Garage Closet as Coop?

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

  1. DerbyGirlGoneChicken

    DerbyGirlGoneChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2010
    Kansas City, MO
    Wondering of any of you have ever tried to utilize a portion of your garage as the coop itself? I've seen where people build a coop inside the garage but Im trying to skip having to build anything.

    My situations is that we have a cinder block garage that has a large storage closet with door. We could possibly knock out a cinder block for a door leading out and put various roosts within. There is one window that is about 1 square foot.

    My concerns are for air circulation. Will the chicken door and 1 window be enough to prevent respiratory problems?
    Will removing a cinder block weaken the garage structure?
    Will the dust be way too much in the garage?
    I also realize that I'll be stepping in a lot of poo to get to the nesting boxes.
    Since the window is small, will I need supplemental light to enhance egg production?

    My other idea is to utilize a metal A frame swing set as a structure. We would use repurposed materials to enclose. Any links to something like that?

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Northwest Arkansas
    The big questions are 1) is your garage attached or detached? 2) How good a dust wall or screen do you have between the closet and the garage?

    The problem is most likely to be the dust. The dust comes partly from them shedding dried skin and bits of feathers, partly from them scratching in shredded bedding, but a large part is from them scratching in dried poop. That dust will coat everything. If you have an attached garage it could find its way into your house.

    My concerns are for air circulation. Will the chicken door and 1 window be enough to prevent respiratory problems?ems?

    I seriously doubt you will have enough ventilation but part of that is how big it is. The main thing with keeping smell down is keeping the coop dry, but ammonia will build up from the poop. Chickens, like many birds, have weak respiratory systems. Ammonia is lighter than air. You need an opening above their heads when they are sleeping to get that ammonia out.

    If your garage stays above freezing, the humidity build-up from the poop and their breathing will not be that big a deal unless you have condensation on the walls or moisture in the bedding. I think you really do need to find a way to vent that. Roof vents or gable vents may be a good way. If you have much snow, ridge vents can get blocked so be careful with the snow.

    Will removing a cinder block weaken the garage structure?


    I have no idea how your garage is built, but it should not be hard to remove some cinder blocks without weakening the structure.

    I also realize that I'll be stepping in a lot of poo to get to the nesting boxes.


    Maybe, maybe not. It depends on how you manage the situation, how big the area is compared to the number of chickens, how much time they spend out of doors, what bedding you use, and how often you clean. I always wear a specific pair of shoes when I’m around the chickens though to keep my “polite company” shoes clean. That helps with biosecurity issues too.


    Since the window is small, will I need supplemental light to enhance egg production?


    Do they have access to the outside? Are you talking about in the winter when the days are shorter or during the summer? This depends on our unique situation and how you manage them.
     
  3. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    To get enough air circulation you will probably have to have a coop door that is all screen, which means that all the dust the chickens produce - and it is a LOT - will circulate out into your garage. you may want to consider a separate building for a coop, you would not believe how much dust you will get.
     
  4. DerbyGirlGoneChicken

    DerbyGirlGoneChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2010
    Kansas City, MO
    To answer your questions:

    1) The garage is detached and the closet is approximately 4' x 6' and 10' high.

    2) The dust wall between the closet space and the garage is not good. We will also have to adjust the door and there are several cracks that would allow dust in.

    3) We would have an enclosed pin outside from the door that we would cut into the cinder blocks. So that they can have access to outdoors at all times. Then allow them to free range while we are at home.

    4)Yes, I was wondering if I would need to supplement light during the winter to have continued egg production.

    Thanks for your thoughts!
     

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