Newbie chick shed and WIR build

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
87,731
105,753
1,737
SW Michigan
My Coop
that they actually thrive better when not overwhelmed with space in the coop.
That might be true at first......but they can get used to the 'extra' space.

I don’t want it to be so spacious that it’s cold and drafty as there’s not enough body heat,
Body heat filling a coop is not what keeps them warm, their feathers keep them warm and copious ventilation is better for their health overall.
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
12,551
23,291
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
So I spoke to the British Hen Welfare Trust today to finish my registration for rehoming ex-commercial chickens and went through the set up I’m planning - they were tinned at the size of my planned coop and said that they go by 1sqft per bird - vastly different than the 4sqft everyone seems to be referring to. I asked them about this and they said that the hens I’ll be getting have been caged together tightly for the first 18 months of life that they actually thrive better when not overwhelmed with space in the coop.
When you first get them they probably will feel more comfortable in a more confined space, but maybe you can set up something temporarily to allow for gradual expansion, whether it be temporary wire or cardboard walls that you can move outward each week until the birds get used to the space they have.

1 sq ft per bird is how they've been having to live. I certainly think in their "retirement" they'd learn to appreciate having more space, fresh air, sunshine, grass to scratch in - all the things they didn't have.
 

Haphazard_Hannah

Chirping
Oct 2, 2020
75
227
93
Bristol, UK
My Coop
When you first get them they probably will feel more comfortable in a more confined space, but maybe you can set up something temporarily to allow for gradual expansion, whether it be temporary wire or cardboard walls that you can move outward each week until the birds get used to the space they have.

1 sq ft per bird is how they've been having to live. I certainly think in their "retirement" they'd learn to appreciate having more space, fresh air, sunshine, grass to scratch in - all the things they didn't have.
This is a fantastic idea! I’ll put a divider in until they’ve settled. Thankyou

Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts - you guys are so helpful!
 

littledog

Songster
Aug 7, 2011
296
1,148
247
Puget Sound area, WA
P.S the roof is corrugated onduline, I just haven't figured out how to do a corrugated roof without manually drawing each curve along the edge - ain't nobody got time for that!
I used something similar for my roof, and I just covered the top in chicken wire, before attaching the corrugated roof pieces over that. This way, I avoided having to cut perfect, complicated curved pieces for the corrugated roof to sit on (I'm sure I would have ruined several pieces of wood trying to do this) plus it gave me a little more ventilation.
My coop is 7' wide and the corrugated pieces are 8' long, so I placed them to extend outwards mostly on the high side, creating an uncomplicated overhang. On the low side, I extended them only about an inch, to direct rainwater into a gutter that runs into a water barrel. It's worked out really well, in spite of my unskilled carpentry!
 

Haphazard_Hannah

Chirping
Oct 2, 2020
75
227
93
Bristol, UK
My Coop
I used something similar for my roof, and I just covered the top in chicken wire, before attaching the corrugated roof pieces over that. This way, I avoided having to cut perfect, complicated curved pieces for the corrugated roof to sit on (I'm sure I would have ruined several pieces of wood trying to do this) plus it gave me a little more ventilation.
My coop is 7' wide and the corrugated pieces are 8' long, so I placed them to extend outwards mostly on the high side, creating an uncomplicated overhang. On the low side, I extended them only about an inch, to direct rainwater into a gutter that runs into a water barrel. It's worked out really well, in spite of my unskilled carpentry!
This is my plan! I'm just going to make a frame for the 'lid', aka the hinges roof, cover it with fine but strong mesh to stop little ratties sneaking in and screw the onduline to the top, leaving the corrugations open for added airflow. Job done ✅
 

Haphazard_Hannah

Chirping
Oct 2, 2020
75
227
93
Bristol, UK
My Coop
So there’s been progress!

Firstly, I tested negative for Covid so my cough is just a standard winter cough. Phew!

Secondly, I have been busy with my new power tools! While I love my circular saw I’m particularly enjoying my little electric nailer! So quick!

So firstly I noticed some old sleepers down the side of my house from where my landlord built a house in the bottom half of my garden and never got around to clearing up after himself. He said I could have them so I dragged them into my garden, used my new, budget, circular saw (which did surprisingly well) and chopped them to size. I’ve put them at the bottom of the garden so that I can level out the ground without it piling up against the fence at the bottom. This is my first ever cut with a power saw! I was bricking it, as we say here in the U.K.

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And this is what my garden looks like now.

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I’m waiting for more wire mesh to arrive before I can do the rest, and for my tonne of hardwood chips.

Coop building wise, I’ve knocked up one and a half side panels before I ran out of the first batch of wood supplies, but with the short lengths left over I put together the frame for the little pop hole.
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And then today I painted the first panel and I really like it!

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Its really hard to get a picture without a doggo in it...
 

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