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Finishing coop's interior walls and a ton of other coop???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by OrpingtonHopeful, May 18, 2009.

  1. OrpingtonHopeful

    OrpingtonHopeful Songster

    May 17, 2009
    We live in the NC Piedmont- HOT summers, short mild winters compared to those in the Northern climes, but we still get 20 degree days every now and again.

    What should we be doing to be sure we get enough ventilation, especially in summer, and are warm enough for winter?

    What size windows should we use, what kind of insulation, if any, and how do we finish the interior walls (sheet rock (moisture problems), plywood, something else?

    How air tight can/should it be in winter?

    We hope to be the proud family members of 4-6 (probably 4)Orpington pullets soon [​IMG] We are designing a 4X6 coop with an attached run (4X12- plus the 4 ft under the coop itself so 16 ft) Will this be adequate if we end up with 6?

    We don't plan on adding electric- will that be okay?

    I hope to pick up chicks within the next week or two and DH & I will begin coop construction pronto so it's ready when they are ready to move out of the garage. ALL of your ideas/advice/insight will be well received and VERY much APPRECIATED.

    Thank you all!

    Best wishes,

  2. Puck-Puck

    Puck-Puck Songster

    Bear in mind, Sarah, I don't have chickens yet, but I've been asking questions, so I'll repeat what I've learned for practice. [​IMG]

    -winter: so long as there's no draft at chicken level, but at least one square foot per bird of ventilation above them, the chickens will be fine without heat, even at 20 degrees F. But if you have a tin roof, there should be building paper or something under it, so the moisture they excrete doesn't condense on the cold metal and rain back down on them. The building must not be airtight in any season!

    -interior walls: given the damage the average kid will do to gyproc, I shudder to think what pecky chickens will do to it. I'd go with plywood or planking.

    -insulation...I don't know what HOT summers are like, but can you place the coop in the shade of a tree, which will prevent the hottest rays from reaching it in the first place?

    -windows: chickens need a certain amount of daylight, and a certain number of hours of it...don't know how many, but if you're not running electricity, you'll want natural lighting; even for yourself, when you go to clean the coop and check on the ladies, it's nice to be able to see.

    According to the "Official Formula", six birds is a little crowded for the space you quote, but I think you could squeak by with five. They say, four square feet per bird indoors if you also have ten square feet per bird outdoors.

    Hope this helps?
  3. lux_interior

    lux_interior Songster

    Apr 28, 2009
    As for ventilation and windows, there's no such thing as too many! Just make sure they are all high enough so the chickens won't get any drafts in the winter. Also, make sure they are somewhat covered for rain and what not.... My coop windows aren't that fancy, they are just chicken wire with a board covering the outside that can be propped open:


    it can be very airtight in the winter, but will still need the ventilation. Cchickens will do fine in the cold as long as there is no drafts or moisture, which will make them sick. They will need the vents to keep their air from being too moist, chickens produce TONS of moisture!

    And you will do fine without electric, mine has a heat lamp in the pics, because the chickens that just moved out were only four weeks, and it was april in chicagoland. a bit chilly still. They don't have the heat forever, and will keep each other warm.

    As for your space, my henhouse part of the coop is only 8' x 4' and about 6' high, and I have 5 chicks out there now, and 2 small babies still inside my house. I plan on getting about 3 to 5 more too, and they will all fit comfortably in my coop, so I'm sure yours will do fine in the space you have as well.. Good luck!

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