Need advise with design of multi-use shed

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Whitney, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Whitney

    Whitney Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2011
    I'm new here, and I'm researching and preparing to get chickens in the near future, and I really need some help/advice. Your thoughts/book suggestions are greatly appreciated!!

    Here's the scoop: We live in the suburbs on 3 acres. We want to create a space to meet several needs, instead of building multiple buildings that will make our yard look cluttered.

    I want a building for:
    Garden tractor/loader
    Chickens and extra space for future unplanned animals (maybe goats?)
    Greenhouse area to start seedlings

    Location:
    Chicago area. Under oak trees. South side will get full sun in winter and spring, mottled to full shade during summer and fall.

    Concerns:
    1) Will the smell of chickens (maybe a dozen at the most in a 8X8 pen with outdoor run, free range during the day) make the shed unappealing to spend time in during the winter?
    2) Will the extra windows and skylights make it too hot during the winter? The summer will be mostly shade.
    3) I'm looking for resources that can help me plan the most efficient means of cleaning the pen, feeders, waterers, creating the sides of the pen that makes it attractive and super functional.
    4) Will putting a compost pile of chicken manure in the shade be a bad idea? Does is greatly increase the time of breaking down?

    Thank you!!
     
  2. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    Hope I can help you or at least get you in sort of right direction.

    1. If you plan deep litter method(DLM) with pine shavings you would be surprised how effective it really is. I have a large coop and hang out in all seasons. The smell is minimal at best when it dries you cant even smell it but that being said you need adaquate ventilation to let the ammonia out. In the winter you can still catch aromas but very tolorable. I find it tends to be aromatic when it gets wet out in the run. Dont know how your going design your shed/coop/goat house but you could put a wal with a door into the coop part to further eliminate any smell.

    2. Being in Chicago I dont think you have to worry to much about being to warm in winter even with extra windows.

    3.Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I wanted to build a pergola style of run but ran out of money. Way over budget on the coop but their worth it. As far as cleaning,feeders,waterers and run styles everyone here has their own way. Some build their feeders and waterers some buy. I have seen some runs that are extra fancy and some that are regular. It all depends on you,how fancy you want or how skilled you are and what you like.When you have a question about anything just plug the word into the search box and will get hundreds of answers. Sometimes your head will be swirling with all the neat ideas that the people here have. I wish I knew about this site before I got started on my coop in run,not to say it came out bad,but seen lots of ideas that I would have like to done.

    4. As far as composting goes,its probably better in the shade for a couple of reasons .The first being if the sun dries out the pile out it will slow the decomposition.Moisture being a key factor in the cycle. You would have to turn it over more frequently. Second, all the break down goes on underneath the surface,even if it were in the sun the microbes are at work below. So I am thinking the shade is preferable.

    Post some pics as you go along and [​IMG]
     
  3. Whitney

    Whitney Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2011
    Thanks so much for your reply!! I'm a little overwhelmed trying to figure out the layout and how I want it to look. I see lots of posts for coops, but I haven't seen any that are part of a shed. Any particular words I should search? I tried barn and shed already. It is making wonder if should build a separate area for the chickens..our main reason for making it all in one is to make it as inconspicuous for the neighbors. Fortunately they work all day, so they won't see them wandering in their yard. [​IMG]
     
  4. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    Go to the BYC home page and on the left side you will see a COOP DESIGN. There are small medium and large versions and many different styles shapes and sizes. Hopefully you will find something that will get you going. I know how you feel about the design part,finally what I did was decide on the size,style, functionalityand how much i wanted to spend. Then I drew it up on paper,after I kind of designed it in my head,which still fascinates my DW is how I can do that. Figured out what I needed for material which I bought in stages,flooring/walls then roof joists/roofing and so on.

    I designed mine like an 8x8 shed with a straight slant roof with 6 ft being the lowest part of the inside roof. I figured if I dont want chickens anymore ,it will easily convert to a shed. But I cant imagine not having chickens now that I'm hooked.

    As far as your neighbors go,we like to hand out eggs to them just to keep the peace. Mine are not on top of me so smell is not an issue but I got a very large White Rock Rooster who makes his presence known(@4:30am) and all thru the day. He is a good boy though he lets you know when something strange is going on. Like a different car or someone walking down the street. He keeps an eye to the sky and an eye on the girls.

    Actually at the top of this page you can click on COOP DESIGNS
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011

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