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Need some input with our first try in Coop Building 100?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dtg316, May 20, 2008.

  1. dtg316

    dtg316 New Egg

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    Well after a successful first year (2007) for my son in 4H, we have decided to expand and get a little more serious with our chickens and hopefully start collecting some eggs this year. I have a few questions and concerns over using pressure treated lumber for the coop. So far, I have concreted the corner posts and installed the floor joists. I left the front of the coop 16 inches off the ground for them to hang out under the coop.

    ? #1 Is this OK for them run/lay/lounge and whatever under the coop with P/T wood?

    I will be fencing 3 sides under the base and extending a run into the used-to-be garden area. Currently planning on copying the 8' x 8' coop with and 8' x 8' covered run.

    ? #2 How much yard/run do chickens need (planning on 12-15 chickens)?

    I have rough fitted 3/4" tongue and groove particle board for the floor (Freebie). I will not be placing any treated lumber on the inside of the coop! However, I am working on the roof and this is where I am stuck/stopped/undecided on the rafter material. I have on hand P/T for the rafters which will be supporting 3' x 10' plastic corrugated sheets, but I'm not sure this is safe/right?

    ? #3 Is it OK to use P/T wood for the rafters or should I use untreated?

    ? #4 If I use untreated then what do I seal it with?

    ? #5 Is it OK to use the P/T for the roof for the run?




    Here are some pics on what we've done so far.

    http://dtg316.smugmug.com/gallery/4982882_A7ybo#298589432_DDfPC


    I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions?


    Thanks.
     
  2. poopcoop

    poopcoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOOKING GOOD!!

    I am not sure why you are worried about using PT lumber. I built my coop very similar to the way yours is (off the ground). They love going under it and hanging out. I did not use PT for the rafters (cost) and really no reason to do so.

    My only opinion would be to build a bigger run. I have 26 chickens and the run is 25'x25' squared and I let them free range from 2 til 8 with the goats. (Dog has the morning hours). They are waiting at the fence like they are boared.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Well, on the one hand, yes. On the other hand, if you allow them access to the underneath of an 8x8 coop raised, what is it, 2' off the ground, and less at the other side?.... you are going to have one heck of a time whenever you have to extract a chicken or an object from under there. Think 'commando-style crawling on knees and elbows, thru chicken poo' [​IMG]

    So if it were me, I would fence it off -- if you really want them to be able to tuck under there for shade etc, leave them a 2' wide strip along the pophole side of the coop (I'm hoping that's the side with the higher ground clearance) and fence the rest of it off.

    Just a thought [​IMG]

    Currently planning on copying the 8' x 8' coop with and 8' x 8' covered run. ? #2 How much yard/run do chickens need (planning on 12-15 chickens)?

    15 chickens need at least 4 sq ft per chicken indoors -- your coop size is ok -- and I think most people around here would say they need AT LEAST 6 sq ft per chicken of run area, many of us would say 10 sq ft per chicken is a better minimum and more is better.

    Using the lowest of those numbers would mean you need a run of 8x10' or so; using the larger number would mean 8x18 or any equivalent area.

    You could do an 8x8 roofed portion and a further 8x8 nonroofed portion, perhaps?

    I have rough fitted 3/4" tongue and groove particle board for the floor (Freebie).

    I would suggest priming and painting it thoroughly, for moisture resistance and also to ease poo removal somewhat.

    ? #3 Is it OK to use P/T wood for the rafters or should I use untreated?#4 If I use untreated then what do I seal it with?
    ? #5 Is it OK to use the P/T for the roof for the run?

    Nah, there is absolutely no sensible reason to use pressure-treated wood for rafters, not even for a run roof. It is just an extra expense, and a waste of chemical-treated lumber. I'd suggest you save whatever p/t wood you have for something where it will actually be valuable, e.g. anything where wood is near or contacting or in the ground.

    Saw your pix -- looks like a good start! Have fun,

    Pat​
     
  4. PAChickenChick

    PAChickenChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not to start a war here or anything....but I thought Pressure Treated wood was a "no-no" for animals incase they peck at it and ingest it or stand on it and burn their feet?

    I know there was an article a while back saying it was also dangerous for children's swing sets to be made with this also since children would be touching it with their hands and then possibly eating something. Pressure Treated lumber is treated with Arsnic.

    Did I misunderstand? It wouldn't be the first time [​IMG]
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Well, there has not been any really conclusive evidence that I know of that properly-maintained p/t children's playground equipment *is* a hazard to children. The reason some places have removed it is "in case"... and probably as much "in case of lawsuits" as "in case it actually does carry some health risks".

    Anyhow, remember that CCA (chrome, copper and arsenic) -treated wood is no longer readily available in the U.S. or Canada. The p/t wood that you buy *now* is treated with a less-toxic substance that does not saturate the wood with heavy metals.

    I would certainly not want a dog or horse chewing on old-style p/t wood (or really, to be on the safe side, the current stuff either I suppose)... but chickens do not chew wood or stand on your run fenceposts [​IMG] If you wanted to worry about *something* I would suggest the likeliest route would be that as OLD-STYLE (not the new stuff) p/t wood weathers, some of the arsenic may potentially very very slightly contaminate the soil around the coop/run, and there is the *theoretical* possibility that chickens eating bugs or plants from that dirt may pick up a miniscule-ly elevated load of arsenic.

    Honestly if you are worrying about arsenic, though, worry about how much you are getting by eating commercial chicken meat and from other environmental sources -- anything your chickens pick up by the above route, even if you eat them, I will bet you my property, family and chickens is utterly insignificant. Do the math and you will see what I mean.

    Remember, gazillions of people have p/t wood around their coops and runs without any harm. And it is generally only used for ground-contact parts and for fenceposts, anyhow.

    So, you can certainly avoid it if that makes you feel safer (and personally I don't like to use it without darn good reason, just because I see no benefit in having preservative-laden wood created willy-nilly). But honestly, I know of NO evidence whatsoever that it actually causes any problems for chickens.

    Cheers,

    Pat
     
  6. WikkitGateFarm

    WikkitGateFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    patandchickens gets the honorary environmental epidemiology degree. Exposure routes, etiology, relative risk... you've done some studying? (Perhaps not, since there's a good bit of common sense there still!)

    Also, one more reason to NOT use treated lumber for rafters: it's soaking wet, and when it dries it will probably warp, leaving you with a leaky roof!

    Most corrugated or wavy sheets of plastic roofing, even metal roofing, is only rigid in one direction--THE WRONG ONE! If you just go tack it up, it sags horribly between the rafters. You might be putting up purlins perpendicular to the rafters to support the sheets of roofing. They don't need to be treated wood either.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Well... former university professor, taught ecology, aquatic invertebrates etc. Thank you for imagining I have some common sense left, though [​IMG]

    Also, one more reason to NOT use treated lumber for rafters: it's soaking wet, and when it dries it will probably warp, leaving you with a leaky roof!

    You betcha. Eats through the wrong kinds of screws/nails, too. Use only hot-dip galvanized nails, or the green-coated deck screws, or stainless steel if you have a bottomless ATM card. Well, at least that was true of the old CCA p/t wood... now that I think of it, I am really not certain about the new stuff. I should find out... [​IMG]

    Pat​
     
  8. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    hi...we also want to use the pvc corrugated sheets.(clear for more light for them)...but they are so thin...i worry if they will be enough insulation in winter in New England...?..can anyone give me any help on this please?, Thanks
     
  9. dtg316

    dtg316 New Egg

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    May 20, 2008
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    Ok, sounds like I'm done with the P/T!

    BUT now I am concerned with heating issues with the corrugated roofing. I have 3 x 12 green sheets (see pics).

    http://dtg316.smugmug.com/gallery/4982882_A7ybo#298587565_J5tJz

    I plan on screening cutouts (windows) which can be covered/closed in the winter (wood or plex-glass) and screening the overhang for venting, but is there still going to be too much heat generated by these sheets in the summer since there are no shade trees around?

    What about the winter and keeping the heat in? I planned on a heat light/lamp, but is that going to cut it?

    FYI - I'm in Southern Indiana 0' - 100' weather
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2008
  10. dtg316

    dtg316 New Egg

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