Newbie's First Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Firk07, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. Firk07

    Firk07 Chirping

    Mar 8, 2015
    So I have 6 chicks on order to be here in the beginning of April. The wood shed below will be transformed into their coop. The shed is 12'x8'x6' high at the back (7'ish in the front) The plan is to close off half of it (6'x8') for the actual coop and the other half for food/bedding/tool storage. The run will be off the back 12'x6'. I worry that this will be "too big" for 6 birds in our frigid northern WI winters (was -20* here for at least half of the winter) I've never raised chickens before so I'm not sure how they'll do in winter. So I guess my questions are:
    1. Do I need to insulate the coop?
    2. How do I keep ventilation and not freeze the birds in the winter? Right now there is about a 6" gap between the wall and the roof in the back, and maybe 2" on the side. These would be covered with Hardware Cloth to keep vermin out. I would think this would be adequete ventilation?

    Other not weather related questions:
    3. We plan to put plywood siding down on the floor. Does it need to be painted? I'm not planning on the deep litter method in the coop.
    4. How high should the nest boxes/roosts be? I understand the roosts should be higher than the nest boxes, but where do I start?
    I'm sure I'll have more questions, but any help would be greatly appriciated!!! Thanks in advance!

  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome! Nice start for your coop. I would have the shed facing south or SE if possible, cover the existing vents with hardware cloth, and have big hardware cloth windows and doors on the open side. Plywood on the floor, with a scrap piece of vinyl flooring on top. Deep bedding with wood chips is the best. No openings bigger that 1/2" x 1/2" anywhere. Bears? Then plan on hot tape too. Run water and electric out there if at all possible. My coop is insulated; helps with winter winds and summer sun. Plant trees and shrubs for shade and cover. Nest boxes about 18" to 24" off the floor, and roosts higher. My chicks have a ladder roost, so they learn to roost very young. My main coop has roosts at 3' and also the rafters at 8'. All areas are used! Mary

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