I'm building a coop and have several dilemmas

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Stonebriar Farm, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. Stonebriar Farm

    Stonebriar Farm Out Of The Brooder

    OK so it looks like Spring might arrive after all, the snow is only 1' above the picnic table now.

    Here is what I'm thinking. I have an old garden shed that has good framing, terrible siding and a leaking roof.

    Good news: it is 8'X8' so it has lots of room for 3 - 5 laying hens. It is about 60 feet from the house and I can see it from the kitchen. It looks like I maybe able to get power there, with difficulty but that's the way it is with our farm, lots of rock.

    Maybe a problem: Windows face east and it's quite shaded as it's tucked of the yard that has forest on the other side. It does get morning sun for 6-8 hours in the summer, less in winter.

    The floor is old brick - a bit uneven but tightly laid, would this be a difficulty? Would I have to remove the brick or could I just lay some vinyl flooring on top of the bricks?

    Or I could build from scratch near the garden, which is where I spend most of my time in the summer. It is 110' from the house and I wouldn't be able to see the coop because of a woodshed in the way. It is sunnier and could be oriented to the south. A longer walk in the winter but we have to go to the wood shed anyway. It is a more welcoming, brighter space.

    Also I won't be able to dig in the run fence 12" because of the rock, I was thinking that I'll dig as deep as I can and bend the wire outward, placing rocks on the perimeter of the run. Would that work? We have skunks, raccoons, fishers, weasels and coyotes. Money is a bit tight so I'd rather not make too many mistakes.

    I thank you for taking time to read this post and welcome any suggestions you may have. Thanks to all who posted the wonderful pictures of coops. I loved them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2008
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Forks, Virginia
    Welcome to BYC!

    Quote:I have one too. I am working on converting it for a goose house. Goose eggs in the incubator!

    Quote:Electricty is nice but don't feel like it is a must have. I brood my babies in the house so I don't worry about having it out there. Actually with the number of accidents that can happen in an old building I am sort of glad it is not an option.

    Quote:That shade will come in super handy in summer. It will give your chickens a place to seek a cool refuge. In the winter I am sure they will seek out the warmer sunny spots. It soun ds like they would fair just fine through both seasons.

    Quote:My floor is poured concrete. You can do a deep litter if you want and it works out just fine.I use wood shavings (do not use cedar shavings). In my chicken bard they are about 8 - 12 inches deep. About once a week i go in and sitr them upo and turn them over. Maybe add a few more. you can get by a very long time without having to shange it out. When you feel the need to clean it out shovel it out to the compost pile and start over. I have no intentions of breaking up that floor in my garden house. Yours should be perfctly fine, too. The brick will give you a little bit of protection and help to keep predators fom digging in too easily.

    Quote:Usually 6 inches is deep enough. i do understand about not being able todig in some areas! Talk about feild stones! Look for used building supplies or casts off fom people. Look on swap threads or freecycle and find stuff being given away. You don't have to invest a lot of money to have a secure house and run. i would suggest you put the bulk of your money in good fencing for your run. Use welded wire hardware cloth in the lower 3 feet and secure everything top to bottom. If you can't afford to use the hardware cloth on the top use chicken wire across and make it 2 or 3 layers. The predators you described will try hard to get in. Free chicken dinner is one of their favorites. You want to make suer the holes int he wire fencing is small because they can reach in and grab a chicken and will eat it through a the fence holes. They are diligent little pests.

    Goodluck with your soon to be chickens! You'll have a lot of fun with them.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Yeah but I notice that the next week's forecast doesn't have much of any Spring in the forecast (at least down here in Ontario) -- nothing above freezing, and in fact Tuesday is labelled "100% chance of snow". Arrrgh. Nobody's even started tapping maples here yet, and it should have been 1-2 weeks ago. Bizarre year!

    Maybe a problem: Windows face east and it's quite shaded as it's tucked of the yard that has forest on the other side. It does get morning sun for 6-8 hours in the summer, less in winter.

    Enh, they'll live. At least they'll be out of the winter wind.

    The floor is old brick - a bit uneven but tightly laid, would this be a difficulty? Would I have to remove the brick or could I just lay some vinyl flooring on top of the bricks?

    I think if it were me I'd try just bedding them deeply over the brick and see how it works. The problem with putting anything over top of the brick is that it'll be difficult to keep pooey litter from working its way between the layers and causing horrible stink. The brick may be just fine, esp. if you never let the litter become horribly wet and filthy.

    Personally I'd be inclined to use the existing shed, especially since you can see it from the house.

    Also I won't be able to dig in the run fence 12" because of the rock, I was thinking that I'll dig as deep as I can and bend the wire outward, placing rocks on the perimeter of the run. Would that work?

    Probably, yup.

    With all due respect to Miss Prissy I would suggest though that you probably REALLY DO need electricity out there if you can at all *possibly* provide it, as you are in quite a cold climate and will need a good way of keeping your water liquid for about 5-6 months of the year. This is especially an issue if the coop won't get much sun during the day. Your alternative will be bringing them buckets of water several times each and every day and hoping they drink enough before it freezes. Open buckets of water will also tend to cause more humidity problems in the coop, which you really don't want in cold weather.

    Good luck and ahve fun,

    Pat​
     
  4. chickenranchwife

    chickenranchwife Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is what we do, we run a drop cord from our shop to the chicken coop for the lights in the winter. I hull buckets of water when it's so darn cold and the waters freeze. I don't think the floor will be a problem, just fix the drafty roof and walls. Believe me, mine was really drafty and just a little love and effort works. It'll be cheaper then buiding one from scratch. Good luck. The window where it is, is ok. And the trees where they are, that's a good thing. Be thankful for the trees. Where I am, we don't have many around.
     
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I hope you don't mind me listening in, I'm new and converting a horse stall to a coop. I describe it in my new home page.

    A question- will you be insulating? If so, I have a page attached to my home page with a couple of ideas...winter won;t leave Nova Scotia either, I'm so weary....yikes
     
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh and there's a liquid coating you can buy at Home Hardware to coat the bricks, it can be used outdoors, and might be worth a look- it would give you a sealed floor.
     
  7. Stonebriar Farm

    Stonebriar Farm Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:I'm new too and of course we don't mind you listening in! I'll be checking out your home page and yes I will be insulating.

    I just lost the reply to patandchickens and to MissPrissy - it disappeared into never never land but thanks to both for the wonderful advice.
     
  8. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Forks, Virginia
    Show us photos! We love photos! I want to see this garden house chicken coop. [​IMG]
     
  9. frogjake

    frogjake Out Of The Brooder

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    I contacted a local contractor that installs garage doors and asked him if I could have the old doors some were dented but most were in great shape. I put the dented ones inside my old shed (cut to fit) I put the ones in better shape on the out side. on the corners I trimmed it out with one by fours. I splurged and bought some metal roofing and now I have a weather proof chicken coop. Cutting is easy with a sawzall and a metal blade. The really nice thing is that all the door panals were insulated as well. I installed windows one the east , west, and south the door is on the North side for my egg boxes I used plywood I got at a building site in the dumpster. I put hinges on a door outside and I made it so I can collect eggs without even going inside. I also have alot of rocks here in Tenn. so we opted for solar power Tractor supply has some good ones in the catalogue and once you get the system installed free free free electricity for lights , electric fence or whatever. I even put an old car stereo in an ammo can and can listen to music while doing chores at the coop. The speakers are mounted under the eaves. Good luck
     
  10. frogjake

    frogjake Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2008
    East Tennessee
    you could possibly move the shed where you want. then start on the upgrades. if there is snow onthe ground you could slide it easier get someone with a snowmoble or ATV to pull it to the new location.
     

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