a product from HomeDepot called SmartSide. Its a composite siding that has a 50yr guarantee on it. I've had it on my coop for almost 4yrs, and it has performed as advertised through all kinds of weather extremes. It's cheaper than T-111, a bit more than OSB, but it is good stuff. Check the link.

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