Need opinions about our newly built chicken coop that is attached to / part of garage

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mbishop22, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. mbishop22

    mbishop22 New Egg

    Jan 21, 2016
    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to this forum (and chickens in general), and am really hoping for some help from this knowledgeable and experienced community. We just built a house on 17 acres of land outside of Seattle, and we designed the garage to include separate rooms for chickens and dogs. See drawing and photos here: We recently had a fence guy come out to give us a bid for building the fencing to protect the chickens during the day from predators (especially mountain lions), and he went on and on telling us that it's a terrible idea to have chickens that close to the garage/house...that they will destroy that room as well as the exterior of the house when they are outside. Also that they will stink up the garage and they will stress out from smelling the dogs nearby and hearing noises in the garage. We spent a lot of time and money designing and building what is already there, but we want to make sure we aren't making a mistake with the design. We love the idea of the chickens being close by so that we can get the eggs without even going outside and see them nearby from our back patio. The inside of the coop right now has one light on the ceiling, 6 square feet of vents (4 up high and one on either side of the cutout for the pop door), a window that opens, and 2 human doors (one to the outside and one to the garage). The walls are plastic panels and the floor is concrete. We hope to get 4-5 chicks this year, as we are just looking to have enough eggs for our family.

    Can you please provide feedback about whether the guy is right or not? And what you would do if you were in my position? Thank you so much in advance!
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Maybe the contractor is inexperienced, or maybe he just doesn't like chickens. If the chickens have a room that's completely separated from the rest of the garage, they will not mess up the garage - they do tend to be very dusty, so you will want them separate from the rest of the interior.

    And if they have a pen outside, how would they destroy the outside of your house? Most people who keep chickens either let them out for part of the time, all of the time, or like me let them out to range when there's somebody there to watch them.

    Chickens also can easily become used to being around other animals, including dogs, and noises in the garage should not bother them once they are used to it. My chickens and dogs run around together outside all the time, and sometimes the cat is along with them. They can become quite used to all kinds of different things and noises.

    I don't see how your plan is unreasonable at all.
  3. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    And welcome to BYC :)
  4. DeedeesInn

    DeedeesInn Out Of The Brooder

    It doesn't seem like a crazy idea to me. Keep in mind that chickens only go inside to sleep and lay eggs, if their nesting boxes ate inside and their food and water is outside. At sunset, they go inside to be safe and get on their roost, and sleep. Poop mostly collects under their roost. During the day, they prefer being outside, looking for things to eat, to do their dust bathing, etc. when I had only four hens, they had a 4x4 foot coop and were only in it to sleep on their roost and to lay eggs in their favorite nesting box. If you set the room up right, they won't dirty all of it up.
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome! Your plan sounds fine to me too. Pictures will help here, and dust inside will have to be managed/ prevented. 'Chicken math' does happen, and starting with four to five may turn into MANY more sooner than you think! Mary
  6. mbishop22

    mbishop22 New Egg

    Jan 21, 2016
    To answer this question, he was saying that they will peck at the cedar siding on the exterior of the garage/coop/house.

    Thanks for the reply!
  7. mbishop22

    mbishop22 New Egg

    Jan 21, 2016
    I linked to them in the original post (please LMK if that link isn't working).
  8. Paganrose

    Paganrose Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2010
    Albany,, Wisconsin
    I would love to not have to trek across the cold yard out to the barn to take care of my chickens!

    I work in the architectural field and have chickens so sort of know where your fence guy is coming from.

    Just keep in mind that chickens need quite a bit of ventilation year round from the outside, More in the summer. The vents and window should be covered with hardware cloth. You could think about using the exterior door as a screen door in the summer and adding a chicken door somewhere (if you don't already have one) so the large door won't have to be open in cooler or wet weather.

    If it is ventilated into the garage you will get a fine coating of chicken dander over everything- which over time may effect the efficiency of any water heater, furnace, or electronic equipment inside the garage. I would also make sure you run has a large enough door to remove litter from the coop- you don't want to be transporting fine dusty stuff through the garage.

    They also will need roosts in an area that is not drafty, and higher than the nest boxes.

    If the room is drywall the chickens will ruin/stain it because they are messy birds, and poo doesn't always clean nicely off of drywall. If you are using a deep litter method on the bottom of the coop or a poop shelf it will rot drywall if in direct contact as it builds ups. Spilled water may also be an issue. I would make sure you have a couple coats of a scrub-able or enamel paint, and use easily cleanable materials (shower stall materials or plexi come to mind) to face the drywall in areas where poop, bedding, or water may come in contact with the drywall.

    Plus if you are storing feed in the garage or coop it may attract rodents.

    If the chickens are well managed (not to many, and cleaned often) they won't stink up the garage, and as for noise and dogs the chickens will adapt to them after a while.

    As for the outside of the house unless it is stucco chickens shouldn't ruin it.
    1 person likes this.
  9. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer

    My chooks haven't pecked at their houses, it isn't something I've experienced. (bunnies do, not so sure about chooks).

    Do you have any council requirements there? In my area, chickens have to stay 10 metres away from habitable rooms or where food is prepared.

    2 things with the design - cleaning, and noise. Hens can be quite loud when they've laid an egg for you. They let you know all about it. That could be an issue having them "inside" and close to your quarters. Cleaning is way easier when you've got a more open design.

    Given that the house is already constructed, I'd make the attached run removeable, put it up and see how you go. If you have made a mistake, build a coop out in the backyard and move the run.

    (Personally, I wouldn't have put chooks there, and I wouldn't put them next to dogs. What sort of dogs do you have? If they have a strong prey drive, then I wouldn't even give it a go, I'd give the chooks their own area up the backyard somewhere.)
  10. lynnehd

    lynnehd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2015
    Vancouver, Wa.
    My chickens have never pecked at any walls. They aren't wood peckers. Mine do love to scratch in the soil- that's where it is at!

    Another idea for your inside the garage coop would be to use sweet PDZ or Stall Dry in the bottom of the coop. It would keep things dry and make poop scooping easy.
    Then perhaps the deep litter method out in the run.

    I think your idea has great potential. I do agree with walling off the coop from the garage to prevent the spread of dust. You could use a greenhouse fan with thermostat to help with ventilation to the outside, along with screen doors/windows.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by