New to the coop. Renovation help.

Farmers Daughter

In the Brooder
May 23, 2021
17
35
46
Central NC
I’m new to having chickens. I haven’t gotten any yet. Restoring my grandmas house and want to restore her chicken barn and build a covered area outside. It’s run down but still standing. Since the picture I’ve cut down all the trees that were against the building and have it all cleaned out ready for chicken wire inside on the windows. The door will be rebuilt and the structure made more sturdy. Do I need chicken wire on the inside walls? I keep reading about predators. Don’t think I could take seeing a mangled chicken that I love. So I want to make it predator proof. Dirt floor. No place yet for chickens to lay. I have an old shelving system that has cubbies. Do you think they’d like that? Should I put anything down on the floor? Or on the ground outside? Do ticks get on chickens? Would they like a trough of water or just a watering bucket with nipples? What should I put in their laying area? Straw? I need all the help I can get!
Chicken Coop.jpg
 

3KillerBs

Enabler
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
10,540
26,940
1,066
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
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Welcome!

If the structure is sound then it's great to have a building to work with, especially in this day of high lumber prices. That's the first thing -- get someone who really KNOWS building to give it a good look-over to make sure it's sound and safe.

Where are you located, in general? You can put it in your profile so that we can give the best-targeted advice for your climate and likely predator load.

Here is some general information:

First, space requirements,

The Usual Guidelines

For each adult, standard-sized hen you need:
  • 4 square feet in the coop,
  • 10 square feet in the run,
  • 1 linear foot of roost,
  • 1/4 of a nest box,
  • And 1 square foot of permanent, 24/7/365 ventilation, preferably located over the birds' heads when they're sitting on the roost.
Two things to remember about this. First, these numbers generally represent *minimums*. Second, they are guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules. Here's a good article on this: https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/how-much-room-do-chickens-need.66180/

And a useful thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...ave-more-than-the-minimums-for-space.1462570/

Second, what do you want chickens for? Eggs? Meat? Eggs-and-Meat? Bug control (to answer one of your questions, chickens eat ticks and help reduce the tick population on a property)? Gardening? Beauty? Showing?

Here are some of my thoughts on choosing breeds: https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/go-ahead-pick-the-prettiest-chickens.76277/

Third, Predator Protection. Knowing your general location will help us give better advice. For example, in my part of NC we DO have raccoons, coyotes, stray dogs, weasels, foxes, hawks, owls, and other predators, but we DO NOT have bears, mountain lions, or badgers.

The predators we have can usually be deterred by 1/2" hardware cloth. Bears can only be deterred by STRONG electric wire.

And some of your questions:

Should I put anything down on the floor? Or on the ground outside?

While some people do use nothing but bare dirt, most people like to have some kind of bedding in the coop and litter in the run. This is my article on my favorite method, but read about other methods too because there is no one right way to do chickens. https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/using-deep-bedding-in-a-small-coop.76343/

Would they like a trough of water or just a watering bucket with nipples?

There's an interesting thread on that subject active right now: https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...e-waterers-in-your-opinion-yes-or-no.1476555/

What should I put in their laying area? Straw?

Another area of debate with no one right answer. I like shavings with some straw or dried grass clippings mixed in. Some use only shavings. Some use straw. Some use hay. Some use commercially-made nest pads.
 

BrooksHatlen

Free Ranging
Jun 2, 2020
2,757
7,796
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Near Devil's Millhopper
First, these numbers generally represent *minimums*. Second, they are guidelines,
^^^^That

If I were to go out now, I would think I have more roost space....meaning room for more. I do not; they like to group up. I will add more...after improvements. It may seem like a lot @Poolnspa, but in time you'll know your flock and what needs to be done to meet your goals.
 

Farmers Daughter

In the Brooder
May 23, 2021
17
35
46
Central NC
Welcome!

If the structure is sound then it's great to have a building to work with, especially in this day of high lumber prices. That's the first thing -- get someone who really KNOWS building to give it a good look-over to make sure it's sound and safe.

Where are you located, in general? You can put it in your profile so that we can give the best-targeted advice for your climate and likely predator load.

Here is some general information:

First, space requirements,

The Usual Guidelines

For each adult, standard-sized hen you need:
  • 4 square feet in the coop,
  • 10 square feet in the run,
  • 1 linear foot of roost,
  • 1/4 of a nest box,
  • And 1 square foot of permanent, 24/7/365 ventilation, preferably located over the birds' heads when they're sitting on the roost.
Two things to remember about this. First, these numbers generally represent *minimums*. Second, they are guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules. Here's a good article on this: https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/how-much-room-do-chickens-need.66180/

And a useful thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...ave-more-than-the-minimums-for-space.1462570/

Second, what do you want chickens for? Eggs? Meat? Eggs-and-Meat? Bug control (to answer one of your questions, chickens eat ticks and help reduce the tick population on a property)? Gardening? Beauty? Showing?

Here are some of my thoughts on choosing breeds: https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/go-ahead-pick-the-prettiest-chickens.76277/

Third, Predator Protection. Knowing your general location will help us give better advice. For example, in my part of NC we DO have raccoons, coyotes, stray dogs, weasels, foxes, hawks, owls, and other predators, but we DO NOT have bears, mountain lions, or badgers.

The predators we have can usually be deterred by 1/2" hardware cloth. Bears can only be deterred by STRONG electric wire.

And some of your questions:

Should I put anything down on the floor? Or on the ground outside?

While some people do use nothing but bare dirt, most people like to have some kind of bedding in the coop and litter in the run. This is my article on my favorite method, but read about other methods too because there is no one right way to do chickens. https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/using-deep-bedding-in-a-small-coop.76343/

Would they like a trough of water or just a watering bucket with nipples?

There's an interesting thread on that subject active right now: https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...e-waterers-in-your-opinion-yes-or-no.1476555/

What should I put in their laying area? Straw?

Another area of debate with no one right answer. I like shavings with some straw or dried grass clippings mixed in. Some use only shavings. Some use straw. Some use hay. Some use commercially-made nest pads.
I live in central NC
 

Farmers Daughter

In the Brooder
May 23, 2021
17
35
46
Central NC
Welcome!

If the structure is sound then it's great to have a building to work with, especially in this day of high lumber prices. That's the first thing -- get someone who really KNOWS building to give it a good look-over to make sure it's sound and safe.

Where are you located, in general? You can put it in your profile so that we can give the best-targeted advice for your climate and likely predator load.

Here is some general information:

First, space requirements,

The Usual Guidelines

For each adult, standard-sized hen you need:
  • 4 square feet in the coop,
  • 10 square feet in the run,
  • 1 linear foot of roost,
  • 1/4 of a nest box,
  • And 1 square foot of permanent, 24/7/365 ventilation, preferably located over the birds' heads when they're sitting on the roost.
Two things to remember about this. First, these numbers generally represent *minimums*. Second, they are guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules. Here's a good article on this: https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/how-much-room-do-chickens-need.66180/

And a useful thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...ave-more-than-the-minimums-for-space.1462570/

Second, what do you want chickens for? Eggs? Meat? Eggs-and-Meat? Bug control (to answer one of your questions, chickens eat ticks and help reduce the tick population on a property)? Gardening? Beauty? Showing?

Here are some of my thoughts on choosing breeds: https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/go-ahead-pick-the-prettiest-chickens.76277/

Third, Predator Protection. Knowing your general location will help us give better advice. For example, in my part of NC we DO have raccoons, coyotes, stray dogs, weasels, foxes, hawks, owls, and other predators, but we DO NOT have bears, mountain lions, or badgers.

The predators we have can usually be deterred by 1/2" hardware cloth. Bears can only be deterred by STRONG electric wire.

And some of your questions:

Should I put anything down on the floor? Or on the ground outside?

While some people do use nothing but bare dirt, most people like to have some kind of bedding in the coop and litter in the run. This is my article on my favorite method, but read about other methods too because there is no one right way to do chickens. https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/using-deep-bedding-in-a-small-coop.76343/

Would they like a trough of water or just a watering bucket with nipples?

There's an interesting thread on that subject active right now: https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...e-waterers-in-your-opinion-yes-or-no.1476555/

What should I put in their laying area? Straw?

Another area of debate with no one right answer. I like shavings with some straw or dried grass clippings mixed in. Some use only shavings. Some use straw. Some use hay. Some use commercially-made nest pads.
I’m just wanting chickens because I think they’re awesome creatures. And I love eggs! I’d like to be able to hold them and pet them, if possible. Just want maybe 5 or so, although I’ve got plenty of space.

sounds like I’ll have the same kind of predators as you. There is a groundhog at another of my barns (pest!). I hope they don’t like chicken.

I’ve been reading the thread about watering systems but wondered if they’d like a trough to get wet in and splash around.
 

Farmers Daughter

In the Brooder
May 23, 2021
17
35
46
Central NC
I’m also planning on getting one or two peacocks because they’re beautiful and I love the sounds they make. Plus they’re planning on building a bunch of houses right behind me - the city moving in on my country - and I want those people to know I was here first (over 60 years before them! I tried telling them at the city counsel meeting . . . )
 

21hens-incharge

Moderator
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
26,739
111,097
1,722
Northern Colorado
I’m just wanting chickens because I think they’re awesome creatures. And I love eggs! I’d like to be able to hold them and pet them, if possible. Just want maybe 5 or so, although I’ve got plenty of space.

sounds like I’ll have the same kind of predators as you. There is a groundhog at another of my barns (pest!). I hope they don’t like chicken.

I’ve been reading the thread about watering systems but wondered if they’d like a trough to get wet in and splash around.

Chickens are not the kind to splash around in water. Ducks would but chickens don't.

If there is a housing development going in very close by I wouldn't get peacocks for the sole purpose of proving you were there first. It could backfire and they gang up to change YOUR zoning.
 

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