New construction - placement question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Redwitch82, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. Redwitch82

    Redwitch82 New Egg

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    First - my husband owns a pole-barn company. As he put it, fine carpentry skills are not his strong suit. This was built using all left overs from other buildings.
    Second - the peagravel was there from previous owners swing set. We are not done filling in around the foundation and will also be lining the perimeter with the large native rock on our property.
    Once I find chickens, they will be free range but I also wanted them to have enough inside room that I can leave them inside if I have to leave town for any period of time.

    Questions:
    Can I put the nesting buckets on one end of the linoleum shelf and the roost on the other? (Red drawing in picture). I am going to have a drip pan under the roost to make cleaning easier. Basically, is it ok that they are that close together?
    Can that shelf area remain open to the rest of the coop? Lack of fine carpentry skills meant no way to remove eggs from outside so I will have to go into coop gather.
    Can I use the deep litter method over the pea gravel?


    My thanks for any answers, advice or (gentle) criticism of my setup. This site has proven invaluable for this newbie.

    Also...can anyone recommend a place to buy pullets near Poteau OK?
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas, Redwitch, and [​IMG]! Great to have you aboard! Looks like a fine coop to me! All I can say regarding the nesting boxes (buckets) is that they should always be lower than the lowest roost so the hens don't start roosting in them overnight - they become poopy quickly. Yes, the shelf area can remain open to the rest of the coop but again, the poop issue. Are you pointing the openings of the buckets outward (like facing the camera in the pic)? Some folks put a sloping top on top of the nest box area to keep birds off of them. How many hens are you planning on housing? Two boxes for 8-10 hens would be adequate. I have 23 hens and 6 boxes and some days all the eggs are in two nests and rarely in 3 of the 6 boxes. Every day 3 of the nest boxes have zero eggs.
    And yes, I think the pea gravel will work with the deep litter method.
    As I see this is your first post, if you would like, pop on over to the New Member Introduction Forum and say howdy so we can give you a proper BYC welcome!! https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/44/new-member-introductions
    Also, you might ask your pullet question in the OK thread in this link: https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/26/where-am-i-where-are-you
    Best wishes and thanks for joining BYC!!
     
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  3. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't see why you couldn't. As long as they don't feel more inclined to roost in the nest box you should be ok. I'd try it and if it doesn't work out just move one or the other. The shelf area being open shouldn't be an issue - I'm sure you'll find them up on the shelf at times. I've never used deep litter so I can't comment on that. Personally I prefer a solid floor covered in something like linoleum for easy removal of bedding but that's just me. I'm not familiar with your part of the country but you can buy pullets from the big hatcheries and they'll deliver in the mail. It's more expensive than ordering chicks of course but that is one option. You also might want to check Facebook groups in your area that raise, trade, sell birds. There's probably a group specific to your area that'll have what you're looking for. You could check Craigs list too but I've shied away from that myself because I heard about a lot of people getting birds that were carriers of respiratory infections, etc.
     
  4. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If that shelf is to be left permanent, and roosts above it, you could also install your nest boxes beneath it. That was a common thing to do back when in small coops where space was tight. Not on the floor, but on brackets up off the floor so the tops of them are just under the shelf. That leaves them a dark, secure place to hide their eggs, which is what they think they are doing. It also leaves them lower than the roost, so they won't roost on the nests. You might want to move the roost to the far left in that photo, away from the window.

    Good job on the ventilation!

    BTW, you don't need it for the walls, but since the guy who built this is in the industry, ask him how he would have gone about installing insulation on a barn like that. You might find you may need it under the roof.

    BTW, how many birds?
     
  5. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    PS: Cackle hatchery is in Lebanon, MO. One of your local feed stores or a farm and home may sell their chicks. You could call them and ask who they sell to in your area.
     
  6. Redwitch82

    Redwitch82 New Egg

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    Howard - no birds yet, but I'm hoping to start with 4.
    The roof has a layer of double bubble insulation for condensation control. I didn't do the sidewalls because I was worried the hens would eat it.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    My thought is the same as Howard's, to put the nests under that shelf. It will give you more potential roost space, never a bad thing.
     
  8. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I realize you didn't insulate the sidewalls, but since you are in the biz, if you did insulate a sidewall, say for about any other purpose, what materials would you use and why?

    Here is where I"m going with this. I have a horse barn out back, and it is metal clad (barn red) and NO insulation. No insulation on the sides and none under the roof. (No, I did not build it). As expected, under the right conditions, condensation rains down inside the building.

    What is less known about these metal buildings is indicated by what goes on in the tack room, which is half the size of the box stalls, and sits on the SE corner of the building. It has a 12' wide x 8' high metal clad enclosed sidewall on the south side. That tack room is not insulated in any way, but is enclosed on all but the exterior wall with OSB. Interior sidewall and ceiling. On a bright sunny day any time from Oct to April, it will get as much as 40 to 50 degrees warmer inside that tack room than it is on the outside. Odd that it can be 20F outside, but +70F inside that tack room. 100% of that heat gain comes from radiant heat as the dark metal heats up from the direct sunshine and works exactly like a steam radiator.

    The same thing would happen in winter if the inside was being heated and the sun was not shining and it was cold outside. The metal would then radiate that heat to the outside.

    So the question is, what type of insulation would a builder use as a thermal break to stop all that radiating from going on?

    Is your double bubble going to work to keep the summer sun from doing the same thing inside your coop?
     
  9. Redwitch82

    Redwitch82 New Egg

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    Harold, sorry it took me a bit to replay.

    According to my husband, the double bubble will stop condensation. The interior side is white, the exterior side is reflective to help alleviate your radiant heat issue. It reflects the heat back out.
    If your roof metal is screwed on, you can back the screws out, remove the metal, lay down the insulation and the rescrew the metal back on. If it nailed down, your screwed (sorry, couldn't resist). You would have to have someone blow insulation onto the ceiling, which he says can be expensive. You can also replace the roof metal and have insulation installed at that time.
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome from across the state line and up a bit, a little south of Fayetteville. A few years back there was a regular poultry swap at Westville. I don’t know if it is still going or not. I haven’t heard about it for a long time. You might try chatting with people in your state thread. You might get lucky and find someone nearby that can help you find pullets.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/501128/okies-in-the-byc-iii/67520

    To answer your question about whether it is OK for nests and roosts to be close together, I’ll show my nests with a juvenile roost over it. My main roosts are a bit further away but I have a special roost right over my nests for young birds afraid to roost with the adults to use. As you can see, both the roost and nests are used. The roosts do need to be higher than the nests and they need to be arranged so the chickens cannot poop in the nests from the roosts. But the roosts being near the nests will not stop them from using the nests. I think that was your question.

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    As you can see from the fine quality of my nests, I’m no cabinet maker either. I can throw up a building or do rough work, but don’t ask me to build cabinets or furniture. That takes skills I don’t have.

    Personally I like going into the coop to gather the eggs. I’ve found snakes, a dead chicken, and a live possum in there by going inside that I might have missed if I gathered eggs from outside.

    People mean a lot of different things when they talk about the deep litter method. It’s generally considered to mean that you compost in the coop and only clean it out rarely. For it to compost, it needs to stay slightly damp. If it gets too wet it will start to stink. If it is too dry, it won’t compost but just sit there. It will still keep the poop dry and the stink down, it just won’t turn into compost.

    My coop has a dirt floor which is ideal for the deep litter method, but I keep it too dry for the bedding and poop to turn into compost. I cleaned it out recently for the first time in three years and put it on my garden. When I’m ready to plant that area in May, it will have broken down, but when it came out it was more like sawdust with dried poop mixed in. Definitely was not compost. I use wood shavings for bedding, that’s why it was sawdust after the chickens scratched it to death.

    Pea gravel will work on your coop floor. Pea gravel is worn smooth so it isn’t sharp enough to possibly cut the chicken’s feet when they scratch. If you keep it damp enough the bedding will compost over the pea gravel. But what are you going to do with that stuff when you clean it out? Will it be OK to have pea gravel mixed in with it? I would not want to put pea gravel in my vegetable garden. I’d hurt my fingers when digging in the dirt.
     

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