Keeping Chickens Inside the Barn

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Misn-1, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. Misn-1

    Misn-1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 4, 2014
    Mississippi
    My six girls are 3 weeks old now. For right now, I am keeping them in a large brooder box (3 1/2W x 7L x 3H) in the garage. The place that we bought a while back has 2.5 acres and an all metal barn with 3 horse stalls (we don't plan to have any horses...yet). I am planning to eventually move them down to the barn into one of the horse stalls. All I need to do is enclose the top of the stall with some wire and build a door and they will have a nice predator-proof 10 feet by 12 foot indoor coop.

    I plan to use sand as my base, attach 3 nesting boxes to one of the walls, add a couple of roosts (with poop boards), and nipple waterers and feeders. I also plan to add an exterior door for them and to build a run or chicken tractor to get them outside and hope to be able to eventually let them free range on the place.

    Here are my questions;
    1) Do I need some type of indoor coop for them within the stall for the winter (we are in Mississippi)?
    2) I know they like to get as high as possible, so is there a such thing as 'too high' for their roosts?
    3) Is there anything else I can add to their stall to minimize boredom on days that they can't get outside?

    Thanks (in advance) for any comments, ideas, and/or suggestions.

    Jeff
     
  2. David1998

    David1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    1. No, I can’t think of a weather reason you’d need a coop inside the barn. They’ll be plenty warm in the winter, they just need to be kept out of the wind. For the summer, it needs plenty of ventilation which should already be there if it’s built for horses.
    2. Some of the heavy breeds can have trouble getting high. A tiered roost is good, where they can jump progressively higher. Just make sure it’s higher than the nest boxes, feeders, waterers, or anything else you don’t want them to roost on. After that, there is no need to be super high. 5 ft seems around right for me.
    3. Give them plenty of room. A 10 x 12 coop is plenty plus for 6 chickens. If you add more, I wouldn’t go over 10 chickens if they won’t have access to a run. For entertainment, add things for them to climb on and things for them to go around/hide behind.
     
  3. Misn-1

    Misn-1 Out Of The Brooder

    57
    1
    33
    Sep 4, 2014
    Mississippi
    David1998 - Yes, there should be plenty of ventilation. Being that it will be an open air coop, I wondered if it might get too much of a draft inside the barn. and I've read that if they jump down from too high of a roost that it might hurt their feet. and I plan to have the water and feed along one of the walls away from their roosts areas. and I had thought I might put a few other things for them to climb on. Thanks for the suggestions.

    Jeff
     

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