Need a chicken coop real soon.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by GreenChic, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. GreenChic

    GreenChic Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Found this forum last week when we got some chicks from a feed store. They are 1 week old today and we're noticing how fast they are grownig.

    I think you can take them outside at 3 weeks. So we have 2 weeks to come up with something. My Aunt has a pretty big backyard.

    We were gonna purchase a chicken coop from a store but she brought up the idea of the old shed in the back. We also have a dog kennel from when she use to breed boxers.

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    All of the co-owners of the chicks (everyone chipped in to purchase them for the kids for easter; this is the first time most of us have ever been this close to a live chicken.) will be over Saturday to help clean up the yard and clean out the shed. I will post pics of the empty shed this weekend. I would just like to know if it is possible to build something for the chickens or do we need to go ahead and purchase a chicken coop. It seems like it would be a fun project but we just don't know where to start. All answers are welcome. Thanks.

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    Last edited: May 2, 2011
  2. GiddyMoon

    GiddyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is a book called Open Air Poultry houses, it was written like 100 years ago and you can find the free ebook on google..I really suggest it. It would be very easy to add some shelving for hen boxes, some roosts, and use that fencing..I would invest in some half or one inch hardware cloth and a few pieces of 2x4, etc for a frame..do some reading here, you have already what it takes to build a neat coop..and you will have a better made item, made cheaper..then buying a new one!
     
  3. SadieSue

    SadieSue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would also suggest you check out many of the innovative coop designs located at the very top of this page. I think some folks have cleverly modified some ready made sheds into really nice coops by adding ventilation, windows, nest boxes and roosts. Enjoy your new chicks!
     
  4. GreenChic

    GreenChic Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Okay finally cleaned out the shed. Now what do I do. I am really useless at this. The kids are just really excited to paint it and build roosts. But I think we need a door first.

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  5. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chittenden County, VT
    That looks like a great shed to use! [​IMG]

    You definitely need a door. I probably wouldn't use the entire opening for a door like it originally had, since I'm guessing you won't need to drive a lawn tractor in there. I would just put a normal size door and a window where the double door opening is. Add a run and some more ventilation and roost/nesting boxes and a chicken door and you're good to go!
     
  6. CrazyCatLady76

    CrazyCatLady76 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2011
    Hazard
    Yes, you definitely need a door. And some ventilation. Chickens can live without roosts, though they prefer them. They cannot, however, live without protection from predators and fresh air and sunlight.

    It looks like your door opening is pretty tall, so one easy way to add ventilation is to frame off the very top of your door opening and screen that off with hardware cloth. Then just make your door shorter. That probably won't be enough ventilation for what you're needing, but it'll be a start. You can also cut holes in the very peak of the front and back for extra air flow in the summer. Do a forum search for patandchickens, at the bottom of every post she has a link to her excellent page about ventilating a coop.
     
  7. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh and another thought... your shed looks a lot like ours, maybe getting a little soft/worn around the very outside bottom? It might do with some reinforcement, I'm not the best to give advice on that, but it would be a concern of mine. Maybe some strong pressure treated boards along the bottom? I'm not much on construction terminology, sorry!

    The advice I got was to replace the OSB with exterior grade plywood if I could afford it. I also got some other good ideas, check my thread if it might help you at all.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=494408
     
  8. GreenChic

    GreenChic Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Quote:Will hardware cloth keep snow and rain out. We stay in michigan and I don't want them to freeze.
     
  9. TouchO'Lass

    TouchO'Lass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, it seems you have a good start on a nice sized coop! It does look like there may have been some water damage around the bottom, so it would help to know where you are, weather wise. Does snow sit around the bottom or do you just get a BUNCH of rain?
    Do you have predator issues ('coons, dogs, big birds)?
    How many chickens? Are you going to attach the run to the coop?

    I'm in the PACNORWEST, so this is what I would do given your shed as a starting point:

    Before it got any heavier, I would try to jack it up a little off the ground to stop the deterioration, level it up and get support (blocks, 4x4's) underneath.
    I'd cut several vents in the front and back gable ends between the studs, cover them with hardware cloth and make some shutter type doors to cover the vents if needed for really bad weather.
    The shelf in the back would go, but you may be able to 'repurpose' the materials to build some roosts/ramps.
    Add some nesting boxes... Lots of good ideas for that here:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=853985
    Add some windows on the sunny side(s) for more ventilation, natural light...
    Prime and paint while it was still somewhat open.
    Remove and replace the damaged lower OSB.
    Almost last, I'd frame the front in except for a single door, either purchased or homemade.
    Prime and paint some more...[​IMG]
    Add chickens, sit back and enjoy!![​IMG]

    Ah! Just saw the part about "Michigan", so I would definitely get some pressure treated support underneath...[​IMG]
    Good Luck! and be sure to post pics!!
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2011
  10. CrazyCatLady76

    CrazyCatLady76 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2011
    Hazard
    Quote:Hardware cloth is wire mesh, so no it won't keep rain and snow out. That's why you don't make the whole coop out of it. [​IMG] The issue with keeping rain and snow out is that anything that will hold precipitation out will hold moisture and ammonia from breathing and droppings in and that's far more harmful for your chickens than a little rain or snow blowing in once in a while. Seriously, read Pat's ventilation page, she walks you through how it all works.

    Also, chickens have an awesome built-in insulation system. Feathers have tons of little airspaces that hold in heat like you wouldn't believe, so they typically handle cold pretty well. It's heat they're more likely to have problems with.
     

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