Looking for Inputs on Barn / Coop Project

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by centrarchid, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Looking for inputs on summer 2011 objective for my long-term breeding project with American and Missouri dominiques. I am in process of designing a barn and coop setup for my farmlet. Whole setup to be on concrete pad to deny burrowing predators and to facilitate cleaning. Barn component is to be covered by an aluminum garage while coops are to be largely livestock panels (4’ x 16’ with 2” x 4” cells) reinforced by treated 4 x 4 post in corners and 4’ intervals along walls. Want structure to resist 100 mph wind. Images used were best approximations I could find on internet.

    Barn to contain light tractor, implements , feed storage, brooder room and me when hiding from wife. Feed storage and brooder rooms each to be about 7.5’ square feet. Tractor and implement storage to be 8 x 16 feet. Brooder and feed storage rooms will be built under garage roof. See Figure 1.
    Figure 1. Garage Roof.

    [​IMG]

    Coops to hold high value large fowl hens. High value in that time will be invested in their productivity during their second and third years as adults. Want to ensure hens suitable for extended productive life before they are used as brood stock to replace themselves with hens. Hens are to be divided between two coops of equal capacity (128 square feet each) such that each will contain between 28 and 32 hens at maximum. Two coops ensure against catastrophic loss to predators. See Figure 2. Coops.
    Figure 2. Coops.

    [​IMG]

    My greatest environmental concern is heat during summer. Protection of coops from direct sun 1000 to 1400 will be provided a partial roof. Ventilation will be maximal with minimal restriction as provided by 2” x 4” cell livestock panels. Winter protection will be from direct N wind and from excessive direct exposure to precipitation. During periods of extreme wind chill a flat surface with straw will enable huddling for heat conservation.

    Vertical (lower) portion of coop walls to be single panel width 4’. Four panels will be arched over wall walls of each coop forming a 16’ tunnel with ceiling center roughly 8’ above ground. Roost will be suspended at 6.5’ so I can walk under yet easily reach up to handle birds at night. Access will be though south facing door into each coop. Egg collection setup still under consideration since will be likely to incorporate either nesting traps or webcams if technology / pocketbook allows. During evaluation phase, hens will be tracked for egg laying performance.
     
  2. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    First, good luck on your endevour!

    Would it be possible to go with pipe instead of wood posts. If you bump a concrete set wood post with a piece of equiptment, it will snap off and you'll have a tough time breaking the hole out to set another post.

    Remember windchill only applies to exposed skin, not furred or feathered animals. So ambient temps are all you need to deal with when protecting the birds

    Have you though of building removable wall panels that are either two sheets of plywood sandwiching foam board or simply heavy plywood that bolts to the wall's framework for winter and going with a solid wall with windows on the side that the weather comes in from (usually N or NW) This would help control drafts plus help stabilize your building from winter blasts.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    First, good luck on your endevour! Thanks.

    Would it be possible to go with pipe instead of wood posts. If you bump a concrete set wood post with a piece of equiptment, it will snap off and you'll have a tough time breaking the hole out to set another post.
    Pipe very expensive and equipment will not be operated closely to setup.

    Remember windchill only applies to exposed skin, not furred or feathered animals. So ambient temps are all you need to deal with when protecting the birds.
    Wind and temperature interact. When I operate my motorcycle at 70 mph with ambient temperature of -12 F, it pulls heat from my core must faster than if I were out of wind. For chickens which are much smaller with exposed combs and feet, the classical definition still applies.

    Have you though of building removable wall panels that are either two sheets of plywood sandwiching foam board or simply heavy plywood that bolts to the wall's framework for winter and going with a solid wall with windows on the side that the weather comes in from (usually N or NW) This would help control drafts plus help stabilize your building from winter blasts.I like idea of removable panels. Storage during warm season will be a minor issue.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I am not sure where the o.p. is located so not sure why windchill is being discussed, but it is absolutely 100% untrue that windchill does not affect furred/feathered critters. It has long been very well documented that livestock, even very thoroughly covered things like sheep, require FAR more feed in windy winter locations than when given a windbreak. This applies to chickens too (although with chickens frostbite of exposed comb/wattles is often a bigger issue). The reason is that moving air ruffles the feathers/hair and strips the warm insulating dead-air layer continually, so that the feathers/hair do not end up providing so much insulation because of being disturbed all the time. You could look it up.

    As far as that sort of structure withstanding 100 mph winds, I would suggest either putting totally solid sides on it or constructing it fully-separate from the pens that it shelters. It is pretty much a sail. I would not hold my breath for it to survive high winds. You could anchor the bejeebers out of the metal supporting posts, but, because the posts are still connected to the roof part, if the wind gets a-yankin' on that roof I would not want to be a chicken in a pen attached to those supporting posts. So if it were me, I'd either make it a fully enclosed (and wlel anchored!!!) building, which might be too hot for your climate I dunno, or make the pens just contained-within, not structurally-attached-to, the roof module.

    Also, add diagonal bracing to the existing roof-support frame -- that will considerably improve its wind resistance. It's probably not designed that way b/c of needing car access (appears to be meant as carport) but for your purposes will be much stronger with this detail added.

    in terms of keeping down summer heat, you might consider running shadecloth on the vertical walls on the S and W sides. If you fear this will cut down on breezes too much (it does a little bit) then leave the bottom 2' or so un-shade-clothed for the breeze to get thru at chicken level.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. SlowMoneyFarm

    SlowMoneyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where this is located makes a big difference. I have a coop very much like these tunnels - using stock panels. Yes it handles wind - not sure about 100 mph winds as we didn't take a direct hit from the F5 storms.

    A couple posts with video from blog - http://slowmoneyfarm.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/hoop-chicken-shelters-growing-pullets/
    And taken the day after the storms (couldn't be uploaded for several days due to power outage) - http://slowmoneyfarm.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/heritage-poultry-weather-the-storms/

    Plans are to put a drop down tarp over that poultry netting for winter use. That said, it doesn't get nearly as cold in AL here as in areas up north - so location does matter! If it were me on your diagrams I'd separate those shelters - give yourself some working room and an outdoor area. We're in the process of doing an alternative raised up with pallets as a barn/shed and based on our initial 'visual' layout I would *NOT* put those 8' apart. Even 12' puts that arch way the heck up there. Instead we're using it the other way, 14' strapped down solid. It's still going to be a job to cover that! narrow and raised is too much wasted space.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree on wind chill being significant concern.


    Location central Missouri. Also located at head of valley that run north from Missouri River bottoms. When weatherman calls for 25 mile an hour wind from south, we get what feels like 40 mph winds. For short care I have been using breeding pens made of 2" x 4" wire fencing shaped into hoops and covered with tarps for direct sun and precipitation. Unless tarp blows off first, whole pens go rolling in high winds, sometimes a good distance and clearing 20' fence row. Now when heavy winds expected I go out and take down tarps and pens sit tight. Concept of sails well understood.


    SlowMoneyFarm, you said:
    "If it were me on your diagrams I'd separate those shelters - give yourself some working room and an outdoor area. We're in the process of doing an alternative raised up with pallets as a barn/shed and based on our initial 'visual' layout I would *NOT* put those 8' apart."

    I will look into pouring two seperate concrete pads. Will require more livestock panel and 4 x 4's. Will promote biosecurity if direct contact between pens not realized. I have no intention of having advanced age hens going into runs as making runs secure prohibitively expensive. If I can get dogs up to task, hens will be released for free ranging. Hens should report to proper coop for roosting. It is preferred hens of different coops stay seperate most of time so if one is lost, other has chance of surviving.


    "We're in the process of doing an alternative raised up with pallets as a barn/shed and based on our initial 'visual' layout I would *NOT* put those 8' apart. Even 12' puts that arch way the heck up there. Instead we're using it the other way, 14' strapped down solid. It's still going to be a job to cover that! narrow and raised is too much wasted space/"

    I will make arch flatter but that will require reinforcing arch as strength will no longer be adequate coming only from livestock panels. My panels will be of 2" x 4" squares which should make them much tougher than cattle panels.
     
  7. SlowMoneyFarm

    SlowMoneyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What I'm seeing on your side by side arches - you'll have a v where the center of the m is. During heavy rains these shed more rain than one thinks..and if collecting in that v there's nowhere for it to go but leaking into your shelters. Agreed if wider than 8' more support may be needed. My experience with arches/hoops - get that first panel rock solid. Make the back solid, attach it down solid. Then build forward, wire the 2nd panel to the first. Mine in the video is 3 deep - about 14'. There are several tent stakes on each panel to hold it down, as well as being wired to previous panels. There's a little 'give' to bounce a limb off but not enough to "shake loose."

    Going wider increases square foot but loses height. Am looking at a combo shelter for rabbits/feed/chicks/etc and when we put it even 12' apart 4' high (on pallets) it goes high in the air - that'd catch wind. We're looking at a 2nd row of pallets to make that back wall rock solid. It'll be bigger than the current hoop house so am not sure how it'll work - we'll see! Not sure I described it well but it was my first thoughts on seeing your sketch. I really like the hoop structure. I have a 30# feeder and reusable dog feeder in there so there's 50# feed available 24/7...they can go out in a yard or be inside. I need to get some nest boxes in there - next! [​IMG]
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Here is where I will get into trouble.

    The figure below shows view as intended from front.
    [​IMG]

    The reddish colored arches on top represent tarp or some other material to block direct sunlight and precipitation. Notice is does not go all the down to form V. Virtually all water will eventually fall into coops to drain out through grate in floor. Roosts and nest boxes will be protected from precipitation.

    I have nest box issues as well. Want trap nest that can be used periodically to estimate egg out put by individual hens.

    I will also suspend feeders from ceiling. Hay will also be provided.
     
  9. SlowMoneyFarm

    SlowMoneyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Gotcha! If the floor would drain away rather than collect that'd work. I covered about 3/4 to allow for wind - and when it rains hard it rains in quite a bit. Mine is on rock/soil with wood chips to dig in. Another option would be covering from the prevailing wind side - the center wall would already be blocked mostly by the other hoop.
     

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