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Feedback on coop ideas-In garage with opening to outside pen?Tractor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by limabean, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. limabean

    limabean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2008
    Hello folks! I'm new to this, reading lots, and exploding with ideas! I plan to get chicks in May. I think I've figured out a brooder, but I'm still trying to figure out the coop plan. I am very fortunate to have a father-in-law who is both a carpenter and a birder, so I think I will end up with a great coop, but I want to know what I want before I involve him.

    I was settled on the idea of the coop being inside our garage (we don't park a car in there, and it has electricity) with a ramp leading out the existing window to an outside run. But I also really want to be able to move the chickens around the lawn, as with a chicken tractor.
    Is there a good way to combine these ideas? At first I thought the outside pen would be detachable and moveable, but it occured to me that the chickens ought to have free access to their house and not be forced to stay outside when allowed out.

    Also, the garage is insulated, but not heated or anything...does the coop need insulating as well if I do build it inside the garage? I live in Central Ontario - very cold winters, hot humid summers.

    eta: Another somewhat related question - if I let them roam the yard (only when I'm nearby of course), what is the risk of them getting out? I have a 6 foot high fence all around - can they get over that?
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011
  2. limabean

    limabean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2008
    Bump.

    Anyone? Pretty please?
     
  3. morelcabin

    morelcabin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    I think using the garage is a great idea! The coop should be insulated, yes. Not sure exactly where you are but I am close to North Bay Ontario. You are going to have to add ventelation as well...both summer and winter...does the garage have a few windows you can open?
     
  4. limabean

    limabean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2008
    Thanks for you reply morelcabin. I'm in the Kawartha Lakes area.
    Ventilation - The garage has only one window, the one that I plan to use as an opening for the chickens to go outside.
    Does one ventilate just under the roof of the coop, so air flows without being directly drafty on the birds?
     
  5. morelcabin

    morelcabin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    Well, how many birds are you intending and are you planning on just building a pen of sorts in the garage? If you have just a couple of birds, and an airy pen made of chicken wire, the garage itself would provide adequate ventalation for just a ouple of birds. And yes, you have the ventelation figured out...just under the roof.
     
  6. limabean

    limabean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2008
    Well, huh, I just kind of assumed there had to be an actual chicken house like all the pictures I've seen...hadn't occured to me that being in the garage there could just be a pen. But if a coop would need insulation even inside the insulated garage, wouldn't an airy open pen be too cold in the winter?

    I'm planning on 3 hens.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011
  7. morelcabin

    morelcabin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    If the garage is already insulated and draft free really, then a simple pen inside the garage made of chicken wire and 2x2's would do the trick. They don't need heat...poor ventelation is a bigger killer than cold. If you look at all the small birds that fly around all winter you can understand:) Those birds find draft free places to sleep at night. That is all your chickens really need too. A dry draft free shelter. You are pretty much all set up already:) For 3 hens you will have plenty of room to build a pen in your garage. I actually know someone with a set up like that here.
     
  8. allieloveschickens

    allieloveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2010
    San Diego
    I don't think you will need to insulate the coop in the garage- your main concern should be adequate ventilation for the summer, If your garage is anything like mine then it probably can get a bit warm in there. Also chickens are pretty messy, are you sure you want them in your garage? Though it will certainly make accessing the coop in winter easy [​IMG]
    You can always build a separate tractor to put the chickens in outside, but with a six foot fence I think you should be fine as long as you don't have any flighty breeds. What kind of chickens are you planning on? Standard sized hens won't be able to get over, so really you could just let them free range outside and come and go into the coop as they please. Unless you have a dog, or other predator issues that you are concerned about. Can't wait to see you coop! Good luck!
     
  9. limabean

    limabean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2008
    Wow, I am rethinking everything now! Going to be up all night with busy-brain. [​IMG]

    The garage is actually surprisingly cool in summer - I sometimes slip in there to cool off.

    As for mess, the garage is not attached to the house, so there's that.

    Breeds - well, I'm trying to decide based on what the hatchery I'm ordering from. I will post about that in another thread, but for a general idea, I'm looking at Plymouth Rock Barred and Rhode Island Reds.

    I'm not comfortable with the idea of them free-roaming the yard when I'm not out there, but perhaps I am underestimating them? I've heard neighbourhood cats (my own cats are indoors) are not an issue once they are full grown...not sure if I should be concerned about raccoons, predatory birds...?
     
  10. morelcabin

    morelcabin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    So then put a pen inside the garage and a pen outside the garage...all the same really...a box like structure with chicken wire, and on the outside ceiling stretch a piece of that plastic mesh ppl use to keep birds out of thier gardens with. That's all I ever used. Keep it simple:) Oh, and the barred rocks ar wonderful birds...my personal favorate
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011

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