New chicken owner - first coop. Advice?

Painter_Jane

In the Brooder
May 23, 2020
47
44
36
Currituck, NC
Ok, so I built my coop last week and this weekend I stained and waterproofed it inside and out, I have to block some drafts this weekend but otherwise I feel like it's ok. It's the Cumberland coop from TSC... wasn't great quality but I glued all of the pieces together and added three coats of waterproofing. I also made a water bucket valve water cup system... and a low waste feeder bucket as well. I hung both of them up in the run. I've covered two of the nest boxes (I only have four chickens so I probably will only need a couple) because the chicks that spent the night there last night decided the nest boxes were perfect for sleep. so they are blocked now until they start laying. I do have electric out there so I put a heat lamp in there (gonna grab a lower watt heat bulb because they are almost six weeks and it's only getting into the mid 50s at night here. Anyway, I also put a swing in there (which they haven't really tried) and a dust bath but they prefer the pine pellet dust. For right now it's propped up on bricks. I'm about to go get some four by fours to make a base for it (laying down)

If you have any recommendations for anything I should do different please let me know! Thanks
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rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
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My Coop
My Coop
At 6 weeks old and 50 degrees they should be off heat at this point, so really start working on that. Once they're off heat, remove the heat lamp so you're not tempted to use it in there again, it's a massive fire hazard.

I'd also consider adding in a lot more ventilation, the wall facing into the mini run would be a good place to put it, as the roof will help protect it from the elements. Also look into raising the roost bars, you will continue to have issues with them sleeping in the nests because the roosts are barely over floor height.
 

birdsrfun

Songster
Aug 22, 2013
243
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146
S.F Bay Area
At 6 weeks old and 50 degrees they should be off heat at this point, so really start working on that. Once they're off heat, remove the heat lamp so you're not tempted to use it in there again, it's a massive fire hazard.

I'd also consider adding in a lot more ventilation, the wall facing into the mini run would be a good place to put it, as the roof will help protect it from the elements. Also look into raising the roost bars, you will continue to have issues with them sleeping in the nests because the roosts are barely over floor height.
I was thinking the same thing when I saw that huge light touching the ceiling. I agree with @rosemarythyme about the roost heights. The roost bar in the run area is a good height, although the hanging light may be a little too close to it.

Nice, clean coop. That won’t last long. :gig
 

Painter_Jane

In the Brooder
May 23, 2020
47
44
36
Currituck, NC
At 6 weeks old and 50 degrees they should be off heat at this point, so really start working on that. Once they're off heat, remove the heat lamp so you're not tempted to use it in there again, it's a massive fire hazard.

I'd also consider adding in a lot more ventilation, the wall facing into the mini run would be a good place to put it, as the roof will help protect it from the elements. Also look into raising the roost bars, you will continue to have issues with them sleeping in the nests because the roosts are barely over floor height.

Thanks, there's no light in the run (that's a swing above the roostbar)
 

Painter_Jane

In the Brooder
May 23, 2020
47
44
36
Currituck, NC
At 6 weeks old and 50 degrees they should be off heat at this point, so really start working on that. Once they're off heat, remove the heat lamp so you're not tempted to use it in there again, it's a massive fire hazard.

I'd also consider adding in a lot more ventilation, the wall facing into the mini run would be a good place to put it, as the roof will help protect it from the elements. Also look into raising the roost bars, you will continue to have issues with them sleeping in the nests because the roosts are barely over floor height.

Thanks. There's actually about an 8" gap in the wall between the run and the coop. The lighting is not acutallytouching anything (cieling or walls) I think it's the angle of the photo, but I think if I put one in in the winter I'll hang it from the top of the cieling. I'll work on raising the roosts as well in the coop~ Thanks for the input!!! No wonder they didn't use the roosts. I might just get a couple 2x4's to place standing on their short side. Would that be better (a few inches taller)? There are no walls to attach it to on the side with the nest box..
 
Jul 1, 2019
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New Mexico
I just got my almost eight-week-old chicks off the heat lamp. Their coop is super tiny and I was worried about fire, but thankfully that didn't happen. I only had it on at night, it gets to ninety in the day. And I know what you mean with the nest boxes, all of my chickens had a strange obsession with sleeping in them when they were babies. :rolleyes:
 

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
6,041
17,375
817
Western Ohio
Looks nice. You took the first steps to prolonging it’s life! FWIW, my neighbor still has this same or similar chicken house. He did nothing to prolong its life, and it’s still Ok (not great), but he built a different coop for them up against his shed building - our weather is much colder/extreme compared to NC. This one serves as an extra space for them to go into, and get out of sight.
 

Painter_Jane

In the Brooder
May 23, 2020
47
44
36
Currituck, NC
For all of you:

If I were to put a heat source in for winter, what would be best? It does not get super cold here normally. Mostly stays above freezing but we do get a little bit of snow. I'm looking for something that's less of a fire hazard than these big reflector things . What's the safest way to heat the coop? Most of our winter temps are between 30-45 deg. So I don't need a LOT of heat - something adjustable maybe? The cieling is pretty high in there so I could hang a light of some sort from the roof.
 
Jul 1, 2019
1,056
2,604
256
New Mexico
For all of you:

If I were to put a heat source in for winter, what would be best? It does not get super cold here normally. Mostly stays above freezing but we do get a little bit of snow. I'm looking for something that's less of a fire hazard than these big reflector things . What's the safest way to heat the coop? Most of our winter temps are between 30-45 deg. So I don't need a LOT of heat - something adjustable maybe? The cieling is pretty high in there so I could hang a light of some sort from the roof.
How many chickens do you have again? Four? They may be fine in the winter since they will have each other and their feathers for warmth.
 

Painter_Jane

In the Brooder
May 23, 2020
47
44
36
Currituck, NC
I just got my almost eight-week-old chicks off the heat lamp. Their coop is super tiny and I was worried about fire, but thankfully that didn't happen. I only had it on at night, it gets to ninety in the day. And I know what you mean with the nest boxes, all of my chickens had a strange obsession with sleeping in them when they were babies. :rolleyes:

I have two more chicks that still need the heat lamp day and night at 2.5 weeks old, though I can probably turn it off during the day now that summer is here.
 

MANNA-PRO

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