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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Gwirithil, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. Gwirithil

    Gwirithil Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 3, 2009
    Lake Oswego, OR
    I am considering getting a very small flock of chickens (certainly at least 3, no more than 6) to keep in my very small yard south of Portland, OR.

    I have an unused garden shed on the north side of my house. It is shady all day, summer and winter. My intention is to have a run attached (with a litter floor because that area only grows moss and ferns), and to have the chickens able to free range in my yard as often as possible.

    The building is not insulated at all. In my climate, do I need to insulate the building? Is extra space a problem with too few chickens to keep the building warm in winter?

    This winter was a fluke with a stint of 18 degree nights - not cold for you folks in Michigan and points north, but that's REALLY cold for us. I'd have brought the chickens into the house for that, but it gives you an idea of the lowest temperature extremes.

    Thank you very much for any help!
     
  2. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    You wont have to insulate the shed. Chickens are pretty cold hardy and should do fine, if they can get in the dry and out of the wind. [​IMG]
     
  3. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    Ontario
    Hello and Welcome !!
    I live in Ontario Canada.....its a tad bit cold here.....Parents of my daughters classmate that live in the city have a small flock of chickens usually 6 during the summer and three in the winter....she makes soup with three hens for the fall.....but they have told me they have a farmer friend that they get straw/hay bales from and they insulate their garden shed with....chickens are cold hardy...then they either return the bales for compost or put it on there veggie garden....During the summer you may have problems with Condensation dripping ....the shed should have good ventalation....I know somewhere on here theres a couple threads on converting a garden shed...the pro's and cons....I also have a book I bought called "Keep Chickens" about tending Small flocks in cities ,Suburbs and other small spaces....by Barbara Kilarski.....and I believe she also lives in the beautiful city of Portland Oregon .Yes i have been there...the sister company I use to work for is located there...Blount...Oregon saw chain....Good Luck...and now your addiction begins !![​IMG]
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Do it, do it! [​IMG]

    The building is not insulated at all. In my climate, do I need to insulate the building? Is extra space a problem with too few chickens to keep the building warm in winter?

    Is the building wooden or metal? If metal, you will have condensation (and thus humidity) problems in winter unless you insulate at least the roof and probably the walls too. If wood, much less so, maybe not at all.

    You most definitely do not NEED to insulate. If you *choose* to insulate, it is virtually never a bad thing -- it will allow your chickens to stay warmer on those 18 degree nights. But in your climate I'd say it is *totally* discretionary.

    Extra space is never a problem. Worst case scenario, you might decide you want to put a 'drop ceiling' over the roost, or create a smaller boxed-off 'coop within a coop' to enclose their body heat at night. Frankly in your climate I don't think you'd even need that [​IMG]

    Do make sure the shed has LOTS AND LOTS of ventilation, though. Just yer typical 'my shed has one or two windows' is not usually enough, at least not enough for good-and-easy management. Chickens put out a really vast amount of humidity (and ammonia) considering their size. Prepare now [​IMG]

    Have fun, get chickens, welcome to BYC [​IMG],

    Pat​
     
  5. Gwirithil

    Gwirithil Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 3, 2009
    Lake Oswego, OR
    Fortunately, thirty years of experience with horse barns has me completely convinced on the subject of ventilation.

    The shed is metal, and frankly would need to be jacked up and have a new floor. Closer examination (Well I *did* say it was unused, lol) has revealed that there is NO ventilation currently in the shed so it would take some serious tin-snip work. Ideally I think I would insulate for the sound suppression, as the placement would be very close to our neighbor's house and I really don't want to disturb the neighbors!

    The general location hosts an apple tree that grows apples that only livestock should ever eat (very mealy, not very sweet... really disgraceful fruit), which I'm hoping would be all right for chickens.
     

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