Newbie chick shed and WIR build

3KillerBs

Crowing
Jul 10, 2009
2,749
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North Carolina Sandhills
We’re thinking 6-8 but once it’s built we’ll see what space we have and then decide - I want them to have plenty of space given they won’t have had any up to coming to live with us.
You'll want 4 square feet per chicken so just to lay out a few measurements, my 4'x4' coop is good for 4 hens, a 4'x8' shed would hold 8 (but be hard to walk into), and a 6'x8' shed would be good for 12.

Don't forget to plan for plenty of ventilation up top. If your construction skills are up to it you might consider a monitor roof like my little coop has.
 

Haphazard_Hannah

Chirping
Oct 2, 2020
75
227
93
Bristol, UK
My Coop
You'll want 4 square feet per chicken so just to lay out a few measurements, my 4'x4' coop is good for 4 hens, a 4'x8' shed would hold 8 (but be hard to walk into), and a 6'x8' shed would be good for 12.

Don't forget to plan for plenty of ventilation up top. If your construction skills are up to it you might consider a monitor roof like my little coop has.
Thanks 3KillerBs. The shed I’m planning for is 6’x4’ so I guess we’re getting 6 hens 🙂

yes, ventilation isvery much on my mind. Here in the UK it doesn’t often get above 80f and if it does, it’s usually only for a week or so, however we’re generally a damp and windy country the rest of the time. I’ve read the article on ventilation and understand it’s about moisture and ammonia, I just need to find a way to ventilate but shield from strong winds driving the drizzle in. If anyone has got any suggestions I’m all ears, but I thinkthe monitor roof might be a bit beyond me I’m afraid.
 

3KillerBs

Crowing
Jul 10, 2009
2,749
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North Carolina Sandhills
Thanks 3KillerBs. The shed I’m planning for is 6’x4’ so I guess we’re getting 6 hens 🙂

yes, ventilation isvery much on my mind. Here in the UK it doesn’t often get above 80f and if it does, it’s usually only for a week or so, however we’re generally a damp and windy country the rest of the time. I’ve read the article on ventilation and understand it’s about moisture and ammonia, I just need to find a way to ventilate but shield from strong winds driving the drizzle in. If anyone has got any suggestions I’m all ears, but I thinkthe monitor roof might be a bit beyond me I’m afraid.
You'll probably want to use open soffits then, with additional openings at the gable peaks (and generous roof overhangs to shelter the opening so that rain can't get in). All openings screened with hardware cloth, of course.
 

Big Doggie

Chirping
Mar 23, 2020
275
314
96
Mass
So the rain is unrelenting today so no activity outside unfortunately, however I have been working on my nest box design for inside the shed. I’ve had a little search for posts relating to the use of OSB as this is quite a cheap resource here in the UK apparently. The comments suggest that for internal structure OSB is fine for chickens, however I was wondering if the texture of it might provide haven for red mites? I mean, I can sand and paint it so it’s not an issue, just wondered if anyone else had any experience with this?
I’ve worked with OSB and you MUST wear gloves. The material has the habit of embedding micro-splinters that are almost too small to see but you’ll feel them.
 

Haphazard_Hannah

Chirping
Oct 2, 2020
75
227
93
Bristol, UK
My Coop
You'll probably want to use open soffits then, with additional openings at the gable peaks (and generous roof overhangs to shelter the opening so that rain can't get in). All openings screened with hardware cloth, of course.
I’ll be taking the felt off the shed and replacing with onduline so a decent overhang is def something I can do. And today I’ll be googling soffits 😅

Edit: google and Wikipedia helped me out, and that’s totally doable too! 😉 thanks!
 
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Haphazard_Hannah

Chirping
Oct 2, 2020
75
227
93
Bristol, UK
My Coop
I’ve seen plenty mention of OSB vs ply for internal nesting boxes, but nothing about MDF. I understand there are regulations on its use in the US as it can become carcinogenic when cut so you have to wear masks (or at least you did back when I was at Uni) but that’s not the case here (although I do anyway). I would imagine it has the strength and if painted would be easy to clean? What do you reckon? It’s certainly affordable.
 

Haphazard_Hannah

Chirping
Oct 2, 2020
75
227
93
Bristol, UK
My Coop
I’ll be taking the felt off the shed and replacing with onduline so a decent overhang is def something I can do. And today I’ll be googling soffits 😅

Edit: google and Wikipedia helped me out, and that’s totally doable too! 😉 thanks!
It’s just occurred to me that if I can manage soffits I can probably manage a monitor roof. Especially if I’ll be putting onduline on anyway. I think maybe I was just a bit intimidated 😂
 

3KillerBs

Crowing
Jul 10, 2009
2,749
4,831
436
North Carolina Sandhills
It’s just occurred to me that if I can manage soffits I can probably manage a monitor roof. Especially if I’ll be putting onduline on anyway. I think maybe I was just a bit intimidated 😂
My thread includes close-up detail photos of how DH structured the monitor.

He used a Kreg jig to make all the screw pockets nice, but it's not necessary to have that level of finish.
 

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