1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Need some input

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SOchick, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. SOchick

    SOchick Songster

    221
    1
    109
    May 29, 2009
    Georgia
    I currently have a chicken tractor with 4 chickens, which I really like, but I would like something more permenant (read- so I can get more chickens). I promised my DD we could hatch some eggs in the spring.

    Anyway, I have a 6x10x6 foot dog kennel, and am thinking about building a small 4x4 henhouse inside so I can move my current flock there, leaving the tractor open for any we decide to keep from our potential spring hatch. Also, I can't really build anything outside the kennel, it is one of those that has the complete frame around it, with only a human door (no panels to be able to move around).

    My questions:

    Will my plan be big enough to keep my 4 girls happy? (I do not plan to add more chickens to this enclosure)

    Do I need to insulate the coop? I live in west GA, a little north of Atlanta, so our winters aren't too bad (we are lucky if it snows, but can have the occasional ice storm), but our summers can be pretty hot/humid. If I do need to insulate, what is the best thing to use? (I know no fiberglass) or What thickness of plywood would you reccommend?

    I have until the spring to build this, so I am not in any rush, just trying to get input so I can start buying materials slowly, to spread out the cost [​IMG]

    Thanks guys!
     

  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,520
    154
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Insulating won't help with summer heat, the coop is too small to have any meaningful thermal mass. It will help a little bit with winter cold -- allow you to have a bit more ventilation open -- but honestly in Georgia I do not think there is any particular reason to insulate unless you just *enjoy* doing it [​IMG]

    4x4 is a perfectly reasonable size for 4 chickens in a year-round mild climate with a large outdoor area that has large areas of shade. You might consider building extra-wide roof overhangs to keep rain out of open windows. Your best bet for summer coolth is to make as large a portion as possible of multiple walls be a mesh-covered opening, so the coop will cool off right WITH the outdoor air in the evening instead of holding warm stuffy air inside.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. SOchick

    SOchick Songster

    221
    1
    109
    May 29, 2009
    Georgia
    Thank you! I have a tarp over it now to keep the rain out, and plan to screen over the top with hardware cloth or similar, but hadn't thought about the shade cloth. The lower portion of the sides will be covered with hardware cloth too, but I had planned to keep them open. I guess I was overthinking the insulation on the coop, but, I once crawled in my dog's doghouse to make sure it was warm enough, but I don't think the chickens will be as understanding as Minka was [​IMG]
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    The size is fine...the coop is (or will be) exactly 4sq. ft per bird, and the run will be (hmmmm... [​IMG] 6 x 10 = 60 - 16 for the coop = 44 sq. feet) 11 sq. feet per bird. So that's about right too. Most in my area (southern Indiana) don't insulate their coops, although mine is. I wouldn't think you guys would need to that far south. I guess I picture you all worrying more about lots of ventilation for the summers rather than winter cold...
     
  5. ajcress

    ajcress Songster

    292
    4
    141
    Dec 14, 2007
    Masontown, WV
    If you would like to have all of the kennel space for the chickens to roam outside remove the human door then build a small building next to it. My husband used a kennel for a run. he removed the door then put the kennel next to the coop and tarped the top. It turned out really nice. just a thought your way...
     
  6. SOchick

    SOchick Songster

    221
    1
    109
    May 29, 2009
    Georgia
    ajcress, I thought about doing that until I realized that I would have no way into the run, and I'm not sure if I would like that. Do you have any pictures of yours?
     
  7. ajcress

    ajcress Songster

    292
    4
    141
    Dec 14, 2007
    Masontown, WV
    I kight be able to get some this weekend. Im not sure how to upload pics on here. at this time I do not have a way into my kennel, just from the inside door. We are going to open the one end and put another kennel up to give the girls more room and reinforce the current door on the other kennel
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by