Metal vs Wood Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HoosierSilkie, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. HoosierSilkie

    HoosierSilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2017
    Southern Indiana
    My husband and I are going to be building a coop for our flock very soon. We will have 7 Silkies (1 is a roo), 5 Easter Eggers, and 1 Australorp. We are trying to decide what materials would be best to build our coop. We are in southern Indiana and our winters can get into negative temperatures, while summers can be very hot (90-100) and humid. The Silkies aren't very cold hardy (they are wintering in our basement this year), and we had to keep fans on them all summer last year. I want to make sure they are able to stay out year round without any problems. I have attached a coop in the style we are considering.http://www.wabashvalleyenterprises.com/metal-chicken-coops?lightbox=dataItem-iwkkamos1
    We would like opinions and recommendations, please.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  2. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 18, 2016
    Missouri
    You are building vs. buying one of these? If you can, that is the best way to go.

    Amazing to me the commercial builders of these coops ALL seem to know so much about putting together a really nice building, but know so little about chickens. The stated capacity per SF of building and number of nest boxes per bird capacity are dead giveaways. They only know they need to include roosts, next boxes and such, but few if any seem to have any real idea on how to configure them or occur to them that it might matter. I would suspect many will tell you it doesn't. That tells me they don't know or care. They are mostly concerned about building something to sell, not what happens downstream of the purchase.

    So, take something like what they have and if you used metal sides and roof, DO include exterior insulation. May not be necessary with wood siding, but should be with metal. Absolutely needed if you use a metal roof.

    You only need 1 nest box per 4 or so birds. Some say 5. I have 1 per 3 birds. Nest boxes should be up off the floor at least a foot or so, so they can't peak in from floor level. External boxes like they used are OK, but you need a sturdy latch to secure them from predators. If internal, put a slanted roof above the nest boxes so they can't rest or perch on them and roost bars elevated above the nest boxes. Birds will roost on the highest perch they can, so that needs to be the roost bars. The 2" x 2" roosts they show are fine. Minimum of 24" off the deck and can go as high as 30" to 36" provided they have enough space to land in, using a 45 degree glide path.

    These coops need lots of natural ventilation. Opening windows like they have are fine (face them south), but it needs vents too. They probably intended this to be closed up in the cold of winter, which would make it a bad place for a chicken to be.

    These guys all seem to be using space requirements of 1.5 to 2 SF per bird, which is the standard for cage free and perhaps free range commercial flocks, but historically, is way over packed. Should be at least 3 SF for bantams and smaller breeds like leghorns and 4 sf for larger layer breeds. So take what they give you as capacity and cut it in half and it may work.
     
  3. HoosierSilkie

    HoosierSilkie Out Of The Brooder

    48
    5
    24
    Jan 18, 2017
    Southern Indiana
    My husband is firmly against paying $2,000+ for a coop, so we will be building. He's pretty handy when he commits and stays motivated, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The coop will be in our backyard that is entirely enclosed by an 8ft privacy fence which will provide some shelter for the coop against wind/rain/snow. The only predators we have to watch for are hawks. Our yard is very small, and due to the landscape, a coop larger than 5x8 will not fit. I am hoping to be able to let them free range during the day, or at the very least give them a large run. We have 5 EE/1 Australorp chicks and 7 Silkies right now, but I think 3-4 SF per bird will be okay considering the size of the Silkies. Our Silkies are so small that the 7 of them are equivalent to 3 or 4 standard hens, so I don't think space will be a big problem.

    I want to make sure we use the right kind of ventilation to keep the temperature comfortable year round. It sounds like an insulated wood coop may be the way to go. I like the idea of being able to access the nesting boxes from the outside, but I worry they won't stay warm/cool if they are external. We may just ditch that idea. I did see some coops with heated roosts. Is this something that could be beneficial? My husband says it's extravagant, but I don't want to leave something out and regret it later.
     

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