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New with coop questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sadiebeth12, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. sadiebeth12

    sadiebeth12 In the Brooder

    Jul 7, 2010
    Hello! My name is Shelley and I am in southwestern PA. We are excitedly awaiting our 6 chicks next week! (all different breeds) We are turning the backyard shed we never really used into a coop. I have so many questions and I have looked at so many of your amazing coops. Our shed is the standard double door type. I was thinking of bolting one closed and keep the other for access. I think the run needs it's own door for easy cleaning. Do you agree? At that point it has to be tall enough for a person. Is there a way to keep it only 4' high but have access for cleaning? Should we use hardware cloth or chicken wire? Also we need to insulate. Should we just use standard insulation and put another layer of plywood over? Any help would be wonderful! I am so excited!!! Anyone with shed conversion experience?
    Shelley - Mom to 5 kids, a boxer , a cat and very soon 6 chicks (EE,austrolorp,Buff Orpington, Light Brahma, Plymouth Barred Rock, and a Lace Wyandotte)
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hi Shelley! Congrats on getting your chicks! I think your idea about the shed door is good. Now, does your shed have any windows or vents for ventilation? Will you have electricity in your coop? The reason I ask these questions is that ventilation is important, especially in the winter, and also, light is important for laying hens. My 8x12 small animal barn (Kind of like a shed), is not insulated. I've got electricity though, and there are heat lamps in there for the winter months. I also have windows on each side so the gals get a nice cross breeze.

    Sheds make really great coops. Ours has an attached run, and I would say, that it will be might uncomfortable if you build a run where you cannot stand up fully while cleaning it. I would construct a run with human convenience in mind, as well as the critters. Now, our chicken run is fully enclosed, and it's made with chicken wire, but at night, the gals are locked their coop. This is because animals can still get to them through chicken wire.

    I use pine shavings (never cedar) for the flooring in the coop, and that seems to work best, as I've tried different types. Also, the run flooring is sand. Sand is awesome because it can get wet, but drains and dries easily.

    Well, good luck to you!
  3. sadiebeth12

    sadiebeth12 In the Brooder

    Jul 7, 2010
    Thanks Sharon! Yes, it does have electricity. We originally thought the kids might use it as a play house so it actually has a ceiling fan too. (might scare them) It also has 2 windows that do open. Did you use any special flooring under the shavings to make clean-up easier?
  4. elmo

    elmo Crowing

    May 23, 2009
    If you run the ceiling fan in your shed, you'll probably want to build a wire cage around it so no bird can fly up and get killed by the moving fan blades. And you'll also want to predator proof the windows by covering them with hardware cloth.

    If you can manage the extra expense of hardware cloth (rather than chicken wire) for the run, it provides an extra margin of safety for your chickens. You can read sad stories here in the Predator and Pests section about people who intended to lock their chickens inside a secure coop every night, but one night they unexpectedly got home late....

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