Opinions needed on ventilation/restricting access inside shed coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Wynette, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    We purchased a used shed to convert to a coop; I'll be using this coop as a growout pen for juveniles, and my intention (I say this NOW) is to only use it in spring/summer/fall.

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    Because of the barn shape, there are ledges running along the inside of each side - these are JUST the right size for a chook to get up and poop all over them:

    [​IMG]

    I need ideas on something basic to do so that I can make it unappealing for the chooks to roost there. I will be adding a 2 x 4 roost at about 2' up from the floor soon. My hope is that they'll like the roost more than the ledge, but I know that's not likely.

    Also, I need feedback on adding ventilation. The last owner did add ridge vent; however, they then tarpapered over the top of it [​IMG]

    I was wondering about using plastic floor vents - they seem like they might be just the right size, and also adjustable. I have 9" of space along the ledges:

    [​IMG]

    (You can also see in the pic above that the nails coming through the roof are poking through...I would hate for the chooks to be injured by them, but I've tried hammering them down, and due to the "give" that the plywood roofing has to it, I cannot get them nailed down to my satisfaction - another reason for discouraging them to roost there.)

    And 3" of space on the outside under the eaves - about 1 1/2" of this is drip edge, which I could likely tuck a floor vent under....I think.

    [​IMG]

    So - ideas on ventilation? OH, I have added a window to the back of the shed, which faces north. The window is a basement storm window that I can remove the glass in, and I placed it vertically as high as I could (the shed is 8' high at the highest point inside).

    Thanks for your feedback - all is appreciated & welcomed!
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I would simply tack chicken wire along that shelf edge inside (up to wherever it meets on the roof line) so that doesn't become the poop deck, because you're right, they will find them. That way they'll be protected from the nails too.
    Why not do long narrow vents along both side walls directly under the eaves??? I know home depot sells plain white or brown, somewhat flimsy vent covers that are 8 x 16 (can't tell what your studs are...thought they might be 24, but maybe they're 16??) for less than $2 ea.

    Have fun with your renovations! [​IMG]
     
  3. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the feedback, teach1. I like the simplicity of chicken wire for the ledges inside - easy, plus efficient!

    For the vents, I was hoping to find something that was adjustable. Those long vents you speak of aren't adjustable, plus, I'd have to cut each to a length of 11" so they'd fit between the studs, which are 12" apart. If I can't find an adjustable option, I may go this route, though. Thanks again!
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Regarding the 'ledges', personally (being a major cheapskate <g>) I would just cut some 16"-wide strips from old plastic feed sacks, and staplegun them about 8" above the ledges as a sort of curtain blocking off the ledge. The material is stiff enough that it will *look* solid and I doubt chickens would actually *try* to roost there. If they did, you could go to Plan B using chickenwire or hardwarecloth, but they have the distinct disadvantages of a) they are much more expensive and b) they catch dust Real Bad. Whereas dust just slides off the feedsack material and returns to the floor from whence it came [​IMG]

    Protruding nail tips on the underside of the roof can be nipped flush w/the plywood using bolt cutters (the kind where the jaws are out in front of them, like hoof-nippers are made, not the ones that are scissors-style)

    For ventilation, you would really get a LOT more cooling if you could put at least some of the vents (large ones) at the tops of the two gable ends of the shed. Being as heat rises. If most of yoru vents are just halfway up, below the level of the eaves, you will wind up with a lot of stale HOT air just sitting there in the top half of the shed which of course is also the half where the chickens roost in the evening. Even if you had to build a little 'porch roof' hood type thing over the vents on the most-often-downwind-in-storms end, it woudl still REALLY be worth it to get some large area of vents up there. (E.t.a. - oh wait, I jsut saw that you put a large openable window high on the far gable end. That is good! It would be even better to get some vents at the top of *this* gable end too, though... for more hot-air-exit area, and to allow for cross breezes to help ventilation things)

    Vents under the eaves are good TOO, of course [​IMG] and will help you get circulation of air, in combination with the high vents. I am not a big fan of those plastic heat-register vents -- the metal ones are at least a bit more predatorproof, but still, they are so SMALL -- but I suppose it is an option. If it were me though I'd just cut holes in the walls, frame them in lightly, and add hardwarecloth. (And possibly cover flaps, if the season required it)

    I like the sensibly-framed run; and btw once you are finished this maybe you could psot a thread on it as an example of a shed conversion? Because it seems likely this will be a good one and you know how many people there are who get that style shed and want help on how to coop-ify it [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Pat - of course, I knew you'd give excellent advice - thanks for stopping in! [​IMG]

    I'm not sure I understand what you mean about the large vents - I'l re-read to see if I can figure out exactly what type of vents you're suggesting. Like the large ones that go right through the roof itself? My brother mentioned those would be great to have, but they're more work than he or my DH is willing to do any time soon. Yup - eventually, but both of them are swamped with other stuff right now, so I'll just have to use what resources I have for a week or so.

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the feed sack idea! I have a huge sack of them that I was just going to put out for recycling this week!

    I wondered about nipping the tips of the nails off, but thought maybe the shingles could possibly pull out if I did that. Hmmm..
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:I wasn't referring to those -- as you say, they are a bit of a project, and honestly I'm not that big on them as they really do not offer nearly as much airflow as their overall size might suggest (it is only the area of the narrow slit all the way around their sides...)

    I just meant, in my confused and poorly-proofread way [​IMG], a big square or rectangular vent(s) above the door on that gable-end of the shed. Like a big foundation vent type thing that you'd buy at Home Depot, or any homemade version thereof (like, maybe two triangular holes, one on each side of the light there, as big as there is room for)

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the feed sack idea! I have a huge sack of them that I was just going to put out for recycling this week!

    Me too, I hate having "free" stuff like that without using it so I am constantly looking for new uses for them [​IMG]

    I wondered about nipping the tips of the nails off, but thought maybe the shingles could possibly pull out if I did that. Hmmm..

    Nope, perfectly safe, the part of the nail that is hovering in the air there isn't holding the shingles on ANYhow <g> People do it regularly and I've never heard of problems. If your shingles pull loose enough that it MATTERS whether there's an extra inch of nail beyond what's in the roof deck, you've ALREADY got a big problem [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  7. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks, Pat - I get what you mean, now; basically, cut some holes & cover with hardware cloth. But...it must be something I can open & close for rain/snow, and it's 8' in the air, plus, the shed is up on cinder blocks, making it even higher. I'll have to let my brother read this thread and see if he can come up with something that I can open & close from the ground...thanks again!
     
  8. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    I saw a coop recently that used floor heat registers as vents. It looked really cute, and you can open and close them. I forget who did it though.

    Uh huh, sure, only used in the spring, summer, fall. Not buying it.
     
  9. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:I know, right? HA! That's what I told DH anyway...

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  10. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:I know, right? HA! That's what I told DH anyway...

    [​IMG]

    And he believed you? Sucker. [​IMG]
     

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